Strange that you could tell it was a scam but still handed over money? I think you're the one who should be careful!
It's actually so easily done. I never thought I'd fall for a scam, but a lovely little old lady knocked on my door once. She started going on about missing children, and how I needed to donate money for the children. I said I didn't have any money. She said "you must have at least a pound you can give me". I actually went and found it, the only money in my flat, and handed it over. She said her group could do with young people like me getting involved, if I need a job they could help, etc. Handed over a sheet of paper and left.
I read the paper and was completely shocked - they were a white supremacist group.
The kicker? I'm mixed race.
There's one born every minute - and I don't mean "Indian holy type con men".
And Dee, you live on The Ladder, not on the ladders.
Give her a break !
These people are amazingly skilled at using psychology to make the target feel guilty, along the lines of " I'm sure you agree that it's wrong that children are dying of hunger while we have more than enough to eat ". Once you get drawn into discussion it's impossible to get out without feeling you're a heartless louse. The con man has an answer for your every reason not to open the wallet and if you don't you'll feel rotten for the rest of the day. They rely on the fact that most people are nice or, at least, want to be thought of as nice.
Another classic manipulative face-to-face scam is "Just been robbed of everything, have to get home, need £10 or £20 for the train fare".
If delivered with enough detail about where they say they have to get to (i.e. the train fare IS likely about £10 or £20, say, and they know details about the location) and with enough acting skills it is surprisingly easy to find that you follow their line of logic, and they're also good at not letting up and giving you the opportunity for a "wait a minute" pause for thought.
Had that one when I was volunteering for a community law centre once. A guy came for advice who had been approached in this way, he ended up letting the guy stay in his flat... guy was such a mug he didn't want to report it to the police because that wouldn't be a nice thing to do.
Then the same week, a friend was approached by the same con artist (same story, I could tell) in the restaurant she worked in. Gave him money. I gave her as much detail as I could without breaching client confidentiality, in order to persuade her not to help him, should he approach again!
oddly enough, about every 6-12 months I have the a woman knocking on my door saying she's locked out of her house and she needs money to go and see her daughter/friend/whomever to get keys.
The first time she knocked(several years ago) I gave her £5 and we went through a farce of me wanting to call someone for her and being told she couldn't remember the number, not sure they would hear the phone blah blah etc etc.
she seemed genuinely upset and didn't have a coat etc and I felt a fiver wasn't a great sacrifice in the greater good(she rejected more practical offers like me calling, helping her find the number online etc etc).
However, in conversation with neighbours in my road it turns out various versions of this same routine have been played out at houses in my street at regular intervals.
Also, she doesn't remember whom she has already hit up for money so has been back to my house several times with exactly the same story.
It's got to be a pretty hard life door knocking. I don't begrudge her trying really, but just goes to show that in my experience all door step callers asking for money are to be avoided. Charities can be donated to directly so I just take the name and google them if I think the chugger is convincing.
I believe the advice is to fit a door chain if you feel in any way vulnerable opening the door. Speaking of which, i think I should probably get one myself(overly trusting kids)
Yes, and the chain is also a useful message that you've got to first base, at least, about being on your guard.
I'd soon tell him his fortune if he knocked on my door…. and it wouldn't be a pleasant mouthful!
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