Yesterday, while walking my dog, I was approached by a man who was sweating profusely and asked if he could speak to me for a few minutes. He looked in distress, so I stopped.
He said that he was very ill and was moving to the town and couldn’t afford to pay the van drivers who had brought down his possessions. He needed money to pay the drivers and would do any jobs to earn this and pay the money back plus extra.
Having heard about tricksters, I asked if he had been into the nearby doctors surgery or the town hall to ask for help. He said he had and no one could help him. I did not feel that his story added up and he seemed unwilling to take up any suggestions for help. He said not to worry and walked off.
What do you do?
I phoned the police because I felt either authorities should help him, if genuine, or stop him, if he was out to trick people.
Sadly, I received a call from the police a while later saying that the man was known to them and had a history of trying to get people to give him money.
What will I do next time?
Probably take the same approach.
The alternative would be to not trust anyone ever again.
I didn’t feel the man was genuine at the start but I was prepared to listen, just in case I was wrong. I had decided I would not give him money whatever he said, but direct him to places where people would help him if he genuinely needed the help he described.
The man obviously does need help. He puts a lot of effort into tricking people which he needs to put into earning money honestly.
We need to trust.
Life without trust would be unbearable.
We also need to be vigilant to protect ourselves.