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Played for a Fool

I am so miffed! I went to Krogers today (along with about a million others!) and as I was loading my groceries into the trunk, I heard this woman's voice behind me. It was the same girl who tried to scam my husband and me at the Kroger gas station there about a month ago, and she was telling the same sad story about how she came up from SC last Sunday (with her husband or boyfriend)and was left there with her 12 year old son, (who, by the way, is never with her!) It was cold and windy and snowy both times, and she plays on people's emotions. I almost said, that is the same story you told the last time, but I got scared and thought I might get the crap beaten out of me. Anyway, I just said, sorry, no, to her and she went on to the next victim. I tried to see where she went as I was backing out, and she was at another car, who had their window down, but I don't think they gave her any money. I'm afraid she will talk some elderly person out of their savings or something, so I came home and called the police. He said they'd go check it out, but you know she's gonna take off if she sees a police car!  I watched her last month and she got into an older car with another girl, who was driving, and NO little boy was in the car, either! If there's anything I cannot stand, it's being played for a fool. I am so ticked! My husband asked me if I had my pepper spray in my hand. I said no, I was trying to unload my groceries into the car, but I had it in my coat pocket. I won't go out without it, and I NEVER carry a purse into Krogers with me, only my checkbook, cell and pepper spray. I leave my purse at home. So that is my story for today. Funny that she tried to hit us up twice. Do I have FOOL stamped on my forehead?!!

Re: Played for a Fool


Well, the churches are tired of having their pantries raided by professional panhandlers.  There is nothing left for the legitimate folks after the fellow shows up wanting some diapers for his non-existant baby and talks the church secretary out of all the petty cash and anything else he can take out to the local park and trade for drugs, cheap wine etc. 

Re: Played for a Fool

More than 45 years ago, we noticed them whenever we were in NYC.   Some would even follow you, swearing if you didn't give.   We once ate in a cheap spagetti house where the waiter gave such poor service that we left nothing for him.   He followed us out into the street, swearing. 

 However, we had a friend [clergy] who would offer to take the panhandler into the nearest lunch counter for food.   He told them he wouldn't give them $$ but would buy them a hot meal.  Very few took him up on that. 

When growing up in OH, I came across 2 men who were on drugs [in the east side suburbs of Cleveland] & there was also a   group who partied with drugs in a ritzy west side area, one of whom was murdered the night of one party,  but it was all hushed up, after being in the papers for weeks.   So, it's not a new phenomena, just an increasingly more dangerous one. 


"Children are the living messages we send to a time we cannot see."                                                              ~J. W. Whitehead~


Re: Played for a Fool

I've been watching people panhandle for years being a native New Yorker. It's the 2nd oldest job in history. (I won't even mention what the oldest job is)

My concern is not the fact that they are scamming but that they are becoming more aggressive and combatative with people who won't give them money because the drugs they are on are getting stronger. Our nation really needs to get on the ball and address mental illness and drug addiction in a medical way because that is the very root of the problem.

Jail/prison teaches nothing besides how to score bigger & better scams and they are often introduced to stronger drugs like methamphetamine while in jail on some lesser drug or panhandling charge. Plus many more people now are not at all afraid of a police officer and will not hesitate to hurt them either. I know for a fact that in my area a sole officer always calls backup before dealing with young panhandlers because they know they will be attacked and beat up faster then they can draw out a gun or taser. The older panhandlers are nowhere near as aggressive or violent as their young counterparts.

paulaayn's picture
Re: Played for a Fool

That's ok Moonstruck, you can say what the oldest profession is  -  it's farming Tongue out   haha

I know what you mean about the panhandlers.  When I worked in Toronto it was bad.  If you averted your eyes they might get mad or if you made eye contact they could get mad.  Luckily  I could get to my office through the underground concourse and they kept the panhandlers out of there.  Of course, we don't have panhandlers up here, but we have had a former "neighbour" try to scam money from us.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Re: Played for a Fool

This seems to happen to me - a lot! We came out of a movie once and a young guy approached us asking for money. Another time, we were coming out of Cracker Barrel and a man and woman stopped us, saying they were traveling, had car trouble and had spent all their cash getting the car repaired. They said they were hungry and needed money to eat. We felt really bad for them (if it was true!) but we didn't have any extra cash to give them. Then we saw them go into the restaurant, so they were either scamming us, or had gotten someone else to give them some cash. I have no qualms about giving to charity, but to have someone just walk up to you and ask for money - there's just something fishy about that. I've also heard not to give anyone any money because when you get out your wallet, they grab it and run, so that has made me a little leery, too. ~Diann

KJuneBug's picture
Re: Played for a Fool

We have this family (dad, mom, 2 daughters probably 5 or so years apart) around here that we have seen all over in lots of different neighborhoods and for years:  It used to be that we would see the Dad and the little daughter, even during school hours (funny coming from a homeschooling Momma, huh?) always walking, with bags, backpacks in camo clothes, same clothes no matter the season.  Begging, they've begged from us, we gave a little once. The deal is that the daughter that the Dad was always out with is now big, and teenaged not so cute anymore.  Everyone around here knows about the family, but knows nothing about their situation.  We haven't seen them around in quite a long time, that always makes me wonder if the long arm of the law has caught up.... 


To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:5

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Played for a Fool

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... that's why they call it the present."

A few years ago, we were in Columbia, MO visiting my brother at school.  It was cold and snowy, and there was a woman and small kid (probably 4-5 or so) standing on a corner, across from a gas station, holding a cardboard sign that said something like "Out of Gas, need money".  My brother said that wasn't the first time he saw her there.  It is sad that people feel the need to scam...but I felt sorry for the child having to stand in the freezing cold as a prop to play on emotions.

Re: Played for a Fool

My husband was telling me about a news report that he watch that was about how profitable pan handling is.  I'm the one who always feel sorry for the person who has the sign around his/her neck about being hungry and needs money for food.  He said that this news person followed one pan handler around and watch her go into a very expensive house.  When confronted about going into this house and begging for money on the street, she confess to making a nice sum of money off of other's good will.  So now, I still feel sorry for them, however instead of giving money to them directly, I donate it to a local food pantry. 

 Your story reminds me of the 'deaf' (I really don't think they are) people who hand me a card explaining that they are deaf and need money.  As soon as I sign 'sorry but' they hurry off.  I have talked to some of my deaf friends about this and they say this a scam too.

Re: Played for a Fool

Diann, maybe this is a Southwest Ohio thing....I have people coming up to me in various locales asking the same type of thing about 5 - 6 times a year.  Usually it's more like "I'm 200 miles from home, my wallet was stolen and I need money for gas to get back home.  Can you help me?"  Look, if I KNEW that the person's story was true and they had NO way to get $$, I'd help.  But, sheesh, even if the story is a friend or relative and ask them to send $50 to you by Western Union or something...asking strangers for money is just ridiculous.

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Played for a Fool

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift... that's why they call it the present."

OR go to a church, Salvation Army, etc etc etc. that has funds set aside to help people!!

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