The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old December 1, 2009, 10:58 PM   #51
nhsmoker
Member
 
Join Date: October 3, 2009
Posts: 37
I too think this was a scam. I can say if I were ever in the guys situation I would not be driving around blockbuster I would still be at walgreens asking people there if they could help me out and be certain to exchange info so I could pay them back. More likely I would sell something I owned or offer to work for the assistance.
I do have to say I have been guilty of giving money to panhandlers but feel I try to make an educated guess as to the reality of the situation. For example I was outside of a construction site on break and a guy asked me and my co-workers for a few bucks each and while the other 6 guys gave him some cash I asked him what it was for and he told me beer to stay warm. I of course told him to get lost although my friends thought I was a jerk. On a separate occasion there was a guy who was very dirty and had a bike with what appeared to be all his possessions on the back he was holding a sign that said will work for food, this guy seemed legitimate to me so I gave him $40 as I had no work for him. This guy looked as if he was going to cry and thanked me profusely while being obviously chocked up and humbled. Now I guess this could have been a scam and he could have done something else with the cash but I feel like it was genuine. In short I think use your gut and do what you think is right but in the op's post I fell he did an awesome job interpreting the situation.
nhsmoker is offline  
Old December 1, 2009, 11:23 PM   #52
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,342
I know that there are people who make living begging for money. I've seen it on tv too. What I've never heard of is people who do it at night, driving an expensive truck, in a blockbuster parking lot.

Like I said, there's a damn good chance that it was a scam. 70%? 90%? I don't know.

On the other hand, I've been there. What some people call "agressive" COULD have been poor foresight. Afterall, most people live in condition white, almost everyone on this board acknowledges that fact. If you were condition white, you're not thinking about muggers and thieves and you're not thinking about LOOKING like a mugger or a thief. "Gee, I better pull up 20 feet out so I don't block this guy in, don't want him thinking that I'm a mugger!" What you'd be thinking is "Hey! There's a guy! He'll understand! I'll pull up quick before he leaves! He's probably got kids, he might have $10 he can give me. God this is embarresing, I hope he doesn't know me somehow. God, I feel like an idiot."

In "condition white", there is no sense of blocking people in or looking suspicious. There us only "me", what I need. That's why they're in condition white in the first place, because they're preoccupied, fixated on something else.

I'd say it's forgivable when a child is sick at home and you don't have the money for her medicine.

Was it real? I don't know. Maybe not, maybe even probably not. Once again, I find no fault in the actions of the OP. I would have done things a LITTLE differently, that's all, because it COULD have been real, just as easily as it could have been a scam.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 01:21 AM   #53
dec41971
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 5, 2009
Posts: 236
One day a friend, myself and his lady friend are having dinner by the naval academy in Annapolis. We just had the bug to spend a weekend out of state somehow. But this lady comes up and asks if we can spare some money for dinner for her and her two kids. We Obviously called BS on her blew her off. She says lost her job, been hospitalized and is broke and got no home to return to. Even showed us a hospital band on her left hand. We just smiled at each other thought she was creative. She looked droopy eyed so we though DRUGS. Before she left she asked if there was a homeless shelter around and for a second I had doubts but my friend just blew her off.

Few hours later we are leaving after dinner and drinks and spot the lady driving around the parking lot. In a freaking Lexus GS 300. Just about then we notice the car is full of house hold items, clothes and no joke, two little kids in the back with all the junk in the car and slumped over. I swear I choked. Forget the car, it was for real. Felt sorry for the poor kids, probably on their first homeless night. My buddy's lady friend had said the lady looked genuine and maybe desperate and she didn't think she was high, just looked more sick than high. My friend and I both felt like jerks. And his lady friend let us know men have no hearts;

Sorry, we misread the situation. I tried to hurry up see if I could get her attention but I was on foot, and lady left without ever knowing someone was willing to help. In life, you just never know. It really was not the scum we assumed it was. We easily looked up iphone and located a local homeless shelter address. Besides we both could spare a few notes for her, but guess it was not her night that night. Either way begging at night is a bad idea, and I would have been suspicious of truck guy too. Even after our experience.
dec41971 is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 02:45 AM   #54
dstyle47
Member
 
Join Date: August 13, 2008
Posts: 61
While its just swell to be optomistic, i think a healthy dose of doubt is warranted and far safer. I had a fellow coworker come into work once with a really beat up face. He was one of the guys who would always be the first to give money to any of the beggers/panhandlers. Well one came up to him and asked him for "just a few bucks for gas" as his car ran out. my friend immediately took out his wallet to help the guy out when he was haymakered in the face. The guy was just waiting for him to take his wallet out so he knew that he had money. Keep your wallet in your pocket and keep your head on the swivel
dstyle47 is online now  
Old December 2, 2009, 03:11 AM   #55
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
Quote:
I would have done things a LITTLE differently, that's all, because it COULD have been real, just as easily as it could have been a scam.
OK, if someone blocks your car with his so you can't escape, then demands you go to his window, then consider that he MAY be in a legitimate financial situation and just chose you to help him out. Go see what he wants and Let us know how things turned out.

I think there's more of a likelyhood that such an incident constitutes a potentially dangerous situation than a legitimate need for ten dollars.
How many robberies start out with a request for money?

How many mere panhandlers actually time their arrival so they can block your car and hold you there? And do it in such a way they he can be gone in an instant after he gets your money---one way or the other?

Of course, I'm older than most of you, so I don't know if I'm just more paranoid or smarter.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 03:56 AM   #56
Hook686
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 1,903
peetzakilla I can understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately it takes quite a different perspective to accept the person in the truck as, 'my brother, come to offer me salvation'. Salvation being seeing my brother's needs as the same as mine. Perhaps this forum is a forum of fear, not a forum of love. Folks seem to see danger everywhere. Weapons seem to be the number one answer to all situations that are perceived as frightening.

Even if a scam, I offer $10 to every scruffy looking bum wearing a field jacket standing on the entry ramp to a freeway with a cardboard sign asking for food money for a homeless vet.

I have also given $10 to a stranger for gas money so he could get home to his family.

If my brother is in need, and I have the resources, I am willing to share my good fortune ... be it in church, or on the street. I have never noted any of these forum members talk in the negative about church leaders asking for money all the time, some still suggesting it is the only way to get into heaven. Civilized panhandling ?

Personally I would have gotten in my car, locked the doors and started my engine.
__________________
Hook686

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.
Hook686 is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 06:40 AM   #57
Glenn Dee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 1,487
Perhaps it's a forum of common sense...
Glenn Dee is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 08:10 AM   #58
jbrown
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2006
Location: minnesota
Posts: 208
similar incident

I had a similar incident last sunday.I met a friend ,who this summer moved about 150 miles away,to give him some items he hadnt had room to move yet.Anyway,we were talking in a resturant parking lot after putting the items in the back of his truck ,when we were confronted by a male and female asking for money to buy gas for their van,with their sick baby in the car.It might have been more convincing if he wasnt slurring his words badly.
jbrown is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 09:33 AM   #59
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
OK, if someone blocks your car with his so you can't escape, then demands you go to his window, then consider that he MAY be in a legitimate financial situation and just chose you to help him out. Go see what he wants and Let us know how things turned out.
If you read my previous posts you'll see that I would have no intentions of going anywhere near the guys truck.

There ARE ways to be safe and charitable at the same time!

People on this forum sometimes have a very one sided perspective on life. How's the saying go? "Give a boy a hammer and he'll find that everything needs hammering."

Give a man a gun and he'll find that every stranger is a mugger.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 09:38 AM   #60
skydiver3346
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,222
On your scam:

Definitely this was a scam (especially your describing his truck value). Sounds like you handled this better than most. Approaching his vehicle could have cost you much more than a few bucks...
Thanks for the heads up. The coming holidays always brings out the dirt bags to try and take advantage of someone's good nature to try and help.
Bottom line? Always be prepared by carrying your choice of protection. You never know when you will need a gun and its too late to get one if you ever do need one.
skydiver3346 is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 09:52 AM   #61
CorpITGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 14, 2009
Posts: 113
Not a 90% chance that it was a scam. 99.999% chance. He was probably scoring drugs. Lots of successful people (financially speaking) have drug habits to support.

The best thing to do (Monday morning quarterbacking, I know) is to offer to walk into the store and pay for the medicine for him.

One time a man approached me at a gas station with the same old story: "on my way to Texas, don't have enough money, lost my debit card, called the bank and they said the nearest location is Texarkana, AR ... please spot me $5 for gas." I wasn't about to offer to go in the store with him to purchase the gas, as my wife and child were in the car and I would leave them without protection if I went inside. Grudingly handed him a five, got in my car, and drove off. As I recounted the story to my wife she reminded me that it was a federal holiday, and the banks were closed. Damn.

As I age (and become slightly wiser, though still stupid in the grand scheme of things) I get better at being "rude" to these people, and forcing them to let me pay for the gas or telling them "stand further away from me" as I reach for my money clip. It's just prudent.
CorpITGuy is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 09:57 AM   #62
fawcettlee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2005
Posts: 114
Sounds like a scam, but...

I, too, am mostly jaded about the sob stories I hear from people but I'm with
P-Killer on this one. Especially in these times when so many people who've never imagined themselves in such desperate financial straits are having to come to terms with being destitute while still surrounded by the trappings of a middle class life style. Don't we all know people who are living day to day like that?
Yes the guy was being an ass but he probably never practiced having to beg before. I certainly wouldn't have gotten close when called over in such a manner but I hope I'm the type of a man who would've offered to walk into the pharmacy with him.
fawcettlee is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 10:25 AM   #63
Magi
Junior member
 
Join Date: July 5, 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 127
Quote:
Give a man a gun and he'll find that every stranger is a mugger.
I, for one, take great offense to that remark.
Magi is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 10:40 AM   #64
fawcettlee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2005
Posts: 114
Too broad a brush

"Give a man a gun and he'll find that every stranger is a mugger."

Catchy but untrue. Better,"Give SOME men guns and..."
fawcettlee is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 10:55 AM   #65
BillCA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 28, 2004
Location: Silicon Valley, Ca
Posts: 7,087
Most of the panhandlers I see around here are losers who have drug issues or just can't hold down a real job. I've heard all the approach lines too.

Kid sick at home? Yeah, that'll get my attention. And I like Pete's solution - offer to go into the pharmacy and give him $10 to get the medicines. If they don't like that then the old Russian saying of toughski s**tski applies.

In about the last month some guy had a sign that was asking for donations "for food". Well, he was sitting near a McD's and I needed lunch, so... I figured a pair of cheeseburgers and a coke for about $2.50 might help him out. When I stopped by him, he asked if I could spare change. When I gave him food instead it was like I insulted him [admittedly, not everyone likes McD food] and he reacted badly. So I told him I'd feed it to my dog instead and drove off.

I rarely give money to panhandlers. There were two exceptions though. One fellow tried to dress decently as he could, and always had a mixed breed dog (German Shep and perhaps a Aussie cattle dog - lots of character) with him. One very cold winter morning he had trimmed a blanket down into a "vest" for his dog. The next day I pulled the bike over and handed him $10 plus a couple of small rawhide chew toys for the dog. My g/f gave me a pair of "doggie boots" that belonged to her late boxer and I gave him those, plus about $15 in canned food. He was very appreciative.¹

The other guy I'd give to was a real "Dickens" character. Scruffy coat, fingerless gloves, slacks and a rather well worn top hat. He'd stand at one street corner and in a great voice recite Dickens, Shakespeare or any number of scenes in a play. And he played the part too. The day after 9/11 he was singing patriotic songs on the corner while holding a flag. People were getting out, dashing the two lanes over to give him money. The next day he had a Union Jack and I heard the end of Brittania when he started singing Men of Harlech... and gave him a ten spot. At least he was performing for an appreciative audience.²

¹ The fact that he was poor didn't stop him from trying to take care of his dog and he did make an effort to keep his appearance as neat and trim as he could. Alas, some homeless guy knifed him to death over a 2-lb canned ham. He was well liked downtown - no less than 100 offers came in to care for his dog or adopt it. Apparently he rented a small room on a weekly basis and had very little.
² A reporter interviewed the guy. Lost a child to leukemia, marriage tailspun to divorce, wife maxed the cards out, lost his accounting job. Refused to panhandle but used amatuer stage acting to develop his schtick. Always upbeat too. Even a on a rainy day (while performing "singing in the rain"). He finally got hired to do voice overs for local commercials and is doing okay.
__________________
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
BillCA is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 01:27 PM   #66
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,687
I never give money to panhandlers. It just encourages them to get bolder and more aggressive and to keep on begging for money.

I do know a person who has a rather good "tactic" for dealing with panhandlers - he spots them first and before they can approach him, he quickly walks up to them, and asks for some spare change. They don't usually know how to react - but once a guy actually dug into his pocket and gave him some change.
Skans is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 03:12 PM   #67
Hook686
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2005
Location: USA The Great State of California
Posts: 1,903
common sense is not an absolute item. Common sense is dependent upon the observer and varies considerably person to person. I think if you believe you have a anything absolute that is comon sense, you might need help. If carrying a gun was the common sense thing to do, 95% of the population lacks common sense and those that carry are then demonstrating UNcommon sense it would seem to me.
__________________
Hook686

When the number of people in institutions reaches 51%, we change sides.
Hook686 is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 04:19 PM   #68
Clay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 11, 2009
Posts: 166
I have no doubt it was a scam. Someone in a 40k dollar truck would know people, have friends or have SOME way of pawning off something. Call me extremely skeptical, but I also have a direct experience. I was pulled over at an interstate gas station filling up when a couple pulled up and gave me a somewhat similar sob story. They had to get to VA to attend to their sick daughter. There's always some type of a big sob story. Well, get this...about a year or so later I was there filling up again. Guess who showed up with the same exact story? Hmmm, guess they couldn't remember me from a year ago after they'd told their sob story to a couple thousand people.

Funny enough, someone hit me up as I was walking into the gun store just a few days ago. I didn't even acknowledge him, just kept on walking.
Clay is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 06:01 PM   #69
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
Quote:
There ARE ways to be safe and charitable at the same time!

People on this forum sometimes have a very one sided perspective on life. How's the saying go?
We're not talking about philisophical perspectives on life. We're talking about having your car blocked by an aggressive individual who demands you come to his window so he can ask for money. Being charitable or not in THAT SPECIFIC incident is what this thread is about.

While you're opening your wallet and figuring out a safe way to give him ten dollars, I'd being calling 911 and informing the dispatcher that an individual blocked my car to preven me from leaving while he demanded money.

The scam was the pretext he used to solicit money.

The act of using his vehicle to detain his selected victim, IMO, was a form of physical violence that hasn't attracted much interest on this thread. Everyone's still agruing about whether it was a scam or not.

I guess we all have our priorities.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 06:18 PM   #70
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,342
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
I guess we all have our priorities.

One of those priorities is to ignore information contrary to the point we wish to make.

Every one of your objections has been answered, but I'll do it again.

ONE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
We're talking about having your car blocked by an aggressive individual who demands you come to his window so he can ask for money. Being charitable or not in THAT SPECIFIC incident is what this thread is about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peetzakilla, in post #52
On the other hand, I've been there. What some people call "agressive" COULD have been poor foresight. Afterall, most people live in condition white, almost everyone on this board acknowledges that fact. If you were condition white, you're not thinking about muggers and thieves and you're not thinking about LOOKING like a mugger or a thief. "Gee, I better pull up 20 feet out so I don't block this guy in, don't want him thinking that I'm a mugger!" What you'd be thinking is "Hey! There's a guy! He'll understand! I'll pull up quick before he leaves! He's probably got kids, he might have $10 he can give me. God this is embarresing, I hope he doesn't know me somehow. God, I feel like an idiot."

TWO:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
While you're opening your wallet and figuring out a safe way to give him ten dollars,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peetzakilla, in post #59
If you read my previous posts you'll see that I would have no intentions of going anywhere near the guys truck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peetzakilla, in post #21
Personally, I would have told the guy that I'd meet him at the pharmacy and go in with him to cover the difference. That would have completely solved the issue. It would be instantly clear that it was either a scam or not. However, KingEdward is not obliged to do what I would do. He acted in a reasonable way, consistent with a responsible armed citizen.

THREE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
The scam was the pretext he used to solicit money.
Purely an assumption. Likely, yes. Absolute? No. See post #52 reference above.


FOUR:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45
I guess we all have our priorities.
Yes, we do. Considering that most of us have never been robbed, mugged or threatened for money, I wonder why so many of our priorities are to err toward assumption of violence?
Some of us have been mugged, etc., I understand that. MOST of us have been solicited for money by scam artists, I understand that.
Apparently, most of us have NOT been in a situation where we can see and feel where this guy MAY have been coming from.
I have.
__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 06:48 PM   #71
Lawyer Daggit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Posts: 1,181
Expensive truck was probably leased and he may have defaulted and moved on leaving the repo people with no knowledge of how to track him down.

The economy has I believe given rise to a great deal of begging that comes close to demanding money with menaces.
Lawyer Daggit is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 07:37 PM   #72
SigP6Carry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2009
Posts: 1,086
I'm not going to argue that this guy was or wasn't scamming the OP.
I'm also not going to deny that people out there do scam people.
But I am going to ask: have you ever had to call up a family member or friend and ask them for some money to buy groceries for the week? That's far more humiliating than asking a stranger for money.
__________________
-liberal gun nut = exception to the rule-
-1.24274238 miles, because Russians don't need scopes-
-Gun control was the Klan's favorite law, how can you advocate a set of laws designed to allow the denigration of a people?-
SigP6Carry is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 08:01 PM   #73
sakeneko
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2009
Location: Nevada
Posts: 644
Thomme has a point. And a lot more people are facing this humiliating need now than a few years ago.

Unfortunately that's still the right thing to do, though. Your family and friends know you and should be willing to help. If they aren't available (which will be the case at times), the local churches are often helpful. A former priest of mine was also involved in helping poor people in suburban LA, and the churches there (many of whom agreed about and cooperated about very little else) had a deal going where they shared information about those who came around looking for help, and about resources. People who really needed help tended to get more and better help this way, while scammers and serial beggars telling different stories to different churches got spotted.

I don't give money to people on the street, but I often will buy a beggar a meal or some clothes. I don't like being scammed any more than anyone else, but when push comes to shove, I'd rather be scammed then turn away someone in real need.

However, if the beggar is aggressive or threatening, no. They might not mean it, but I won't take that chance. The only occasion where one tried to do more than talk mean, I found a policeman. (Was in the 1990s before I got a cell phone.)
sakeneko is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 08:08 PM   #74
SigP6Carry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 27, 2009
Posts: 1,086
Sakeneko, I never feel bad giving them money, but if I've got left over food, they get it. I've given some homeless folk the weirdest things: beer battered onion rings, afghan food, bread pudding... you name it. But in instances where it's "I need money for such and such" I'm generally willing to spare a couple of bucks. Or at least I would when I was still working.
__________________
-liberal gun nut = exception to the rule-
-1.24274238 miles, because Russians don't need scopes-
-Gun control was the Klan's favorite law, how can you advocate a set of laws designed to allow the denigration of a people?-
SigP6Carry is offline  
Old December 2, 2009, 08:12 PM   #75
4V50 Gary
Staff
 
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,594
Can't say I blame the original poster for his response. I've dealt with beggars, druggies, alcholics and thieves for years. I only give to recognized charities with a good track record.
__________________
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
4V50 Gary is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15677 seconds with 7 queries