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I've been so stupid!

(30 Posts)
MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 22:21:48

On Friday, on my way home from the shops, I was stopped by a man saying he locked his suit jacket and car keys in his car and has no money to get home to get the spare key, and could I lend him enough money to go home by train. I didn't know whether to believe him or not, but thought I'd give him a fiver on the chance that he was genuine. Unfortunately I only found a tenner in my bag and gave it to him. He took my (first) name and address, promising to return it in a couple of hours. Needless to say, I never saw the money again. When I told my friend this incident, she was horrified that I gave him my address. A tenner is the price for my idiocy and I am not concerned about the money coming back, but wondering if I should have reported this, to protect other possible victims? Sorry to sound obtuse, but do I just walk into a police station?

MaryIngalls Sun 21-Jul-13 17:15:31

Thanks everyone, it's good to know people are still kind to perfect strangers. I have reported it though, in case it's someone who often preys on gullible looking people (not sure what a gullible person looks like though!).

onelittlepiglet Sun 21-Jul-13 00:31:03

I've done exactly the same thing, don't beat yourself up about it. Had just moved to London and the man seemed genuine. Not asking for much, just a £9 train fare to get home as he'd been mugged. Even threw in that he was working a shift at the samaritans and was on his way home when it happened. Gave him a tenner and he took my work details with promises to pay it back. Never heard a thing.

I felt stupid and angry about it too but I'd rather be the person that gives to someone who needs it than not and something bad happen. Having said that, 10 years on and I'm as hard as anything now. They would need a pretty convincing story to make me part with anything! Sad really...

Dams Sun 21-Jul-13 00:02:44

I have done the same blush You are not stupid, you helped somebody who you thought was in need. You never know, you may still get your money back smile

Graceparkhill Sat 20-Jul-13 23:55:55

Totally agree with Nomnew.

Nomnew Sat 20-Jul-13 23:43:39

Yes this happened to me once. Girl in tears and no money to get home (stolen purse).

Gave her £20 and my work address. Never saw the money again! Still if it had been genuine I would have felt good about helping someone and maybe she didn't have the money to pay me back.

and if she'd needed money so badly she'd resorted to begging, then her shoes were not very nice to be in the first place.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 20-Jul-13 23:40:08

Exactly what Post said. Perfect reply, that!

MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 23:37:35

Thanks Post, it's good to hear of so many incidents of kindnesses to perfect strangers.

post Sat 20-Jul-13 23:35:45

*had brought

MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 23:34:58

Reported it. Phew! Was dreading it, but done and over with. Conina how considerate of you, I can see how the story would resonate with you when the circumstances were so similar.

post Sat 20-Jul-13 23:34:46

I've done the same thing, and this is how I choose to look at it.

I made a choice, in that moment, to trust him. I like trusting people, I like to be in that kind of world.
If my guy has brought the money back, I'd have felt proud and vindicated; 'look, I was right, people are wonderful!'

But he didn't grin

But why should I feel less good about my decision, my choice, just because he didn't act honourably. I'm no more stupid than I would have been if he had come back, iyswim.

So I decided that my £20 was actually the price I paid for living in a world where I choose to trust people, and it was worth it.

You're not stupid, you're a nice person.

Conina Sat 20-Jul-13 23:05:33

<<clears throat nervously and shuffles feet>>

A few years ago, I gave a seemingly desperate bloke at a station £50! He used a story concocted around needing to get to his sick father and as my dad was in hospital at the time, I fell like a stone... He even telephoned me and texted me on my way home to reassure me that he would send me the money. Obviously, he didn't...

I'm going to have to name change aren't I? I'll never be taken seriously again if anyone ever checked my posts. Seriously - you did a nice thing flowers

notanyanymore Sat 20-Jul-13 23:01:12

You know you can ring 101 24/7 so you could do it now if you wanted to get it over with?

MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 23:01:06

No offence taken Rose, I've called myself worse names after this incident. I agree Stealth, I couldn't figure out how address would matter either, but after what happened I am obviously no Einstein! Polly, I don't think there will be any cheque in the post, he promised to put it through the letterbox within couple of hours. I just gave him house number and street name, and pointed in the general direction (was just outside my lane).

Thanks everyone for the consolation and advice. Will report it tomorrow.

jobnockey Sat 20-Jul-13 22:57:33

I personally wouldnt worry too much. he prob only took your address for show theres not a lot he can do with it. something like thus happened to me and a boyfriends on holiday once, a guy in a suit came up to us and said a taxi driver had just driven off with his briefcase, laptop etc and he was stranded with no.money. he was so convincing, even pretended to phone his wife from a phone box and get her to wire money to us, had a business card (fake) and everything. we felt like idiots the next day when we realised it was a scam. still, I feel good we had tried to help a fellow human being out even if he was a lying arse wipe. so should you.

PollyPlummer Sat 20-Jul-13 22:54:32

Honestly, you did a good deed. Don't be hard on yourself.

You never know you might be surprised and get a cheque in the post.

Thurlow Sat 20-Jul-13 22:51:28

Yes, worth calling the police. But you never know with these things. I've given and lost a tenner before in similar circumstances. I've also bought someone a train ticket when they got caught out by the train doors closing without an announcement and had to get off and go back to London from the first station we stopped at (my station), and they posted a cheque immediately. It's difficult because sometimes it is genuine, and people do just need help. Don't feel stupid, you were trying to do a nice thing.

BitOfAFatCowReally Sat 20-Jul-13 22:51:04

Don't be hard on yourself. I've been conned before. These people are convincing and they prey on people's kindness. But yes, you're doing the right thing by reporting it. And it's highly unlikely he'll do anything with your address. Was probably just pretending to type it in for effect.

StealthPolarBear Sat 20-Jul-13 22:49:20

I may be being dim but so what if he has your address? Unless you told him you lived alone or hou look like mrs moneybags is there any reason to think hed burgle your house rather than any old house at random. He could pick addresses from the phone book (or street) if thats all he wants

rosesandpirates Sat 20-Jul-13 22:47:23

I would be slightly concerned that this guy understands you to be a bit gullible (sorry) and now has your home address. I think I would contact a non-emergency police number for some advice.

MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 22:46:03

Sorry x-posted. Will call 101 tomorrow, thanks. As I said, I am now thinking if by reporting it I could prevent other people from being conned as well.

MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 22:44:28

Aw thanks, though I don't deserve it. Yep already written off. Haven't dared to tell DH yet as he is away on work, and will hit the roof - not for the money but for possibly putting myself at risk.

notanyanymore Sat 20-Jul-13 22:41:33

Just ring 101 and report it, if they have had a spate of them they may want to speak to you further, otherwise they'll just log it I imagine, but either way it might put your mind at rest.

PollyPlummer Sat 20-Jul-13 22:38:25

You could give the non emergency number 101 a call and arrange a time to talk to an officer, there may not be much they can do, but they will possibly be interested - especially if he targets the area.

BOF Sat 20-Jul-13 22:37:31

Don't worry, he was probably typing at random, and he's hardly likely to risk beng caught by contacting you.

Just write the tenner off, don't let it stop you helping people on future, and be assured that the universe gives lovely souls like you the capacity to be wonderful. Sorry you were let down.

MaryIngalls Sat 20-Jul-13 22:37:00

Ah that soothes my ruffled feelings no end Eagle. I've been mentally kicking myself since then. So do you think I need to report this somewhere? Am a bit worried they might ask me to describe him or something, and am awful at recognising faces. I have been known to walk past acquaintances (who I've met just once or twice) with not a flicker of recognition - not deliberately!

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