It seems like every day we hear stories about someone pretending to be down and out so they can get a free ride. Unfortunately, most of these stories are not much more than urban legend and anecdotal.
However, we just found a video on YouTube, courtesy of San Diego ABC10, that shows a real life swindler in action. You are not going to believe this story until you watch the video.
ABC10, San Diego reported that a local woman named Melissa Smith had observed a pregnant woman who claimed to be down and out for over two months.
Ms. Smith said that every weekend, she would see the unidentified woman panhandling in an area supermarket parking lot with a cardboard sign asking for handouts.
Smith had felt for the woman, who seemed to be down on her luck, until last weekend when she saw the panhandler leave the parking lot in a luxury car with a man while pumping gas at a nearby gas station.
“Lo and beyond they were in front of us,” she said. “Here they are counting money, laughing and their little boy is not in a car seat or seat belt. He’s all the way in the front seat with them.”
Curious, Smith followed the panhandler to another shopping center, where the woman again started to beg for money.
Smith used her phone to take pictures of the woman and her car to share with her friends.
“I’m going to take these photos so I can show my friends so they don’t give them their money. They don’t need it. They are driving a Benz,” said Smith.
Before long, however, the woman sees what Smith is doing and threatened her.
“Next thing I know, she picked up this big boulder,” Smith said, “I don’t know if pregnant people can do that. She puts it over her head and starts coming at me with this rock.”
This news clip has been watched on YouTube more than six million times and has gotten many people worked up enough to generate more than six thousand comments, such as:
“There was a ‘homeless man’ outside a Mcdonalds and I decided to pay it forward by getting a $50 gift card for him so he can buy food when he needs it, when I offered it to him he cussed at me and said he doesn’t need any food he wants money. The nerve of some people, man.” – Jermaine Clement
“That just gives the people who are actually in need of money a bad rep.”- Bobby T
“Here’s the thing, I wanna give people money but there’s these kinda people out here who aren’t homeless.”- Selena Contreras
“That makes it so hard for people who truly need it. Scumbags.”- JustNYC
“This is why you give food to homeless instead of money…you don’t know if they are actually homeless for one, and you don’t know what they’re going to spend it on. Its really sad..people taking advantage of good people.”- Eva H.
Have you ever tried to help someone who was down on their luck? Please share your stories with us here.