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Beggars adopt newer methods to swindle the unsuspecting

Begger on the streets of Saudi Arabia

Begger on the streets of Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: As Ramadan approaches, beggars are coming up with new ways to ask for money. The usual scene of a woman carrying a crying baby in her hands begging for money is not effective anymore, as many people ignore them.

The same goes for those who show their disability or pretend to be handicapped.

Beggars, therefore, have come up with a new technique. A beggar driving a nice rented car and accompanied by his wife and children pulls over next to anyone and asks for money. Their excuse is that they come from outside Jeddah and are here on summer vacation. As they supposedly have lost their money, they ask their victims for a little amount to refuel the car and go back to their city, or for some money to feed the kids. Usually, a generous person pays more than the beggar is asking for.

Victims are fooled, because it does not occur to them that a man driving a fine car and speaking politely is actually begging and lying about his situation. This type of beggars accepts only money.

Mustafa Murad, a Lebanese private company employee, told Arab News that a man with two kids in a luxury car stopped him at a local mall’s parking lot. The man asked for SR100, claiming that he had lost his wallet and wanted to go back to Taif. The man told him that even if he gave him only SR50, it would help him return home.

Murad added, “I felt sorry for him and the kids, so I gave him SR200.”

Murad said that the man targeted his friend at the same parking space and took SR100 from him. He said that he spotted the guy again a week later at the same parking space, but this time the beggar looked at him and went away.

Ahmed Fakeih, a Saudi employee, was stopped by a man driving a fancy car with a woman and two kids. The man told him that he came from Madinah for Umrah and had lost his money. He needed to fill up his car to go back home.

“I didn’t have money with me that time, so I withdrew some from an ATM nearby. There was a gas station ahead. I gave him the money, waiting for him to go to the gas station; surprisingly, he drove away,” Fakeih recounted.

According to Fakeih, it is very difficult to know if someone who asks for money is really in need or not. He said that these “crooks” were killing the motivation to help strangers, because they take advantage of people’s good intentions and their willingness to help.

Ayman Saud was stopped by a car with a man and his family inside. Ayman refused to give them  cash and offered to fill up their car at his expense. The beggar asked for money, because he wanted to feed his kids.

Ayman offered to take him to a fast-food outlet nearby and buy food for the kids. The beggar then drove away.

“The beggar told me that he was from Abha and had lost his money. I knew he was lying to me, because if he really wanted to refuel the car or feed his kids, he would have accepted my offer,” Ayman said.

Source: Arab News


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