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I gave money to a lady begging door to door.

(143 Posts)
Brooksey5 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:21:44

Our door bell went, I opened it (keeping my social distance) and it was a pregnant lady. She said that all the churches etc that would normally help were closed and she’s been walking round all day trying to get help. She can’t walk anymore and she needed money to get a train to her moms.

I let her charge her phone on an extension cable and gave her the rest of the money for her train fair.

Was I unreasonable to give her the money? Am I an absolute mug who will now get inundated by people begging because I’ve helped one person? I helped her because I figured that even if her story wasn’t true she’s obviously someone in need and the services that normally help people must be harder to access right now.

Windyatthebeach Thu 02-Apr-20 17:23:34

Imo you did a kind think op..

DamnYouAutoCarrot Thu 02-Apr-20 17:23:55

I think you did a really nice thing. It could have been a con, but for a bit of electric and some change?

Just say no next time if you're uneasy about it. I'm not sure I'd like someone knocking my door right now though.

ilovedjerrymore Thu 02-Apr-20 17:24:52

In one way I hope she has pulled one over in you as I would hate to think that someone is in need at a time like this and isn’t able to get any help from usual services, but if her story was true you were very kind to let her charge her mobile and give her money for a trainsmile

NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Thu 02-Apr-20 17:25:19

I figured that even if her story wasn’t true she’s obviously someone in need and the services that normally help people must be harder to access right now..
So, if you're happy to give, even if her story isn't true, why do you feel the need to ask an AIBU?

Brooksey5 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:25:23

I think next time I’ll check who’s at the door!

Brooksey5 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:27:03

@NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite because I feel like an idiot. I wouldn’t normally give money to someone begging in the street.

msmith501 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:27:53

If she was genuinely in need of help and a small display of humanity - which you gave - checking to see who is at the door next time might put someone in a difficult decision if, as you say, she had been walking around all day looking for help. It's a times like this we all need to do our bit... as you did this time.

MouthBreathingRage Thu 02-Apr-20 17:29:32

Yabu. You forgot to film it and share on Facebook as well.

Seriously though, no it wasn't a smart thing to do at all. She could have been part of a gang trying to seek out vulnerable households to break into. You could well end up with more beggars at your door. It's a shit time, especially for those who were already struggling (and goodness knows there were so many struggling before this), but what you did simply wasn't safe in any sense.

msmith501 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:29:35

In the near future, there are going to be lots of people who are only one weeks rent or mortgage payment away from real poverty or even homelessness. Hard times ahead I think and for that reason, our normal rules oboist not helping strangers might need to change.

NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Thu 02-Apr-20 17:29:47

I don't know how It could manage to open my food and keep 2 metres away from someone though.

Did you remember to disinfect the money and the extension cable before you gave it to her? Did you disinfect where she plugged her phone in afterwards? The door bell?

Starlight456 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:30:31

These are different times . You did what you felt right. If she comes back it’s a con.

Know you tried to help regardless

Eckhart Thu 02-Apr-20 17:31:31

A moment of giving doesn't make you an idiot. Are you so close to believing you're an idiot that a small act can make you doubt yourself?

You will be an idiot if people keep coming, having cushions stuffed up their jumpers, saying ''I'm pregnant, please help me' (even men), and you continue to give until you're destitute.

Currently you are a) kind and b) breaching social distancing rules.

TheArchSorcererofContwaraburg Thu 02-Apr-20 17:32:51

It's your money, if you want to pay out to be taken for a mug, that's your lookout.

SarahInAccounts Thu 02-Apr-20 17:33:16

It's quite a well known scam, OP.

Brooksey5 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:33:17

Are we not meant to open our doors at all with social distancing? Our door is off a porch that’s quite big so I could stay back in the main house.

BiBiBirdie Thu 02-Apr-20 17:34:36

Are you in Reading OP?
Sorry to say if you are there is a well known woman who goes around car parks pulling the same stunt, she's been arrested so many times and no doubt where the town centre is deserted she and others like her have moved to door knocking.

SarahInAccounts Thu 02-Apr-20 17:34:38

www.snopes.com/fact-check/distress-cull/

msmith501 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:35:23

Of course you can open your door. Just be sensible, be safe and be intelligent about what you touch and how far away you are from people. At 8pm tonight, many doors will be opened in the UK and across Europe as people choose to clap or cheer for the NHS workers.

Cheerbear23 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:38:28

Check that No-one has come in via your back door or a window whilst you were distracted. Did you lock the door with her outside whilst you charged her phone?
This is a well know distraction technique and the theft happens whilst you are distracted with the pregnant woman at the door.

AlternativePerspective Thu 02-Apr-20 17:39:44

Almost certainly a scam. The “I only need so much for a train ticket” is the oldest scam in the book, except they usually do it at actual train stations.

I’d be wondering why she had no money or nowhere to go. If she has a mum to go to then she wouldn’t be begging door to door.

She’s probably had the same from hundreds of houses by now. All of who thought they were just doing a kind thing.

And you should be practicing social distancing, so certainly not letting strangers into your house.

How much was she asking for and how far did she say she was going?

Escapeistheonlyoption Thu 02-Apr-20 17:39:51

I gave the Romanian big issue seller £40 last week.
There are no Big Issue left to sell and she is just standing there in her spot (well silently begging I suppose)
I saw her ago into the co-op minutes later and buy shopping.

ImFreeToDoWhatIWant Thu 02-Apr-20 17:41:10

Oh OP I know you wanted to be kind but the 'pregnant in distress' routine is one of the oldest scams in the book! Did you honestly actually believe her or were you to embarrassed to say no? If so why? Why would you be embarrassed to say no to someone clearly lying?

MouthBreathingRage Thu 02-Apr-20 17:41:32

@Brooksey5, did you give away any sort of personal information? Like if you live alone? Or is it evident if you do so? Do you live in a more affluent area, nice cars outside?

Walkingthedog46 Thu 02-Apr-20 17:42:07

You did a very kind thing OP. However, do check outside your house/in the road to see if any symbol or sign has been chalked up. I’ve heard that sometimes this is done to indicate to others that might be going door to door begging that this has been a generous household.

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