Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sister…Can You Spare A Dime?

“I need money for gas so I can get to my…(fill in the blank) new job/mother’s funeral/friend’s wedding in…(fill in the blank) California, Washington.” A common con I have encountered many times in my life. Not very sophisticated in this day of techno swindles and pleas from Nigeria. But I am sorry to say this approach is alive and well and still working in the Portland Metro area here in Oregon.

It pained me to see it perpetrated on the very nice and generous ladies of the Craft Circle at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Gresham. Last week a scroungy young man wandered into our morning gathering. They fell for it…hook, line and sinker. Not only taking up a collection, but quickly assembling a care package of food as well. Then gathering to say a prayer for a safe journey. I was so stunned and I wanted to call the young man on his deceit, but I remained silent. I looked up during the prayer when others had their eyes closed and saw him smirking. I think he knew I knew.

What would you do in the same situation? It seemed to me more important to let my faith in people’s goodness be restored than to expose a con man. Today a columnist has written of another con man that has stung many other generous people in our fair city. He claims his truck has been stolen and asks for $25 cash to get home to a nearby rural area. Apparently hundreds have fallen for his spiel. Margie Boule wrote a column in February and today she writes that an alert reader recently snapped a photo with his cell phone when the con man approached him in a convenience store. Now the guy is a “Wanted” poster on an internet blog. I wish I had thought to whip out my phone at church.


Post a Comment

<< Home