Could I have done more to help this woman?

(86 Posts)
needaholidaynow Sun 01-Sep-13 16:01:27

Just nipped in to town and a woman stopped me and was really distressed. She was telling me that she had lost her train ticket home and had no money for another one, and was resorting to asking people on the streets for another one. I asked her how much she needed and she said 5 pounds.

All I had on me at the time was 3 pounds in change. All of my other money was in the bank. I needed a pound to get home and so I gave her the other 2 pounds.

As I was walking off I felt guilty. Should I have done more to help her?

oldgrandmama Mon 02-Sep-13 10:22:36

Typical scam. Sometimes they call at your door with a similar sob story. I fell for it first couple of times, but no longer.

Tuppenceinred Mon 02-Sep-13 10:28:30

Tell them you don't have cash, but will walk to the station with them and buy them a ticket.

KatoPotato Mon 02-Sep-13 10:32:23

Daley I think I know this seller too, doe he stand at the corner up from the cross outside the pharmacy? I used to give him double the BI money every week in the morning!

LadyBryan Mon 02-Sep-13 11:00:16

I would have done exactly the same OP.

A bit of change here and there doesn't matter to me. I'd rather take the chance and be scammed rather than not help someone who really needed it.

DaleyBump Mon 02-Sep-13 12:12:18

That's the one Kato!

serendippity Mon 02-Sep-13 12:16:53

Agree with buy them a ticket, however op, don't feel bad! I wouldn't be 100% sure it was a scam and if it wasn't you have helped a lady in distress the best you could. I recently had my purse swiped from my bag on the tube on a rare day out in London, lost ticket home, bank cards, everything. Utterly panicked I nearly started grabbing people off the tube to help me buy a travel card so I could get out of the bloody tube station, would have kissed anyone who'd helped me! In the end I calmed down and tearfully gabbled my story to some lovely station staff who contacted police for me and got me new ticket.
Have also lost a ticket on the way home when I was only about 17 and been asked for it on the train, only to not be able to find it. The guard was a total bastard, refusing to believe I had one and not believing I had no money to replace it. He made me give me all the money I had in my purse and made me feel like a total criminal. Not a single person on the train offered to help. This alone has made me try and help anyone who I feel is genuine, and there has been quite a few! (btw, I later found the bloody ticket in my pocket, presented it to the twat guard and he totally ignored me and refused to give the money I'd given him back to me. Not that I'm still bitter or anything 14 years on grin)

YouTheCat Mon 02-Sep-13 12:34:44

I know a woman who used to go to town with her 5 (at the time) children when it was children in need week.

She'd take a bucket with the logo on and make hundreds. Total scam.

I was approached at the bus stop once by a woman wanting a pound but I had nothing to give her. Felt a bit crap about not being able to help. Then I saw the same woman a few weeks later, at the same stop, trying it with an old lady - who I warned. Told the scammer to find a different bus stop.

FrenchRuby Mon 02-Sep-13 13:09:37

I think if rather be scammed out of a few quid on the chance that it might be a scam than not help someone who might have no way of getting home, you did the right thing.
But saying that, someone else further up the thread someone said about the train people letting people travel if they're in distress, I'm not sure if its true everywhere but I've had some lovely guards help me out before.
I was forever forgetting my train pass at college and the train guard always let me off the fine (I was always on the last train home).
And one year after a party I was attacked in a train station waiting for a train and the guard let me get the train home for free (i'd left my bag at my friends house by mistake) and even called my mum to pick me up the other end.

DeWe Mon 02-Sep-13 14:19:30

Used to see this in Oxford, often after dark, and almost always with young children sad. Or they'd lost their purse.

foreverhot Mon 02-Sep-13 15:23:03

I've had this too. Distressed woman asking for money to buy a train ticket. I offered to walk with her to the station (20 yards away) and buy one for her, but she declined right away. The thing is, she had cancer. Terminal cancer and her children were also hungry...........hmm

101handbags Mon 02-Sep-13 15:35:44

Yep, it's a scam. Same woman tried this on me twice in the space of about a month, near Old Street - acting distressed and even saying 'I swear it's not a scam' (?). Wanted money for a bus fare. First time I said I didn't have my purse on me -well I did, but would never get it out under these circumstances. Second time, after hearing the exact same performance a second time I just looked at her and said 'You've picked the wrong person, you told me all of this last month' and walked on.

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