Nowadays, it’s very difficult to tell apart what’s real from the fake. It applies in every aspect, and very recently, the area of Tampines was hit by the emergence of a fake beggar.
Yes, you did read that right. A fake beggar.
There was a man who would walk up to the pedestrians in Tampines. He’d tell them that he couldn’t find his EZ-link card, and he needed money from them instead.
The “poor” guy won the sympathy of a number of victims, until someone exposed his trick and caused him to flee from the scene.
So crazy leh. If I were the person he approached, I’d bring him over to the counter and pay for a one-way ticket to wherever he wanted to go, and not give him cold hard cash.
But at the same time, we kind of feel sad for all those who genuinely wanted to pitch in to his “cause”, and did so without realizing that the man was actually running a pretty convincing scam.
How the Story Came to Light
A couple of readers who were unsatisfied with the presence of the beggar that was constantly around Tampines Mall highlighted the situation to Shin Min Daily News through some phone calls.
This definitely itched their reporter bones, who proceeded to go down to the place a few days back on 12 Oct.
There, they noticed a man who seemed to be in his 40s asking for money from the people who were walking past.
Things escalated pretty quickly from then, as another guy showed up to the scene and called the “beggar” a fraud. The beggar, who probably felt that his story was out of the bag, quickly left the place.
The reporters from Shin Min Daily News got in touch with the man who called out the fraud, and found out that the beggar had previously told him that he had lost his EZ-link card, and needed S$10.
He was then annoyed when he saw the beggar do the very same thing to another person passing by, and asking for the same sum of S$10.
The story of the fraudulent man rang true with storekeepers in the vicinity. They have seen him frequently around the mall, asking for sums that ranged from S$2 to S$10.
Yet another victim, a 52-year old lady known anonymously as Miss Liu stated that she’d seen the beggar using the same mode every time to get cash.
She had this to say. The first time she bumped into him, he told her that he needed S$2 dollars to get on the bus to go home, which she obliged.
When he approached her for another time, she was already wary of him and chose to ignore his pleas.
Now, just imagine this: let’s say that for one whole day, you managed to approach 100 people, and 30 people gave you $10 each. You would have “earned” $300.
Sounds like we have all got to be pretty careful with who we help, and how we help them.
Featured Image: straitstimes.com