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Old 05-07-2013, 06:50 PM   #81
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Before my elderly mother and father in law were taken advantage and roughed up by panhandlers, I was indifferent. I now have no use for anyone asking for anything except boy scouts and girl scouts. I suspect Ill get jaded enough to turn them off also.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #82
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Had a vacancy in the inner city last summer. Hired a woman to paint the exterior. She volunteered at a homeless shelter and said she would bring "friends" to help her. I agreed under the condition that they worked for her ... she tasked and paid them.

Spent three months working with her and the homeless (they did the interior too). Learned a few things. First - and foremost - the homeless are where they are for a reason. A series of poor decisions/actions lead them to their place. Secondly the shelters have put in place many rules to keep themselves from being scammed. For example:

1. 5 month stay MAX ... don't come back for another 6 months. One 22 yo father of 2 - rotates between his mothers and the shelter with his SO.

2. 9pm curfew. You are in bed, lights out. Men and women in separate quarters - even if family.

3. No achohol/drugs tolerated inside or out ... your seen using them by staff, you're out.

4. Everyone is assigned a duty to your ability ... if you miss it more than once you're gone. This includes circle time.

After hearing some of the stories of what goes on in the shelters ... it's easy to see why many of the homeless opt to sleep under the bridge with their buddies.

FWIW one guy only lasted a couple days ... painting was too much "work". Another was a very hard worker and will be called upon next time I have a vacancy.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:19 AM   #83
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Advise them you dont carry cash - I dont. Police officers carry contact information for local emergency services. Advise the person asking for money you'll call the police for them , so they they can get in contact with the appropriate emergency service. Scammers will leave the area immediately. If its someone who really needs help, you might be doing them a big favor.

As Tryan said, most of them are in financial straits for whatever reason. Yea, some are professional scammers. It's up to you of you want to take a chance and give them a few bucks. I think the scammers have more elaborate stories. Others just admit they're homeless or out of work. Your call to give or not.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:18 PM   #84
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I have only been approached like this a few times. The last one that I remember is that I was approached by a man in a parking lot who told me he needed $20 to fix a problem with his car and he left his wallet at home. I gave him $5 and told him I was happy to help out.

Never thought about it again until now.
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Old 06-29-2013, 06:49 AM   #85
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Well, well, well. After a few years of being free of this scam, it hit me yesterday.

As I was walking to my car in a typical strip center parking lot, a gentleman drives up with his window down and yells: "Sir, sir, can you help me?" I walk over, thinking he needs directions. He starts babbling about finding a church or synagog, but then his real intentions come out. "My gas light is on and I need some help."

Well your friend Joe remember this thread and I simply said: "Ah, I've heard this before. Sorry, good luck and have a nice day." He immediately drove away. I'm 100% convinced he was just begging.

There was a part of me that wanted to confront him and say, "Show me your gas light," etc. But doing that never leads to any place good.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:59 AM   #86
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I read an article a couple of years ago that was interviewing professional beggars in a large west coast city. One guy claimed to clear 80k per year in a good year for a few hours of begging a day. Morning and evening rush hour plus lunch break. He didn't have a drug problem. This was his full time job. He did it because it paid better than a minimum wage job and was easier.

Someday I imagine if you tell a beggar you only have a credit card, they will whip out their iPhone and use a credit card processing app to take your "donation".
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:18 AM   #87
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These gas beggars were a permanent fixture at the gas station I used to use. They used to just hang out there and did not just get gas and leave. According to the news, law enforcement cracked down on them at that gas station but I haven't gone back to check. They are a little unnerving.
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Old 06-29-2013, 08:46 AM   #88
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The following happens in my upper-middle class suburban neighborhood a couple times a year: A few children who I am pretty sure are from poorer areas of the big city will be driven here by adults (you can see the adults parked waiting around the neighborhood). The kids (around age 10) will go door-to-door, flash some credentials, and ask for money for some cause (often in exchange for goods like candy). The last time this happened, the little guy was talking so fast that I had no idea what he was offering, and I said no thank you.

I think it's legitimate, mainly because it doesn't happen very frequently so the residents and local police could easily put the kibosh on it if it was a scam, but I don't know for sure. Can anyone shed some light on this?
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #89
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I encountered the gas station scam at my last fill up. I was backing into position at the gas pump with my window down and a guy walks up asking, "Excuse me, can I ask a favor? I ran out of gas and my wife and kids are in the car." Before he even asked for money I politely but FIRMLY told him NO THANK YOU. Why I included a thank you, I have no idea, I'm just polite, even to beggars.

After pumping gas I needed to go into the store so I mentioned to the attendant that the guy was out there approaching all the cars, asking for money. They said he was a frequent visitor and that they had checked their policies with the city and he wasn't doing anything illegal, he was allowed to do what he was doing.

Hmmmm...

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I read an article a couple of years ago that was interviewing professional beggars in a large west coast city. One guy claimed to clear 80k per year in a good year for a few hours of begging a day. Morning and evening rush hour plus lunch break. He didn't have a drug problem. This was his full time job. He did it because it paid better than a minimum wage job and was easier.
I suspect that it's also tax free to him. No one issuing a W2 or 1099MISC or reminding him of his tax obligation.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #90
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Someday I imagine if you tell a beggar you only have a credit card, they will whip out their iPhone and use a credit card processing app to take your "donation".
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:07 PM   #91
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The following happens in my upper-middle class suburban neighborhood a couple times a year: A few children who I am pretty sure are from poorer areas of the big city will be driven here by adults (you can see the adults parked waiting around the neighborhood). The kids (around age 10) will go door-to-door, flash some credentials, and ask for money for some cause (often in exchange for goods like candy). The last time this happened, the little guy was talking so fast that I had no idea what he was offering, and I said no thank you.

I think it's legitimate, mainly because it doesn't happen very frequently so the residents and local police could easily put the kibosh on it if it was a scam, but I don't know for sure. Can anyone shed some light on this?
Your town needs an ordinance prohibiting door to door selling or solicitation without a town-issued permit. Works like a charm for us. All legitimate folks (real charities, scouts, little league) easily get permits, others are denied. When someone rings my bell without a proper ID pinned on, I just call the police and usually watch the solicitor being escorted into the back seat of the police cruiser before they get more than a couple of houses down the street.

Most folks pretending to sell or beg at your door are actually casing your house out for burglary. At a home owners meeting, our police told us we don't have to allow folks to case our homes from the front porch or by walking around back (saying they were just checking the back door since no one answered the front). If they're not wearing proper ID, we can just call the police and will quickly come check it out.

The police say most of the un-permitted solicitors and salesmen they pick up have unsavory backgrounds, arrest records, etc., when they run a background check on them. Ugh........ Not the kind of unwanted guest I want sniffing around my house.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:17 PM   #92
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This is evidently a widespread begging scheme.

Mr. A. was filling the tank and the rest of us were in the car, when I noticed a young woman with fashionably "torn" denim jeans, a rock group jacket, and half-bleached, half-grown-out hair approaching a young man who was filling his car at the next pump. She wasn't pretty, but her mode of dress really stood out (this is a wealthy, but dull staid area). At first I thought she was admiring his car, but his facial expression didn't seem complimented. Then she moved on to Mr. A. who listened politely. He told me later on that she talked so fast, he didn't know what she was saying. I was out of the car with a "What's going on?" like a flash.

"Oh, I was just asking for some help filling my gas tank..." "No!" I said loudly and firmly. "We are NOT paying for your gas." I guess she saw the "Believe it, baby" look in my eye, because she backed off. Shortly afterward, I saw the gas station owner scolding the young woman and caught words to the effect of "I told you not to come around here again." We left and I don't know what happened next.

The funny thing is that I have stopped to help strangers on more than one occasion, and have been helped by strangers. This person just looked fishy as heck, and triggered my "Shields up" response.

Amethyst

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I encountered the gas station scam at my last fill up. I was backing into position at the gas pump with my window down and a guy walks up asking, "Excuse me, can I ask a favor? I ran out of gas and my wife and kids are in the car." Before he even asked for money I politely but FIRMLY told him NO THANK YOU. Why I included a thank you, I have no idea, I'm just polite, even to beggars.

After pumping gas I needed to go into the store so I mentioned to the attendant that the guy was out there approaching all the cars, asking for money. They said he was a frequent visitor and that they had checked their policies with the city and he wasn't doing anything illegal, he was allowed to do what he was doing.

Hmmmm...



I suspect that it's also tax free to him. No one issuing a W2 or 1099MISC or reminding him of his tax obligation.
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Old 06-29-2013, 03:34 PM   #93
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I encountered the gas station scam at my last fill up. I was backing into position at the gas pump with my window down and a guy walks up asking, "Excuse me, can I ask a favor? I ran out of gas and my wife and kids are in the car." Before he even asked for money I politely but FIRMLY told him NO THANK YOU. Why I included a thank you, I have no idea, I'm just polite, even to beggars.

After pumping gas I needed to go into the store so I mentioned to the attendant that the guy was out there approaching all the cars, asking for money. They said he was a frequent visitor and that they had checked their policies with the city and he wasn't doing anything illegal, he was allowed to do what he was doing.

Hmmmm...
If this was a gas station, isn't it private property so the station's owner can demand that the beggar leave the station or be arrested for trespassing (like Amethyst's story)?
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Old 06-29-2013, 04:12 PM   #94
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If this was a gas station, isn't it private property so the station's owner can demand that the beggar leave the station or be arrested for trespassing (like Amethyst's story)?
And it is hard to believe that panhandling is legal, too. I'd let the owner of the station know that I'd be patronizing another gas station.
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Panhandling
Old 06-29-2013, 10:35 PM   #95
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Panhandling

Panhandlers and the homeless have taken over the main library in the city near my home. They are turned out of the homeless shelters at 8:00 am and are lined up at the library at 9:00 am where they can escape the cold weather in winter and hot weather in summer. They take over the computer area surfing for porn sites. Even though the library has blocking software they are clever enough to find workarounds. The situation has resulted in a decline in library attendance as young mothers will not take their children there due to the fowl language and aggressive panhandling. The elderly have also stopped going during the day for the same reason.

Civil libertarians and ethnic organizations prevent the county from taking any action to remove the disruptive patrons whose only purpose is to stay inside out of the elements an harass the public. The community activists claim the answer is to provide more services for the homeless and close the suburban branches to increase attendance downtown. My county commissioner says there is nothing the county commission can do because the county can't afford to defend a lawsuit. It isn't hard to see that in the digital age the commissioners will ultimately close what was once a wonderful cultural resource for the community. This is one situation where protecting the rights of a few will destroy a resource for the many.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:20 PM   #96
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This is one situation where protecting the rights of a few will destroy a resource for the many.
One situation of many other similar ones.

Ha
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:58 AM   #97
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I will usually just politely say "no, but good luck". What I am tempted to say is that I have already donated hundreds of thousands through our governments tax system and they assure me that it is going to the "less fortunate". Surely with all this money collected and being so well managed, the problem is very close to being solved.

Seriously, we are charitable people and do give through trusted organizations. While I have occasionally handed over a few bucks to individuals I can't get over the bad feeling that I am likely enabling an addiction. That seriously doesn't help anyone! I just feel bad that it does ruin things for the few that truly have fallen on hard times for other reasons.

Oh, and I agree with those who emphasize the need to be careful and to protect yourself. I am thankful to be in a state that makes legal concealed carry relatively easy.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #98
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I really can't understand why anyone gives money to a beggar......I believe in giving solutions. In my State beggars stand on the corner with a cheap sign asking for money. News reports say they make 20 bucks an hour and I've seen the same beggars on the same corner for months. Why do people continue to give?

My solution is to donate and work at the local homeless soup kitchen and shelter. Some of the folks that come into the soup kitchen have done so for years. They have mental health problems, many times are poor and uneducated and I don't understand their world. But......all they get is food, respect and a smile at the soup kitchen. As I leave working there, I give the soup kitchen director a check, it's size is depended on my dividends the previous month. So, after supporting those in need I can look at any beggar, give the beggar nothing and not have to wonder if my money went to feed a drug or alchohol habit.

My point to all is, yes, do some good....help those less fortunate but don't support the druggies and lazy standing in gas stations or on corners. I won't and wish no one else did either.
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:44 PM   #99
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Gas beggars...never saw one in my area until I was filling my powerboat gas tank before launching it a few weeks ago.
A young man walked up to the island where I was pumping gas, with a 5 gal plastic gas container in his hand, right after I got my credit card receipt. He tried to operate the pump but it was shut off. He actually hit the Call Button and tried to convince the inside attendant to turn the pump on.
I quickly spoke up and said I was the credit card customer who had just finished pumping. The attendant heard me.
He looked at me, I stared right back at him, and he went inside supposedly to pre-pay for gas. I hit the Call Button and told the attendant I had no idea who this young man was.
The guy who was driving the truck towing my boat had gotten right out of the truck when he saw the young man approaching me. He was standing by just in case. All was well.

Thank you all for alerting me to the gas scam. Who knows? Maybe he had some electronic plug-in device ready to try to hijack my credit card number.
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:01 PM   #100
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Going to school in Berkeley, I had lifetime of experience with panhandlers in a few years. Why they would approach poor college students I haven't quite figured out, but there are some studies that show poor people are more compassionate than rich people.

My favorite story was one day I was approached by a pretty young woman with toddler in tow. She gave me some heartbreak story, and literally as I was putting my hand back to take out my wallet and hand her a couple of bucks. She stopped and exclaimed, "damn well I guess that story doesn't work either and walked off."
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