So this morning I was approached by a woman at the gas station claiming her car had broken down and her kids were sleeping in the car. Yeah I know, it’s a typical panhandler line, but I was feeling charitable so I tried to help her and her kids out. I’d had a really bad week and I was projecting a little bit. If her week was half as bad as mine she could use someone to trust her.
Well to make a long story short: I never saw the kids or the truck and I got cussed out when I wouldn’t pay for a hotel room. I told her she could get out of my truck here or I could drop her off at the police station a block away.
Yeah I know it had all the signs of a scam from the beginning, but don’t they all? So here’s my question. How do you give people the benefit of a doubt without setting yourself up for being scammed? I stuck to my rule of helping rather than just giving them a handout. And I’m glad I did. But how do I now prevent this experience from jading me for next time? What tools do you use to tell who really needs help?
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