There are a lot of scams going around out there.. bad people taking money from kind, innocent people.
Well, I just come to the realization that I was duped out of some cash last night.
Here's what happened:
I went to Costco last night (Wednesday Sept 12) to get some quick items. I had baby Evan with me and I had a short amount of time to get in and out before I had to get on the road to pick up Ericka at daycare.
As I was pulling into the parking lot and looking for a spot, I noticed a man talking to a lady in the middle of the lane way in her car. I didn't think anything of it. I pulled into my spot (mommy parking spot for the win!) and got out of the car to the other side of the car to get Evan. As I open the door, the man who was talking to the lady in her car was magically behind me. He says, "Hi miss. Do you have any spare cash to spare. My car needs a tow and I'm trying to bum money off people here to get a tow truck. I've got about $35 dollars and I've been stuck here for 3 hours."
The story got me. I felt bad anyone would be left stranded by their car.
I don't usually carry cash, but I knew I had some change or some dollar bills with me. So I reached for my wallet and gave him some money. No questions asked.. I said "good luck" to him.
UGH. Makes me sick to think I did that.
I second guessed myself as I walked into the store.. I wanted to feel good that I helped someone in need out.. but I didn't totally feel that way.
I didn't do anything about it though.
I didn't follow the guy to see if his car was "really broken". I didn't talk to a manager to make sure this guy had a car in their services that needed a tow. I didn't do anything. Instead, I had to get in and out with a baby in tow, to go get another one of my babies from daycare.
After coming home, I told Norm about my day. I mentioned about giving money to someone who said he needed some cash to pay for a tow truck. After the first sentence.. Norm said, "the same thing happened to me a few months ago. It's a scam!"
My heart sunk and my jaw dropped. I asked, "Really?" not believing it. We compared stories and my story was exactly like his. I couldn't believe it. I was duped.
I know I'm a bit naive but I do keep my guard up for scummy people like this. But for some reason.. I gave this man the benefit of the doubt and really wanted to help someone who couldn't afford something they needed.
I slept terribly last night.. playing the whole thing out in my head again. REALLY? I WAS SCAMMED?? I thought I was smarter than that. ((Apparently NOT!!!!))
It still bothered me this morning. I called the Costco store this morning to talk to a manager about my story and I wanted to know if someone was at their store that needed a tow truck service. She told me "No, that would never happen here (someone needing a tow truck)."
That just sunk my heart even more. It solidified the whole thing was a scam and I was duped out of money. Albeit it was a small amount but what I thought what I was doing was going toward good, it was in fact, not.
Here's my warning to you: If anyone EVER comes up to you in a parking lot of a big box store, mall or even grocery store asking for money because they need to pay for a tow truck.. don't believe it. Unless you want to give a dirty thief easy money.
If you want.. ask questions. Like "Where is your car?", "Do you not have any family to help you out?"
Watch them stumble as they make up more lies.
Not only do you not give them your hard earned money easily, but tell a manager or employee at the parking lot you're in about the scammer.. and they'll escort them off the property before anyone else is duped of his/her story.
I had to get this off my chest. I hate when I'm duped. This guy got me.
You win. I'll try to let this go. But the next person.. watch the eff out.
There are a lot of good people that want to help.. unfortunately, we help out the wrong people. I hope this doesn't happen to you, or maybe your parents/grandparents who are unaware of this type of scam. Spread the word about these scammers.
Scammers will exist as long as you keep giving them money. FREE MONEY. And they'll come up with a different story next time, so you keep feel pity on them and hand them over more free money.
Don't do it.