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Why all the lies? Why the fabricated and/or exaggerated stories to obtain money? Why all the scamming? STOP LYING!!!

CATLUV started this conversation

I am becoming more frustrated and disappointed with the degree of scamming taking place here (and in the world) .. and just simply can't understand why people go to these lengths to lie in order to get help ... as I see it, if you create this web of lies to obtain financial assistance, doesn't that usually mean you do need some financial help for real? ... I mean, come on, why else ask and go to all the trouble?

So that brings me to the point of ... why can't we all just tell our own stories .. you know, the truth!?! Seriously, it makes me sick and so sad ... It only drives people away - the lies and deceit - and then turns off those of whom can and do assist others with generous donations, ultimately making it less likely for those who do need help (and are honest people) from actually getting it.

Why? Why all the lies folks? Most people here are in desperate financial situations, and that includes many of the regular Contributors, yet so many are so kind-hearted that they give a part of their disability/unemployment/retirement (limited) monthly checks to those they see as needy because they have hearts of gold and are loving, caring and beautiful people ... I simply cannot understand those who don't feel the slightest bit guilty or ashamed for accepting such money under false pretenses. And for some to use false stories obtaining to others ... specifically and most frequently using children and/or serious health conditions as their sob story, .. well it all makes me so very disappointed, sick to my stomach, and angry.

This is supposed to be a safe, caring and positive community ... a place where people can share their struggles and get whatever resources, help and support they need ... but that only seems to be rapidly slipping away, and I just wish those who have chosen to go the scamming route would take a moment to think and consider what they are doing ... and stop making excuses for why it's okay.

I am a strong believer in Karma and I do believe that at some point in time a person gets what they've served out to others/and the world, but there's already so much pain, suffering and struggle in the world, so why must we go about surviving in such a negative way? Yes, times are tough .. yes, it sucks and it is scary without a doubt ... but how in the world do we expect anything to get better when we slip further and further into this kind of nasty deceitful world? I just don't get it.

There's no shame in needing and asking for help, as we ALL need help in various forms and at different parts of our lives ... but there IS shame in scamming others out of money, no matter what the reason. For those whom are thinking about lying to make their stories more dramatic, or gain more attention, or increase pity, etc., .. remember that those here whom are willing and able to help, will be much more likely to help when you're honest and upfront about who you are and what's going on in your life (even if that means your story is less dramatic then others).

None of us will ever truly know what it's like to be another person - to live their life, experience their struggles and pains, to be in their bodies and/or minds - and for that we can't begin to judge, as even if we have similar experiences, we may relate and walk in a similar pair of shoes, but never do we truly walk in the same shoes, period .. And therefore, we simply don't know what it's like to be that other person .. and so, no one is more important than the next, .. no one deserves more than the next, .. we are all deserving, whatever our life stories and circumstances, ... Please try to base your requests on that, not on lies.

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wcindy38
I have read about scams. I have never asked for help in my life and hated to do so. I know i would not be able to get the help because there is alot of scam. I have helped many people and never thought it would happen to me. This does hurt someone who really needs it.
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catmandude
 in response to CATLUV...   I read yr story, post about lies, etc tried to respond, but am new to this social networking media.Can certainly understand why Anonymous40784 likes you. Clicked on ink drawings of kitties, lost my message to you. keep a positive attitude; people aren't all selfish/devious. Mainly just lawyers. I love my 3 cats and ferals under the house. I combat disability by doing yoga 2x / wk. I eat healthy and drink the finest wine. I give. I love. I stand up for truth in the face of notsee authority.
catmandude
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tesuo
 in response to Go4More...   I have a good understanding of what you are talking about. I am not disable but I do have a daughter that is and At times I feel disable because I am with her just about every day of her life taking care of her and seeing constantly what she goes threw cause she depends on me to live.
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CATLUV
Thanks for your honest response, I appreciated it. I was mostly confused by your reply, as much of what I do in my everyday life and "job" is advocate for, and support, those with chronic illness and disabilities. Obviously this passion and drive comes from my own personal experiences with chronic health related conditions.
My reaction was as such that I did not take into consideration the fact that you likely knew very little, if anything, about Aidpage, and the older/regular member's more recent experiences with scammers. There was a series of rather dramatic and pretty darn extensive scams. Many of which used the stories of very traumatic disabilities, chronic illness, as well as children as their cover, and shocking to many of us, they were not truths. Not only did some people lose hundreds, and a few, thousands of dollars, but even more painful, the emotional factor was huge. I witnessed a large number of regular members leave, stop trusting others and reaching out, become cynical and unwilling to continue to listen to any people who claimed they were in need. One of the sad parts about all of this was that those who were/are truly suffering and in great need, are no longer considered for help by those who have something to give ... as a direct result of the heartbreaking series of scams. Just as people tend to get angry when someone uses a disability parking space when they're not truly disabled, this type of situation really got under my skin, but on a grander scale, as i saw all of those it hurt, along with the future losses for those who had yet to request help.
For all of us whom are disabled and endure any chronic illness, we already struggle enough in this life and have dealt some hands which seem so very unfair, and to be punished further seems so wrong, and maddens me deeply. When people utilize their children, or the "idea" of children, to induce sympathy and financial assistance, I am also extremely frustrated and saddened. Again, after witnessing a number of these type of scams here, and doing quite a bit of research on each person to prove it, I felt the need to say what I had been watching, and hopefully, open just one person's eyes to the deceit they were involved in.

I believe it's okay to speak about your personal disabilities and related medical/physical issues, while sometimes it can be counterproductive when the focus becomes entirely negative and not used in some positive way, all in all, I believe that speaking about such a subject that affects one's life so deeply is often very therapeutic and can actually create a more healthy emotional state, and therefore, a better physical state of being. If we sit in our "sh*t" so to speak, and constantly throw a pity party and use it as a crutch, very little good comes of our experiences and we only further burden ourselves and negatively alter our lives. But, I believe and feel that if we express our pain, frustration, triumphs, ... share it with others and actively seek out ways to find positive outlets, we can create a positive difference in our lives,and ultimately the world, with our given "disabilities." Such challenging a existence can become something very beautiful and purposeful. This is just my humble opinion and personal experience. And, after many years of internal battle, ups and downs (which are certainly normal for EVERYBODY, and definitely not limited to those with chronic health conditions), making mistakes and learning from them, has helped me to move forward and find a greater meaning in this life.

With all of that said, after reviewing all of the posts, both yours and mine, I believe that there was both some misunderstanding, as well as defensiveness from both parties as a result of those misunderstandings. Clearly you are very passionate about your beliefs, just as I am. And, because we are both disabled, and have experienced many things in relation to those respective said experiences, we have a great desire to speak up for those whom are often not "heard," and sometimes mistreated and misunderstood. Is this a fair statement?
While I no longer spend much time at all on Aidpage, I still have tremendous respect for those who remain on the site and work to help anyone seeking assistance. I'd like to think this is why the site was originally created, although I have had my doubts in the past year and have been greatly saddened by the rapid changes and loss of many wonderful contributors whom ultimately made this site what is was; a wonderfully supportive and helpful place to be. It seems as though you have come to this site with the intention and hope of helping others by way of using your own experiences, which is also conducive in healing any internal struggles one may be having themselves ... this has been my beautiful experience achieved through blogging here and other places. Hopefully that statement made some sense, as I am getting pretty tired and slap happy?
I would be interested to hear about your life experiences with chronic illness and disability, and would certainly be happy to share mine as well if you're interested. This is one of the reasons I blog online and have created my own blogs - so I may both connect with others, offer support and gain support (and hopefully gain more and more "healing"), share my stories and various experiences. Sometimes I help others, .. sometimes they help me ... and the best, we help one another. One thing I say over and over again (and I believe I said something along the same lines in one of the replies to you), is that while we can have empathy, compassion and relate to one another when we have similar experiences, is when it comes down to it, no matter how similar, we never know fully how someone else feels and what it's like to live in that person's body and life. Because of this fact, I try to stay away from any judgment in this realm, as I will never be able to put anyone else in my body to experience my pain and other struggles, just as I will never be able to literally feel another's experiences and pain, and therefore, can never say that one is worse, more dire, or less valuable than the other, period. Sometimes a conversation will begin through one of my blog sites, or through one of my pages on Facebook, or a related medical/health condition online support group, and both parties - myself included - will share their respective conditions, experiences and challenges. It makes me so sad when the other person decides in their own head that they are somehow not as worthy of empathy and compassion because their condition is somehow "less bad" ... By me sharing my story, this is never my intent. Rather, I do so to say, hey, I understand, I've been down a similar road and I am here to offer any support, even if it's just to be a person on the other side of the internet listening and truly "hearing," and therefore, validating your particular struggle. Yes, sometimes we hear about other's, and think my goodness, they have had it so much worse, how can I feel "bad" for myself. But, the thing is, our experience is just that, our own experience. No one else is in our body, and no one can dictate our pain and how we feel emotionally, physically, etc., And so, no one can put a title or score on your life experience and say one is worse or has been easier ... or that one is less valuable or real, period.

Anyway, I've completely gone off course with my post and so I'll finish it up for now. If you haven't noticed already, I tend to talk/write a lot, and so I do apologize for taking up so much of your time. I hope this message may further explain my reaction to your initial post, as well as better detailing the purpose for my first post about scammers. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this matter, and hopefully, it will only shine light upon both of our true intentions. Also, I don't share this last issue with you as an excuse, but rather, my hope is that it provides you a better sense of where I was coming from ... I have had a handful of experiences on Aidpage since joining in 2009, where I was literally verbally attacked by strangers for absolutely no apparent reason. I am a rather sensitive person and my intention is always to help others - it has been as far back as I can remember, as it pains me to see other suffer in any way, shape or form. While I new intellectually that these attacks were truly not about me per se, it didn't help telling myself so, as I was still deeply hurt that these people I never had previous contact with, nor had I ever spoken with afterwards, came after me for no reason and were so cruel. One of my repeated lessons in life has been about growing thicker skin, letting go of things that do not serve me - as they only further my general vulnerability towards illness, as I tend to manifest emotional things into physical - as well as not feeling guilty for both setting boundaries and standing up for myself. I must admit that sometimes my balance within this pursuit becomes off kilter at times and I go too far and become more defensive than I intend or desire. I hope that may bring more insight into my reactions to your posts as well.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply, and thank you for doing so in a respectful, honest and kind way. This shows great integrity and goodness .... something that seems less and less within this world as time passes.
Blessings to you, Cat
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Go4More

 in response to CATLUV...  I read the entire post over again and as well I read my response. I was not condemning you nor was I attempting to fault you for any reason. I was merely attempting to encourage those of us that their people who do care, share, and love. 

I sincerely apologize for assuming that you were belittling those of us who are truly disabled. I don't speak much about my own disabilities much as it seems to be a crutch I dare not use. It would be defeating to me if I were to do so. I will read your posts and try to gain a more rounded understanding of what you are placing on the blog.

I am very interested in what you have to say. For now, I pray you have peace in your heart, and that God's angels will wrap themselves around you to form a blanket of God's healing power and His love.

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CATLUV
 in response to Jerry9351...   I also doubt you actually read my post thoroughly, as you stated things in your comment that I already said in my post, ... so frankly, I am a bit confused at why you've decided to attack me for trying to help and protect those with disabilities and young children. You know what, perhaps you've had a bad day or misunderstood something, I don't know, ... so I'm just going to let it go and chalk it up to having nothing to truly do with me. Blessings, Cat
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CATLUV
 in response to Jerry9351...   I too am disabled, ... I think you don't understand my post due to the fact you were not online with us for the last 2 years and have clearly not read my history either. Also, in my posts you will find tons of assistance for financial help for those who do need it, unfortunately, most of those who are "asking" don't care to hear about these suggestions and only want money, then they become angry at various people on this site for not giving them money. There have been loads of scams here, which got really bad over the last year ... which is one of the reasons I don't blog here any longer. I understand your concern, but frankly I feel as though you don't know of what I was speaking to at the time I wrote this, and you obviously have not read any of my posts with exception to this one. I too live on SSDI, ... yep, I do, even though I am only 30 years old ... but I've been thru more than most people experience in their entire life. Everyone deals with different things and has their own experiences, none of which we can ever truly understand, as we can not truly walk in another shoes, we can only have empathy, compassion and try to relate to the best of our ability thru our own life experiences. And so I ask you, please read more about me and ask yourself if you could walk IN MY SHOES for a month. I have a number of other blogs which address each of my health conditions as well if you're interested, ... in addition to a blog all about resources for financial assistance. I am sorry if this sounds harsh, but frankly sir, the way you wrote this note feels a bit out of place ... And, you also indicate towards the idea that I've not donated things, my time, energy, money, etc., to others, and this couldn't be further from the truth. Ask anyone on this site who's been here over 6 months how I've helped others, how much of myself I've given to others in need, even when I've been in extreme need myself. One thing I do agree with you about, those who are disabled, chronically ill, or something of the nature, often do give the most ... we have the kindness hearts and know what struggle truly is, and therefore, we will do anything to help others ... but at the same time, we are also the one's who are then taken advantage of and used when it comes to helping others. Not everyone, but there are many online, and trust me, this site has been full of scammers. I personally investigated 10 different people who claimed to be disabled or ill, all of whom were not and were not in the situation they claimed ... this is why it bothers me so much - when people use a disability or illness or children as bait, which ultimately leaves those whom are being honest out in the cold ... This is why I wrote this post.
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Go4More
Dear CATLUV,

I regret that you have obviously been on the receiving end of some scams or worse. I know that bitterness can bring out very strong idealogy about others around us. Please read more about me and ask yourself would I be willing to walk in his shoes for a month?

Yes, there are those who do indeed exaggerate their condition so that possibly someone will come across their story. Sometimes individuals donate money to that individual who is lying.

But what do we do about those of us are not lying about our situations and as a result of the scammers, the trufylly needy loses out on financial assistance and other means of support?

I used to sell silver and commemorative silver collections. The proceeds went to help individuals that I know locally that needed assistance.

Please understand, we are disabled and need temporary resources at times, but I would wager a bet that many of the disabled are the individuals that give the most. Not necessarily financial, but in support and prayers as well.

God Bless

Jerry
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CraigL
 in response to lbart123...   That's a good idea, especially when we get into the cold weather season here. It is too bad that people have to be afraid to seek help from a stranger, but that is the way the world is. Just the other day, I bought new school clothes for a family I have been helping for a period of time. It took a long time to build up a level of trust with them. I'd like to find another family or two in my community that are in need of help with basic needs before the end of the year holidays. I've never paid much attention to people I see in stores, as to how they dress, or what they put in a shopping cart. The only interaction I've had recently with someone in a store, was a lady that asked me to get something off the top shelf that she couldn't reach. That happens once in a while in the grocery store. As far as going to a women's shelter, you have to apply to be a volunteer and pass a criminal background check. I have no doubt that I would pass a background check, but you can't just walk up to the door in one of those places and offer to help.
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lbart123
 in response to CraigL...   I F YOU WANT TO HELP GO TO A WOMENS SHELTER FOR MOTHERS WITH CHILDREN,OR GO TO THE GROCERY STORE AND SEE SOME OF THE ELDERLY WITH VERY LITTLE FOOD IN THEIR CART AND SAY IM PAYING THIS FOR YOU,LOTS OF WAYS TO DO IT.IN THE WINTER YOU SEE LITTLE KIDS IN THE STORE WITH WORN SHOES OR NO WARM COAT ASK THE PARENT CAN I PLEASE BUY THEM SHOES OR A COAT,YOU MAY BE SURPRIZE.JUST LOOK AROUND YOU AND YOU WILL SEE THE FAMILYS IN NEED.
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Anonymous40784
 in response to Peachy's MOM...   Thank you for such a beautiful post.
I am a firm believer in prayer.
God has been very good to me & have answered many of my prayers.

God bless you.
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Peachy's MOM

 in response to Anonymous40784...   Hi, new here Peach's Mom, with fracture leg) prayer is powerful. ask and be specific you want God to do, then say thy Will be done. If he see fit you will get your needs met, may not be right away, could be 5 years from now, I believe each of us a path we must follow and deal with the road blocks, he is seeing how we handle it.

Life is full of mysteries, I prayed with fire in my belly, to get out of old building/full of crime/told doctor, I am going lose if I don't mover, so, he wrote papers from My Disabilty office and agreed to help me financially with startup money to finde safer enviornment.

I would Pray Dear Lord send the right people in my life to help me go through this or find a solution to problem.

Just ask: ie I asked for small things and forget about it and then week later, surprised there was my answer in my face.

It does work. try if for a experiment, start slow with small thing, like I need help with painting my apartment. put up poster inlaundy room (volunteer) and bingo bet someone will knock on ur door to help.

I could go on, please excuse typo as keyboard sitnking and delayed text.

To all those out, never give up when things are at there worse it 't turning of the corner to great thins.

God Bless, You are in My Prayers

Peachy's MOM , ON, Canada

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Anonymous40784
 in response to CraigL...   Most places have a soup kitchen or shelter. People there always need help.
The Salvation Army is one of the few charities that do provide resources for people.

I understand how you feel. I don't know whats wrong with people these days.

Best wishes
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ZillyMe
 in response to CraigL...   This is my first visit to this site so I don't pretend to know EXACTLY what goes on here, but I do agree in general, that far too many people exaggerate or out right lie about their situations in order to get things for free and it's really sad. I say this as someone who often is on both sides of the spectrum. There are times when I have a little more than I need and so I try to help someone if I can, and at other times I'm that desperate single mom who is trying to figure out how to make it another month without selling organs. That being said, I have never, and will never, understood why people feel the need to create sob stories to get help, and especially when people put conditions on the help they "need". For me, need = rent, groceries, electric, heat, clothing for children, medical assistance. No one NEEDS a TV, no one NEEDS a computer or a fancy cell phone. These are not necessities, they are desires. I want a lot of things, but I need to make it to next month without getting my A/C shut off. My kids want a PowerWheels Cadillac, but they NEED to be fed and warm (or cool in 90+ heat), they need to be healthy and safe. I often help those who don't ask for it over those who are crying poverty because it feels a more sincere situation.
On another note, I can understand why many people would be hesitant to meet a stranger face to face, even if it means a little relief. I have two small children and the idea of putting them in a potentially dangerous situation, even if I'm desperate, will always override my need to get help. The world is an ugly place and there are far too many bad people masquerading as do gooders. Too many horror stories to count about desperate people being hurt or worse because their desperation drove them into dangerous situations. Bad people prey on the weak and the desperate, that's just a fact of this world unfortunately.
Even meeting in a public place holds no real security. What if some psycho decides to follow you home after such an encounter? What if the meeting was some kind of a lure for other intentions? You just never know these days.
I understand wanting to see for yourself that their need is real, but giving is giving, if it's done with the right intentions then that should be enough. I have never believed in putting conditions on generosity, it defeats the purpose. God gives freely to us, even though many of us don't deserve the blessings he gives. He gave us all life without first requiring anything from us, why then should we not give just as freely?
I'm not saying that it is ok that people scam, or cheat, etc, just that if you do choose to help someone, do it without putting conditions on it or at least try to understand the other person. It's possible that they were not trying to be deceitful, just careful in a very dangerous world.
As I said before, I put my children's safety above all else. There have been times I've listed things on craigslist, freecycle, etc, and even though I initiated the transaction at times, I still have a hard time working out a way to meet with someone in a safe way. I NEVER meet with anyone and then go home. I NEVER take my children with me, and I NEVER allow anyone I don't know near my home or children. I don't care if they are offering to pay my rent for a year, I will not risk my children's wellbeing.
I hope you all will consider the other side of debate when those in need are cautious or hesitant to comply with demands put on them in order to get help, just as I hope those who take advantage of people's generosity and kindness will consider the harm they do not just to the giver, but those who would not benefit from the assistance you are receiving.
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positive thoughts
Hi there. I couldn't agree more. Very well said.
Much Love and hugs
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CraigL
I understand where you're coming from. I have been scammed more than once helping someone on the Internet. I have decided years ago, that I would only help someone if we met face to face and I had an opportunity to verify their situation. I live in a large metro area in Minnesota. I know there are families in serious need of food and basic needs, but I can't find them. I have helped out in the past, and I don't give cash or gift cards. If I see hungry children, and an empty refrigerator, I will do something immediately. I only give groceries, basic needs like clothing, personal care products, and birthday or Christmas gifts for children. I either give them those products directly, or take them shopping and let them pick out what they need. I want to make sure that anything I spend is used for the purpose in which it is intended.

I tried this past Christmas by responding to some local requests for help found on sites like craigslist and 2hands. I couldn't believe some of the responses I got. I had people telling me that under no circumstances would we meet, and just send money to their Paypal account. I had one that desperately needed a working TV, but insisted that it had to be a flat screen and provided me a list of what specific models they would or would not accept. Heck, I don't even own a flat screen TV yet! Then I had one response demanding that I gave them a specific dollar amount of their "spending budget" before they would agree to meet me at a grocery store. These are some examples of the kind of crap I get when attempting to respond to a help request on the Internet. There are others, but these are among the most brazen.

How do you find families that truly are in need of help and are appreciative of what you do for them? I'm not rich, but I have more resources than some of my peers. I often feel that I should be doing more in my community, but I don't know how to go about it. I'm not going to give up, but I'm done responding to help requests unless I can meet the people.
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Anonymous40784
 in response to CATLUV...   I will stay on the site. Probably, just not as much as I have in the past.
There are many people here such as yourself who I dearly treasure. Which is the reason why I will stay here.
I figure, I can still help people by praying for them. I believe thats the best help anyway.

Hope you have a great night.
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CATLUV
 in response to Anonymous40784...   I fully understand. I wish it wasn't the case. But I do understand. I hope this doesn't mean you're leaving the site permanently? If so, I will miss you, and I know others will as well. Whatever you choose to do, please stay in contact .. you are a sweet, kind and wonderful person and spirit and I am blessed to know you. Thank you for all of your time, energy, love and compassion. Big hugs, Cat
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Anonymous40784
Great post.
That is the very reason (with the exception of a sending a few cards here & there, prayers,advice) that I am DONE with helping others on the internet.
I know, many people will say keep giving & let the Lord bless you,blah,blah,blah.
However, its my choice & I have made my decision.
There are plenty of people in the community & family to help.

So totally DONE.
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