STRANGER DANGER IS EVERYWHERE
Strangers chat all the time because that’s the way we get to know people in certain situations although there are certain situations where you have to pull back and just walk away.
For some of those people they don’t need to go to work in order to earn a living these days.
All you need is a great story and people who believe it and donate to your cause. It could be friends, family but mostly it’s a total stranger who opens up their wallet to help out.
Not all stories are B.S. but how do you REALLY know?
Not everyone feels comfortable communicating with people they don’t know. I’m not one of those people as I’m a friendly guy who doesn’t mind chatting up a storm.
Last year I wrote a blog post about scammers in parking lots who come up to unsuspecting customers and ask them for bus money.
It is a scam that is ongoing to this day but it’s not the only one out there. The problem is trying to sort out what is real and what is actually a scam.
Would you even waste your time and energy on a potential scam? Many people do. Let’s talk about those people in a moment.
If I noticed a stranger in front of me at the grocery store who was short of some cash to pay their bill of course I’d help them out. There’s something about being compassionate when you are faced with an actual situation in front of your face such as this.
A homeless person sitting on a street corner on the other hand may in fact be a millionaire in disguise who became wealthy from people like you and me giving them money. On the other hand, they may actually be homeless and looking for help from strangers passing by.
I don’t mind paying it forward but where it gets odd is when people who are broke start asking for cash online and are willing to chat to strangers. I thought I had heard and seen it all but when one scam fails another pops up.
Is online borrowing from a stranger really a scam?
Like anything else people who ask a stranger for money either are telling the truth or are lying. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to contribute or walk away.
Not everyone turns a blind eye though because it’s easy to be giving when you can relate to a situation or know someone else in a similar state.
You may have been through being broke at one time or another and are able to understand what it takes for someone to put themselves out there to ask a stranger to lend them money.
Help the online stranger
We all know what can happen when you talk to a stranger and put yourself in a compromising situations like giving out personal information and buying and selling when you are the only person home.
What amazes me is how some people don’t have a care in the world for stranger safety rules that are common sense when dealing with people online.
Everyone is a stranger unless you know them but even then sometimes we don’t even know the people we think we know. Always proceed with caution when dealing with lending money.
Gone are the days where the bank is the best place to lend you money. People are taking to the internet begging people to help them with extra cash that they promise to pay back. Yes, you read that right, they ‘promise’ to pay back and are asking for a “Loan”.
I wish I could believe everyone who was asking for money but the reality is, we can’t.
I was amazed at how many people are asking for someone to help them out financially. Don’t you know how to budget your money I thought? No, not everyone does because if they did I wouldn’t be here blogging about it. Heck, I didn’t when I started.
So, why are these people so broke? Or are they just playing the sympathy system? I guess it’s easier to hide behind a computer these days than it is to hang out in the streets panhandling for money with a sign.
If true, it’s certainly not a fun spot to be in having to ask a stranger for money but like anything else the scammers ruin it for those who are truly in need.
This is why there are so many community organizations who are willing to help with accommodations, clothing and food BUT they won’t be giving out cash to pay for debts, bills or addictions.
Once someone is on social assistance the money they get is all they get so if it’s not budgeted properly then they are out of luck. My wife knows many people on welfare who make it work every month even though they admit it’s not easy.
Times are tough, but everyone is suffering in one form or another. Just because someone has money in the bank doesn’t mean they are rich or should donate it all no matter how fortunate you think they are.
If that were the case all those millionaires and billionaires would solve the poverty issues in our country. That’s clearly not happening.
Who are the people being targeted by the online stranger?
Keep in mind when most ads are typed the stranger will use keywords that draw people in or emotional pleas that paint an urgent picture for the reader.
Using the words
- Single Mom
- Single Dad
- Lost my Job
- Going to lose our house
- Medical Help
- Help my kids
- Short-term help
- Kicked to the Curb
- Lost my money
- First and Last months rent needed
- A situation which details dire need example: car being repossessed and no way to get work or drive the kids to school.
All these keywords above and more play to our emotional side.
Not all the pleas are scams but people read the ads out of curiosity of what’s happening in someone’s life. I know it does for me because I want to help too. The thought of a child going without or in need breaks my heart and for those who do scam they know people exist just like me.
- Kind-hearted, trustworthy people
- Wealthy people
- Naive people
The interesting part is that these people are only painting that picture. They aren’t waving you over and taking your attention away from what you are doing.
The ad didn’t call out your name. “Hey Bob, do you have a minute and maybe $100 you can lend me?” No… you did it. If you respond it is all YOU who made the first point of contact. It will be you in the end who potentially loses out too.
Are you willing to meet strangers in person to just hand over your hard-earned money?
This post is riddled with so many questions that if you aren’t willing to answer any of them, that money is just going to be a donation.
Let’s first review a couple of online ads I picked from Kijiji just the other day.
Here are two recent “actual” ads posted on Kijiji:
I need a very short-term loan. My house is sold and the closing is in June but I need six thousand right away. If you have the money to lend me this week, I will pay you seven thousand upon the sale of my house closing on June 2, guaranteed. Please help – I am a very trustworthy person who just urgently needs a little short-term assistance. It’s a great return for you!
- Is this person REALLY trustworthy? They are strangers to you how do you know? Are you willing to lose $6000 for a ‘potential’ $1000 return. That’s damn risky investing in a stranger if you ask me. What exactly do they need the money for again?
Hi there please read very carefully I need a loan. I have had a lot of people said they could help, but then find out they need an up front fee, so here I will say it I have NO money for up front fees at all, plus I have No equity or co-signer and I have really bad credit.
I will be working so I can pay back this loan with monthly payments. Is there any one out there who is willing to do this without scamming or asking for any upfront fees.
I need to borrow $10,000 or $5,000 I need this to pay first and last months rent to have a place to call home for my son and I know with this kind of loan I will be paying more back but there has to be someone who will actually loan money to people like me. I’m not the only person out there so if you honestly know of someone who can help I would really appreciate it.
- They’ve already told you they “have NO MONEY” so why on earth would you even think about lending them money. They also have bad credit. This has ‘Red Flag’ all over it and if you fall for it you’re just asking to lose your money. You will NEVER recoup your money if you lend it to strangers. Which is it that you need $10,000 or $5000 that’s a big difference? Where on earth do you live that you need that much for first and last months rent?
The only difference with many of the people who are asking for cash online is that they WANT to pay you back for your generosity. I think they believe that by offering to pay it back that they may get more people interested in their story and potentially some money.
Many of you are shaking your heads wondering what would push someone over the edge to try and ask for money online from a stranger and promise to pay them back once they get paid. Keep in mind you are a stranger to them and they are a stranger to you.
Some would say that if you can’t manage to save money or no one else is willing to give you a loan including a bank why would I lend you money? Something isn’t right and even if the situation were a true situation it’s not some random strangers problem to sort out.
Clearly the person posting the ad has exhausted all other avenues such as a payday loan, family, friends, lending institution, boss etc. to spot them some cash.
Helping a stranger with a donation
Some people even set up a ‘Go Fund Me” page online which is a page where anyone can make a donation to strangers or people they know for a cause. It may be a family who lost everything or someone who needs funeral expenses paid for or money for medical procedures.
I’m sure the cause needs to be legit but like anything scammers are among us everywhere. The Go Fund Me page is different though because it’s a fundraising website and not lending money BUT this is how the internet allows people to motivate a stranger to help with money.
Keep in mind that anyone can start a “Personal Campaign” as long as they have a story to tell. I’m sure there are many fake stories of people who are enjoying the fruits of their labour.
Most people use GoFundMe to raise money for themselves, a friend or loved one during life’s important moments. This includes things like medical expenses, education costs, volunteer programs, youth sports, funerals & memorials – even animals & pets.
For a moment when I read the Kijiji ads it really made me appreciate how hard we’ve worked to get where we are today. I also asked myself what possible reason would people need to go online to borrow money from a total stranger?
People who are desperate and have nowhere left to go but the streets IF they aren’t already living there. They could be rich people who have a condo set up downtown with the latest technology and targeting certain people with words.
If they get at least 10 people a day to meet up and give them $100 then they just made $1000 cash for one day. Not bad considering it takes some people nearly three weeks to earn that money on $11 minimum wage before taxes.
Not everyone has financial luck in their lives that’s why. It’s either black or white. As easy as it may be to earn money it’s just as easy to spend it or lose it.
My first instinct was…maybe if you cancel your internet that would be a huge savings for you. The only problem is I don’t know if the person was using the free internet at the library or at a friend’s house.
It’s easy to assume but we don’t know the whole story. I truly do feel sorry for these people who believe that maybe, just maybe someone out there will trust them and decide to lend money to a stranger.
If someone came up to you in a parking lot asking for $50 and said that they would show you their ID and sign a letter saying you lent them money would you do it? Probably not. This is the same thing as answering an online ad from someone looking for money except you initiate contact.
Someone must be falling prey because these people clearly exist and the only reason they continue to exist is because people keep handing over their money.
Every time someone scores “free money” word gets around about how the scam went down so the next person will give it a try and see if they can build up a stash of cash from strangers who believe their sob story.
To the people who truly are in need. I’m sorry that you are in this position but to lend you money in hopes of getting it back from you will never happen from me. Would I give you $100? Maybe but it all depends on the situation, the person and whether I had enough money to feed my own family and pay my own bills.
I would certainly never expect it back that’s for sure. I’m only certain I’d be upset if I believed I’d get it back. If the stranger contacted me with the money back that would be great but if not there would be NO expectations. I’d be a fool.
It’s a tough life out there and when my parents told me that moving out on my own would be rough, they weren’t kidding.
At the end of the day if you are willing to lend money to a stranger you have to expect you may never get it back. It’s the same as donating to a cause.
If you are willing to donate to a stranger don’t even bother asking yourself whether it’s real or not. You will never know the truth unless you investigate yourself and are you really willing to do that for a stranger? Probably not. Time is money after all.
Would you lend a total stranger on the internet money if they promised to pay you back?
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