No, I don't have $5 to give you for gas.

Tonight I was leaving the movie theater with my wife, walking out to my car, and some guy approaches us saying he needs to buy two gallons of gas. Being at night I quickly rebuff him, saying I don’t have any money on me, and pick up my pace to get to the car.
I’ve probably had this happen three or four times over the past couple of years and it always seems to happen at night. The first time someone asked me for gas money I gave them two dollars because I genuinely felt sorry for them, but this really seems to occur too often for me to believe it.
If I ran out of gas, I’d go around begging to various business (of which there were a few still open around the particular shopping center where the theater is) to let me use their phone (provided I didn’t have a cell phone on me) to call a friend, before hitting up complete strangers in a dark parking lot for gas money.
So does this ever happen to anyone else? Ever run into someone trying this tactic who did in fact run out of gas?

I had a guy ask me for gas money one night while I was leaving work. I gave him ten bucks and wished him luck. Another time I was at a gas station and some guy was trying to pay for three dollars worth with a jar of pennies. The cashier told him there was no way he was going to take the time to count all those pennies. I gave him three bucks and he thanked me and handed me the jar.

I counted up what was in the jar and it was exactly three bucks.

I’ve heard that story a number of times, even multiple times in one day on several occasions.

Usually embellished by claiming to have driven from(town 30 miles away) to visit mom and not having gas to get home.

I’m a pushover, an easy touch. And people can spot me a mile off.


Heh. I think I got the sickest verison of that scam, evar.

Se, the guy came up in the downtown/business district,m along with his son, and begged for the requisit gas money. I paid. That was the first time I’d ever been hit with that scam, nd I never fell for it again.

That guy was sick. I mean, he must have taken his son out of school so he could run a scam on people. Geez!


I’ve begged for gas from a stranger.

It was the middle of the day the day though, and I was holding a one gallon gas tank begging “please! fill this up; My truck’s blocking traffic!”

Not proud of it. That said, though, I do bet the guy joebuck ran into was just looking for money. I’ve said “no” to that type of assholes a bunch of times. Actually, what I usually say is “O.K., where you stranded?” They fold quick after that.

Classic scam. I fell for it once, 20 years ago. About five years ago I had a boss who gave a woman a double-sawbuck after she told her sob story.

Last Summer, while driving through Mississippi, a friend who is very wary of scams was convinced a guy really was out of gas (at a gas station). Apparently he’d overheard the guy talking on his mobile telling someone he was out of gas, and/or there were other signs that the guy was legit.

But after 20 years in L.A., I’m very cynical when someone asks for money.

One very early morning in LA, I had a guy come up to me while I was filling gas. He said his car ran out of gas up the road that way, and he needed gas money. I said I won’t give you money, but I’ll buy you the gas, let me just look for a container in my trunk. That’s when he started acting strange, made up some stories, showed me a paper copy of some supposed ID, said he’d pay me back the following day, and insisted on cash instead of gas. At that point I said sorry I can’t help you. He then made some disapproving noises and left in the opposite direction of where his car was supposedly stalled.

I’ve had that happen a few times with people wanting money for food or coffee or whatever- when I say “No, I won’t give you cash, but I’ll buy you anything you like from McDonalds/Subway/Nearest Coffee Shop” they find some excuse and leave (or, in one case, swear at me). So now I tend to ignore panhandlers.

I can get sworn at for no reason. I don’t have to refuse money :slight_smile:

Go sodomize some puppies, you syphilitic goat fucker.

I sympathize. I hate homeless people and poor people too.

Just cause I joined before you.

Especially the children. Right?

I believe the gas can thing is almost always a scam. But sometimes it’s not.

The last time it happened to me the guy was walking down the street, and he had a gas can! He asked for money. I offered to give him a ride to the gas station, which was about a mile down the road, and then back to his car with the gas. At that point he started telling a very complicated story about how his wife was pregnant, and she was waiting at the car, and she would not understand if he showed up in another woman’s car, and yada yada. So I drove off.

Now maybe he really did need gas. But it was starting to look to me like that gas can was just a prop.

Small, quick and agile, difficult targets.

I’ve offered to buy petrol for people twice, and twice been refused with excuses. Same thing, numerous times, with bus/tram tickets.

On the other hand, I think about half the people I’ve offered to buy food/groceries for have taken me up on the offer. We’ve also bought a guy a couple of nights at a shelter one time, rather than give him money for it. So not everything’s a scam, but I think the money-for-transport thing is more likely to be than not.

I haven’t been asked for gas money, but there are beggars on the street. I never give to them, because I can’t distinguish those that belong to Eastern European gangs (where most of the income goes toward the boss) or are legitimate.

However, I can do this with a good conscience because I know that I live in a civilised city in a civilsed country, so I know definitly that there are soup kitchens and tea shops and clothing depots and shelters for homeless people (not all run by churches, and none with forced singing or praying!). I know that the city itself offers advice services and steps in to pay the rent if a family or person is threatened to loose their home because of mounting troubles (it’s cheaper to pay the rent than pay for the care of a homeless person, and it keeps the people more stable and thus, easier to re-integrate them again).

I know that if somebody has his wallet stolen or similar sob story, they can go to the police who will help them (and take down the details). If somebody doesn’t have the money to feed their children, I know there’s a social welfare office from our city, where social workers will listen and give help.

And I buy the local street paper (BISS) which is produced and sold by homeless people/ people in social difficulties to help them re-integrate. This helps directly and better than money given to somebody who might be a scammer. (There are also other initiative, like doctors for free, that I can donate to). I prefer leaving the helping to the trained experts with better resources, and avoding the scammers.

Let somebody else do it?

I’m sorry, constanze, but christ on a crutch. Your whole post is kind of soulless.

Do you really believe police are going to chase down somebody’s wallet? Or that buying a paper helps the homeless? Does your city really provide for everybody? If so… then you don’t have any homeless so you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about anyway.

I don’t know what kind of Utopia you think you’re living in, but I think you might be a touch self satisfied an deluded.

It’s panhandling. One time a woman came up to me in a parking lot in Alexandria VA and she had some BS story about picking her kid up at day care or whatever, but she was out of gas. The next day, I was in a parking lot in Arlington and the same woman came up and started the same story and I said “you tried this on me last night” and she said “I wasn’t working this lot last night.” It’s always BS.

There’s a guy in DC metro (I think Metro Center) who just needs a little money to add to his metrocard to get out of the station. He must never have got the money because he’s there every night.