#1 Posted by Zurgfrog (159 posts) -

So on my way home tonight I was stopped by a stranger who had some how "locked" himself out of his apartment leaving his 2 year old daughter alone and sleeping in his apartment and needed the money to get a cab to his mothers house so he could get his spare set of keys and let himself in. He also said that he would get my number and pay me back the amount on a latter date. Now normally when someone asks me for money I never so much as look in their direction, but this guy was pretty up in my face so I guess I caved and decided to give the money that he was asking for. Now I'm pretty sure that I got scammed but the good samaritan in me just couldn't really say no, so I guess what im asking is whether any of you have done something similar and if in fact I did get ripped off?

#2 Posted by OllyOxenFree (5009 posts) -

What? No. Hell no.
You got swindled.

#3 Posted by Seppli (11233 posts) -

One of my favorite things in this life involves giving money to strange women. You're just doing it wrong.

#4 Posted by tunaburn (2016 posts) -

i give money to people like that all the time. ive given 8 bucks to someone once. usually i give a buck or two. just think to yourself hes being honest and move on. its good karma for you either way.

#5 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4748 posts) -

That sounds like a made up story to guilt you into money. Hopefully this is not the case.

#6 Posted by CptChiken (2058 posts) -

The number of times people come up to me in the street asking for money with this ridiculous stories. One guy just as i was walking into uni asked me for money so he could get a cab to the hospital because his girl friend had just been rushed there... We were stood like a block from the hospital.

I hope all the stories ive heard are lies, because otherwise im a dick.

Im sorry to sy that i believe you were swindled.

#7 Posted by BeachThunder (13550 posts) -

I thought this was going to be another thread about Kickstarter...
Also, I'm sorry, but that sounds like BS; where was his mother? Couldn't he contact her instead of accosting random people on the street?

#8 Posted by kindnivore (2954 posts) -

Yeah it's happened to me. Always seems that people cannot reach their home on what gas they have in their car so I throw them a dollar or two. Sometimes I have to convince myself they aren't lying, but who knows sometimes?

I dont think it's wrong, however, to deny then. It's your money, you earned it, it's your right to be able I say no. So don't let anyone say you were wrong in any instance.

#9 Posted by guiseppe (2843 posts) -

It's good to see someone having faith in others for once. Even though I think you got scammed :P. But if you weren't, you did a good thing.

#10 Posted by Zurgfrog (159 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: Yahh it probably was, but I guess I've come to terms with it and will probably never do this again.

#11 Posted by MegaLombax (456 posts) -

There's always that chance he's telling the truth but in the world we live in now, I'm afraid you've been swindled dude. Either way, you had good intentions, I'm sure that counts somehow.

#12 Posted by TehBuLL (685 posts) -

Since you seem like the type, I'll give you some advice. If someone walks up to you in the streets and asks you to deposit a check for them and they will let you have half, don't do that. Swear, for some reason that was happening like wildfire at work, oldest trick in the book.

#13 Posted by PenguinDust (12876 posts) -

A good deed is it's own reward. Isn't helping other people in need what we're supposed to do in society? Sure, his story might be a ruse, but if you can afford to help, isn't that the best course of action? The world is cynical and suspicious enough as it is today. Having a little faith and doing something, no matter how small, for someone else is a good thing.

#14 Edited by YoThatLimp (2107 posts) -

Yeah, you got ripped off unfortunately.

I use to give all the time until I realized my money= my time.

My first year working downtown (I was 17 an naive) I probably gave 5 or 6 thousand dollars to homeless people, so much that they many would know my name, hah. I didn't make too much money and one day I realized, if I am giving 16$ a day away, that is an hour of my life I won't give back for (most likely) drugs or alcohol. These days I would rather go grab a dude some food or donate to legit charities.

TLDR - Don't be pressured into giving someone your hard earned cash. As it isn't usually for their stated purpose.

#15 Edited by RoivaS3ternal (38 posts) -

ah man i cant wait to see how this plays out, you gotta let us know if he calls you back. went to philly to see a friend once and it was at night, some dude under a bridge asked us for money for cigs and seemed harmless as long as we had money, but when we said we didnt, he got right the fuck in our faces and basically told us he'd beat the shit out of us if we didnt give him money. out of nowhere, a kid on their skateboard fucking rams into the guy right and knocks his ass out, at the crossroads of losing some bills or getting my ass kicked by a bum. he screamed"what the fuck!" and we ran away. then i got ice cream. but anyway, the point is, be generous when you can, and if you choose not to be, make sure there are witnesses.

#16 Posted by Winternet (8273 posts) -

Well, it depends. Usually you can see if you're being scammed or not. Using a daughter as a potential scam is pretty low, though.

#17 Posted by PixelPrinny (1076 posts) -

"Sure, I'd be happy to call a cab for you and pay the cabby up front."

#18 Posted by EVO (4029 posts) -

Dude's probably smoking crack right now.

#19 Posted by ZeForgotten (10368 posts) -

Hah, get money for a cab so he can go to his mother to pick up the spare keys. 
Just leave the 2 year old all alone for more than an hour probably why don't you. Don't call the police or try and kick the door in like a normal person would, no no. Go run to mommy  
Best scam ever

#20 Posted by Zurgfrog (159 posts) -

@EVO: Yah probably

#21 Posted by Funman (53 posts) -

I usually try and help out people whenever I can. If someone approaches me and asks for some money to get a meal, and I'm near a restaurant, I'll usually offer to buy them something to eat....if they refuse the meal and just ask for the money, you can probably bet they are either trying to scam you or want the money for drugs or something.

#22 Posted by Silver-Streak (1593 posts) -

I've been approached quite a few times by people asking similar stories, although it's usually they need gas money, and usually I'm approached at a gas station while filling up, or near one.

I do not carry cash around, period. However, I give them the litmus test of truth: Offer to go into the gas station with them and prepay what I can spare (usually $5) for their gas.

I've actually been surprised, so far I'm about 50/50 out of the times I've been asked where people sincerely needed the gas. The times when they don't, I've had a few people drop the story altogether and own up, a few people get slightly upset because "You couldn't just give me the cash", and a few people try to keep to the story and say they can't wait that long...so they wander off to the next person filling up and try to ply their trade there.

I'd say the times when I've (at least seemingly) helped someone out has been more than worth the times when people are scamming.

#23 Posted by BeachThunder (13550 posts) -
@PixelPrinny said:

"Sure, I'd be happy to call a cab for you and pay the cabby up front."

Actually, this is definitely what you should have done; at least this way you are making sure that he is indeed doing what he says. Just something to keep in mind for next time.
This goes for other things too. If you feel like helping someone else out, you should actively do something, rather than just giving out money. So, for example, in the case of homeless people, if you want to do something, then buy them lunch instead just handing out a few dollars.
#24 Posted by RedRoach (1393 posts) -

You should've gotten HIS phone number, and made sure it worked before he took off. I'm all for being generous and helping people in need, but take every precaution you can.

#25 Posted by Jimbo (10291 posts) -

He's gonna leave his 2 year old daughter alone in the apartment while he goes off in a cab to get keys? Sounds legit.

#26 Posted by CaLe (4476 posts) -

If you have the money and he needs it why wouldn't you give it to him? I don't understand. Just give the person your money, simple.

#27 Posted by hoossy (1057 posts) -

If your mind was in the right place and you didn't loose too much... I think it's all good

#28 Edited by Omega (878 posts) -

My cousin was selling his Wii and all his games a few years ago. I offered him $200 for it all. He didn't sell to me because he thought he could get a better price online. Some guy from Nigeria emailed him about it and offered him $600 for it. Not only did he not get the $600 but he had paid for it to be shipped to the guy. True story.

My cousin got swindled because of his greed, at least you can say you got tricked because you have a kind heart.

#29 Posted by Zleunamme (784 posts) -

@Zurgfrog: In those situation you need to ask a lot of questions because people will say anything to get what they want. I'm sorry but you might have been scammed. How much was he asking for? Why couldn't he have gone to the apartment office for help? Does he not have a phone? Why he didn't he go to a neighbor for help? How long has he been locked out? How far is his mother to pick the spare keys? When people come up with elaborate stories like those and have no specific details. That is how you know that they are not being honest with you.

There are plenty of opportunities to being a good samaritan. Help a local church or school. Become involved with a non profit organizations that works with the community. When you are minding your own business and some total stranger approaches you. Ask for money and promise to pay latter. Tell them you are sorry but that you don't have money to give. Then walk away a fast as you can. If you are by yourself, go to a populated area with a lot foot traffic. Don't wear anything that looks expensive. Think of it as life experience. You live and you learn.

#30 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1096 posts) -

@tunaburn: It's not good karma, if you're doing it for the good karma... Anatta mann, no self

#31 Posted by Panpipe (483 posts) -

@PixelPrinny said:

"Sure, I'd be happy to call a cab for you and pay the cabby up front."

THIS is the way. Watch their face when you suggest that.

#32 Posted by BraveToaster (12636 posts) -

No, I only give money to people who don't lock themselves out of their living quarters, leaving their children inside. They have the potential to forget why I gave them money and spend it the wrong way.

#33 Posted by Cubic (174 posts) -

One time in Edinburgh I got cornered by a large hairy bloke and a thin man in a dress, apparently the thin man was about to give birth and they needed money to get a bus to the hospital. I gave them a pound to not stab me and they let me go on my way.

At least I didn't have to worry about if I'd got scammed or not.

You probably were scammed, but it's only money and if he was at a point in his life that he needed to do something like that he probably needed it more than you. I can think of a few times when I've ended up giving people money for a sob story, and in retrospect I think only one of them was telling the truth.

#34 Posted by HorseFactory (104 posts) -

Schitt gurl, that was a pretty lame way to get swindled out of your cash on both accounts.

#35 Posted by scalpel (326 posts) -

@PenguinDust said:

A good deed is it's own reward. Isn't helping other people in need what we're supposed to do in society? Sure, his story might be a ruse, but if you can afford to help, isn't that the best course of action? The world is cynical and suspicious enough as it is today. Having a little faith and doing something, no matter how small, for someone else is a good thing.

Some prefer the virtue of critical thinking.

#36 Posted by Nilazz (749 posts) -

I saw something like that on " The Real Hustle "

#37 Posted by RedCream (779 posts) -

I'd happily part with my money should someone convinces me that their situation is dire. It would make me feel good about myself.

#38 Posted by CheapPoison (871 posts) -

To add to this.. with your address he will probably come for more... Dum Duum Duuum!

#39 Posted by ShadowVirus (841 posts) -

This has happened to me a few times, most recently a guy carrying a beer can came up to me asking for money to get into a homeless shelter, he was right up in my face and I had some spare change in my pocket so I gave him like 50p. It may or may not have been a scam but I don't care much.

There's also been some other times when people need money for train tickets or such and sometimes I'll just I have no money.

#40 Posted by PassiveKaerenai (325 posts) -

Lao Tzu says, 'I believe the liar, so that he too may get the truth.'

Better to be mildly scammed than forever wary.

#41 Posted by MacEG (277 posts) -

People still carry cash?

I have all my money in GOLD DOUBLOONS!

#42 Posted by MrJorOwe (283 posts) -

If it was true, which it isn't, why was his 2 year old alone in the house in the first place?

I never give money to people, they are totally different when they are legit, you can tell immediately.

#43 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

Don't ever do anything nice for anyone.

#44 Posted by ZimboDK (863 posts) -

@MacEG said:

People still carry cash?

I have all my money in GOLD DOUBLOONS!

Way too cumbersome. I have gold teeth. I just file a bit off whenever I have to pay for stuff.

#45 Posted by crusader8463 (14755 posts) -


#46 Posted by pyromagnestir (4396 posts) -

I saw a scam like this on a history channel program about con artists. The guy would have a broken cell phone and say I didn't bring cash and my dropped my phone and I need to get back home for whatever reason and ask for 20 bucks for a cab. Made me think if I was homeless I'd save up to buy a decent suit and pull this on people rather than just begging. Pull it off five times and I'm set for a hotel, a shower, and a couple meals. Then do it all again tomorrow. Hell I might start doing it now, only I'd probably have to clean myself up a bit to pull it off.

#47 Posted by Jasontong (51 posts) -

You could see people seek money on the streets and train stations if you are in china. Maybe last you should pay on plastic.

#48 Posted by Deusx (1942 posts) -

At least he made up a story, if you lived in my country you were already dead.

#49 Posted by UncleClassy (405 posts) -

Yeah you shouldn't really do that. People can literally make tens of thousands of dollars in untaxed income a year by panhandling.
If you really want to help, direct them to the nearest homeless shelter or food pantry or something. Or in your case, offer to pay for the cab personally.

#50 Posted by Bawlsz (85 posts) -

Doesn't happen to me much, but usually I'll give spare change, its usually a few quid, not that much, mainly because it has happened to me once, I needed a quid to get home and a kind guy gave it to me, It might happen to you.