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I Am Not the Bank of Tiffany

Hi everyone! I want to let you know about something. Very few of you do this, but it has to be said out loud – because those of us getting these emails behind the scenes are talking about you and I’d want to know if I was doing something inappropriate.

Some of you email me for advice. You tell me your personal story – all 100% perfectly acceptable and welcomed. I’m always wiling to help with whatever insight I have to offer.

But a few of you will go one step further and email me asking for money. Like for diapers. Or a bill.

This isn’t appropriate at all. 

Just because I’m having success does not mean I’m here to be a bank for loans (or gifts – some of you don’t even say you’ll pay us back, you just ask for the cash).

What happens when these people do this is they not only email ME, but they simultaneously email several other marketers – and then we all talk among ourselves like this, “Hey did so-and-so email you asking for money for ____?”

These aren’t even people we know well. They ask us for marketing advice, and when we respond, they hit us up for money.

I don’t care how desperate things are – I’m not here for handouts. I have my own family to feed and clothe and bills to pay. I have tuition to still finish paying off, so no, my funds aren’t going to support another family. And even if I had leftover money it wouldn’t go to handouts like that – Angel Fund is one thing (and I weed people out there all the time).

Diaper money isn’t going to happen. Even if I have all my needs met that I could think of, and had leftover money, I would put it into savings and use a portion for charities I like to support, like military family charities. I figure someone’s out there putting their life on the line for me, so I can give back to them without hesitation (and I DO – even thought I don’t have all my families’ every need met yet).

It verges on angering me when someone does this. Because I know other marketers who then have real horrible feelings of guilt all day because they couldn’t or wouldn’t loan or give someone the money they needed. This isn’t fair. I don’t feel that way – I get annoyed with the person asking. But many kind-hearted souls DO find it ruins their day from guilt and worry.

If you truly can’t feed or buy diapers for your family, then go get on welfare or get a real world job instead of pursing marketing. Or go to real life family and friends for help. Do not email a marketer you barely know asking for money.

Period. It’s tacky.

Tiff

93 Responses to “I Am Not the Bank of Tiffany”

  • Jim says:

    I’m sure those people are from the Warrior forum and found you there. I really mean it.

  • Yoan says:

    Oh mannnnnnnnnnnnnn!! This beggars belief! Honestly! I am literally SHOCKED! Never thought some would stoop so low!!! ::(

  • Carol Amato says:

    Gonna share on my blog….EXCELLENT.

    I also get requests to spend personal time, one-on-one to help people, and if and when they make money, they will give me some….

    Compensation is for time spent teaching/training, not results they get because of so many variables…

    I appreciate you addressing this awkward problem.

    Thanks so much!
    - Carol

    • Tiffany says:

      You’re welcome Carol! I don’t even mind requests for mentoring, even though I say no. But blatant cash for diapers or a bill? No. But I see your point – time is money.

      • Carol Amato says:

        Absolutely agreed.

        I spend a LOT of time helping folks for free through personal responses to each and every email, blog posts written to help provide solution to problems, and questions answered in various forums that I am a member of. I enjoy this even though it’s time consuming because I want to give back, as someone gave to me in the beginning of my online business career.

        However, when they expect one-on-one personal in depth coaching, and then will give me a percentage of profits if and when they decide to take action on what I’ve taught, THAT I cannot do…lol

        • Tiffany says:

          Yes I’ve had MANY of those requests. Would you go to a college and say, “Hey give me a free education/degree and if and when I make money, I’ll come pay ya back?” OL

  • Deb Lamb says:

    Wow! I’m shocked, too. Some people just don’t have enough sense or the proper raising to know how wrong this is. I’m with you on this as well, Tiff. Gosh. How tacky it is indeed!

    Deb

    • Tiffany says:

      Agree Deb. And what’s worse is, you’re (meaning the person, not you lol) emailing many marketers so if we all DID give you $20 for diapers – what then?

  • Kim says:

    I’ve had these type of emails for years, sometimes I’ve responded with an offer of work, but for some that’s too much. Others have come up trumps and have been grateful for the work.

    I fall into the I feel guilty catogary unfortunately and I need to be more like you Tiff and stand firm and say no.

    Thanks for the useful post
    Kim

    • Tiffany says:

      Kim the problem is we just can’t trust everyone. Not only that, but the old story about teaching a man to fish versus feeding him for one day rings true. But at least you’d make them work for it. It just irritates me being asked.

  • Donna White says:

    I’m an ex caseworker and I have seen a lot of things. This doesn’t surprise me. People who do that are really just scammers. This is how they make their money because there are “suckers” everyday. Sorry, but “suckers” is the right word. People who REALLY need money will never email a stranger for it.

    I think it is wonderful that you are successful. I would never ask you for anything because you already GIVE: advice on your sites and in your emails that is worth more.

    I really wish and hope that other marketers are NOT feeling guilty about not giving to those scammers.

    Take care,
    Donna :)

    • Tiffany says:

      I respond great to hard workers. I abhor panhandlers. In fact, the ones who have the saddest signs and t-shirts make me the angriest and I wish we’d start ticketing DRIVERS who give them money. Why? Because we have social services to handle the truly down and out. And clean up and get a job. I’m honey badger on that stuff.

      But the reason I did address this Donna is exactly what you mentioned – so many of my sweet friends have guilt about it. That angers me even more. LOL

      • Deborah Dera says:

        Actually – we have social services for SOME of those people, but not for all of them. There are some people who have been convicted of certain crimes who fall into a social loophole where they do not qualify for social services – sometimes they can’t even get into a homeless shelter. If they have no family to take them in, they become career street people. They can’t get jobs because they have no address; or because no matter how bad they are trying to turn their lives around, no one will give them a chance. It makes ME go “honey badger” to realize how ignorant some people are about our social welfare systems and homeless people in general. As if they’re all out there because they want to be (and yes, some DO want to stay there once they’re in the street system). But… please…

        • Tiffany says:

          What kind of crime prevents you from getting social services and being in a homeless shelter? Must be pretty bad so maybe I’m glad they can’t get my tax money for support. Of course not everyone who is homeless wants to be – don’t be ridiculous – no one said that!

      • Donna White says:

        I forgot to say this:

        While I was a caseworker, I worked with many adults who had been homeless and I (with funds from the community and the government) helped get them in homes and furnish everything they needed. When they would come into my office or when they knew I was making a visit, they would be dressed very poorly and really needy looking. This would cause me concern sometimes because I kind of felt responsible for their well being. You know what I mean? Then I would see them at Walmart or the mall and they would be dressed better than me and their hair would be really nice. Expensive jewelry. And their demeanor was way different than when in my office. It was like looking at a different person. And you could tell in their face, they got caught. I used to give everything as a caseworker. Now I reserve that to my loved ones.

        Even though I say all that, I still gave my clients the benefit of the doubt. I was a great caseworker. At the beginning I was a sucker. But shame on them. Huh? There is a percent of people who really need help AND really appreciate it. What that percent is? I really don’t know. Some days, I think it is very low. LOL

        Well, ain’t I yakky today??

        Donna :)

    • Bob says:

      I agree with Donna. This is not something new. These types of scams have been around for years. Just block the emails and ignore them. And I have no doubt that, as Jim said, you are likely being targeted on the warrior forum. That is a prime target area for these types of scammers.

  • Jenny Dunham says:

    Wow!! I had no idea people would do this to you. I wouldn’t dream of asking someone I really didn’t know personally for any kind of financial help. I find it hard enough to ask family for help when I really need it.

    Some people just don’t know when to stop, I guess. What you give here on your blog is worth so much more than any financial gift you could give. If someone takes the free training you provide on your blog and uses it, there’s no reason they can’t turn their situation around. And, like you said, if it’s really that bad, they need to sell some stuff on Craigslist or apply for food stamps.

    • Tiffany says:

      Agree! And I was thinking – they have Internet and a computer…ever heard of a pawn shop?

      • Debora says:

        Tiff,

        That is exactly what I was thinking when I read this post. If they have an internet connection (a bill), a computer (an asset), then they have money coming in somewhere.

        Those would be the first two non-essential items I would gladly give up, if my family needed food and/or diapers.

        Glad you brought this out, maybe others who are approached with this type of begging, will see that there is NO reason to feel bad.

        These people do have resources. Not to mention our tax money for welfare and other programs that can help them get on their feet.

  • Jim Francis says:

    Hey Tiff,

    We need help on our organic farm during the summer. Send them my way.. then you don’t have to feel guilty. Wow.. You found them a J.O.B.

    Economy is booming here. No shortage of cash either. Our program begins with required reading starting with: The Little Red Hen.

    Most find another way of getting those diapers.

    Jim

  • Steve B says:

    This type of thing annoys me so much!
    There are so many people who think they are owed money from people they perceive can afford to give it away.
    The same type will bombard lottery winners with begging letters.
    They see it as a quick way to get hold of some cash with the least amount of work, like buying every single ‘Push-Button’ money making scheme that appears on the market!

  • Wow!

    This is why you invest in a pack of cloth diapers and those plastic panties. Sometimes you can run low on diapers, due to a stomach virus, etc. Always have some cloth diapers, just in case. ;)

    Bill pay? Call and ask for a payment arrangement, then try your hand at writing and sell to places like Yahoo Contributors if you can’t think of anything else.

  • Cindi says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    I agree, it is so wrong in so many ways for people to go around in this manner asking marketers for a hand out.

    I give all the time. I give to our local women’s shelter and food pantries. There was a time not so long ago That I had to use the pantries myself. I swore that if I ever came out of that dark tunnel I was in, I would pay it forward. I’m able to now, and I really enjoy it! I have also paid for somebody’s groceries at the store. I have been blessed, and I want to spread it around. I do choose who I spread it to however. I mean the people asking you have no business to be doing that. You are correct in saying it is “tacky.”

    Take care!

    Cindi

  • Iris says:

    Sorry you and other marketers have gotten those types of emails.

    Donna took the words right out of my mouth and she nailed it! These panhandlers are looking for suckers and trying to play on your sympathy and kindness. Stand firm and continue to give in the generous way you have … by teaching us how to fish!

  • Unfortunately, there are too many people out there now who feel that everyone owes them. I would never think to go to someone online to ask for money…no matter how low I get. And, believe me I have been there. I will glean what I can from what is offered to me and try to make it on my own. I really don’t see what scammers get out of what they do. My husband told me about a truck driver whose son would go out and panhandle and make over $1000 a week income for his family and how proud he was of him. I couldn’t believe it. That is the lowest of the low as far as I am concerned.

    You go, girlfriend.

    • Tiffany says:

      I’ve seen a few undercover shows that showed panhandlers making six figures. One guy here wears his “army vet” tshirt and I’ll be at the light and he makes at least $1 per minute.

  • Sandy says:

    Aaaaaw gee whiz…. and here I was planning to hit you (and another couple of dozen well known marketers) for the donation of one of your best money making websites(each of course). Does this mean that I don’t stand a chance and that you won’t even feel bad about not giving me part of your income???

    That is sad… so very sad…

    Levity aside.

    Those people are scammers plain and simple. No one should feel bad about telling them where to get off.

    I was recently in the unenviable position of having to throw my own brother and his son off my premises because I had been supporting them for almost a year and at no time did they ever lift a finger to help around the house or garden, but boy could they eat and forever need small “loans”.

    Needless to say I was considered a prime B*&%ch. Did I feel guilty? No way in hell!

    I already help to support my granddaughter who has Rett Syndrome and whose medical needs are way beyond what her parents can afford. I am not going to give hand-outs to lazy sods who want to leach off of everybody else.

    So to all those marketers out there who have sensibly said “NO” then good for you and under no circumstances should you feel guilty. Those who do give handouts are simply perpetuating the problem.

    All the best

    Sandy

  • Kal says:

    Actually Tiffany asking them to stop is not going to work!
    These folks have a knack for getting money by asking on a regular basis and that is why they keep asking.

    It’s that proverbial wheel, ask enough people and you’ll get what you want.

    It’s bold and I really don’t know where their conscience is and for the most part they know exactly what they are doing!

    They are relentless! Period! End of story!

    Kal

  • Jean Morgan says:

    I could never, ever, ask even a friend for help but I have in the past helped friends who were struggling without them asking. They were truly in need and I sent a box of groceries for a few weeks.
    Having said that you never can be sure. One friend is always pleading poverty. If we are out I buy the coffee and pastries or the lunch etc. It isn’t much but I thought it cheered them up a little. What a fool I was. I went round the other week to see a roof covered in solar heating panels that she said cost £15,000 ($22500). I asked if she won the lottery but she said she used some of her savings. There I am saving desperately for a new carpet that will cost about £1500.

    No more the fool. Good on you Tiff. These bleeding heart people would bleed us all dry and then find another sucker to skin.

  • Erik Heyl says:

    Plastic panties?!!? There is such a thing? Yikes! Must say I’ve yet to come across this myself. But I can definitely understand the feeling.

    I’ve BEEN THERE before. In fact, I’ve been literally on the edge (of the roof of my apartment building, yeah it was that close!) twice and almost been homeless. But, instead of asking for a “handout” I asked for a “hand UP!” A warrior I knew (Dan Molano), helped me craft my first writing WSO (I’ve had two total WSOs), and started me on writing. From there it’s now expanded to SEO/Lead Generation offline.

    So, point is, wherever you’re at you can get out of it. You just have to be creative. And ask if you don’t know how to do something. Feel the fear, the uncertainty, the butterflies in your stomach and DO IT ANYWAY.

    The question of course is: why do people think handouts are a good solution? Answer: social conditioning. The company you work for or the government (doesn’t much matter who’s in power) will “save” you. No, they won’t. Only you can do that. Only you can decide to turn things around.

  • Joe says:

    Hey, Tiff, I’m going golfing tomorrow and I need some cash for side bets. Can you help?

  • Hi Tiff and Everyone!

    So, this is my very first post for you. Are you ready? It’s a small post in itself.lol WELL, I can honestly relate to this post. I tend to naturally have a nurturing, healing approach (thus the reason I’m a Holistic Health Practitioner) and I LOVE being able to help others HELP THEMSELVES. I too have had feelings of guilt for not “helping”, and there were also times where I DID help financially, then regretted it even MORE (thinking of how I could have invested it into my children, business, charities, etc).

    Bottom line is, what you’re doing by giving them the TOOLS of knowledge and know-how, to obtain their goals is FAN-TASTIC. If they ask for money, no matter how nice, just tell them nicely that it’s inappropriate, and perhaps you can send them links on self-help and ethical behavior for conducting business.

    The last thing I would add on this (which you may already be doing), is that if you are discussing someone in that position, that it be done in private. We never know what upbringing they have or their situation, so maybe keep it anonymous in groups and send those in need a personal message. They need as much positive energy from us as possible, to lift them out of that desperate place, and into a place of hope and confidence.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Tiffany says:

      Depending on how it’s worded sometimes I’ll point them to my Newbies blog post up top but some are blunt “I need money for diapers” emails and I just ignore those rather than go off on them.

  • Joey says:

    WOW! I can’t believe that people actually ask you for money like that. Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised. There are those people who want things but don’t want to work for them. I’ve never understood that. The thought just plain scares me because it means that you have no control over your life. I why someone would intentionally put themselves in that situation.

  • Lisa Oliver says:

    Hi Tiffany

    I am like so many others who have responded here who is totally shocked that anyone would have the gall to write to someone they didn’t know and ask for money – they obviously have no pride or sense of value in themselves. While I think that is sad I did want to tell you that your success is what keeps me motivated in my online endeavors – I figure if you can do it, I can too. I also keep reading your emails because you already do so much in providing free information and inexpensive products that do enable all of us to live as you do – we just have to put the action in.

    I have always believed that money is not something that you should cling to, but rather you let it flow, and mine does flow to charities I believe in (like the Women’s Refuge who saved me and my children) and my own grown children. But giving it away to someone who’s only belief in helping themselves is by helping themselves to the success you have built for yourself and have every right to enjoy, is just wrong. Thank you for making this a public issue :)

    Lisa

  • Vicki Lee says:

    When it is a targeted hit to multiple people..that isn’t a panhandler.. Sounds more like a well-organized scam.. Most likely just this side of being an illegal Ponzi knockoff.. I hope anyone feeling guilt over ignoring it thinks of that, and saves their empathy for those who really need and deserve a helping hand..

  • Alice Coaxum says:

    It’s unbelievable the lengths people will go to in order to scam. I agree that if you are that hard up, go get welfare to hold you over while you look for a real job and do your online business during your off time. Go to a food pantry and Wic to get food before the welfare kicks in and some hospitals have programs where they provide milk and diapers for a while.

    I wouldn’t even think of emailing one let alone several marketers to ask them for anything. What makes them think they are going to get it? That’s the part that makes no sense to me, like all of the people they ask are going say yes LOL.

    Maybe they should use their email writing “talents” for good and actually earn some money. Bet you they won’t be quick to give it away either once they start making some money honestly.

    I have had a couple emails blatantly asking for money from those I didn’t know at all and had plenty that were lottery scams or scams where someone died and left me, who they don’t know, all of their money. I just delete it.

    I don’t have time for that. I need my money and if I were to share it with someone in need, it would be with those whom I trust and know and not with scammers. Sad to say there are so many people scamming I automatically disbelieve all the sob stories I hear online. People will do anything to make a buck.

  • It is all a numbers game. If they ask enough people, eventually they will hit pay dirt. What the never seem to understand is that the effort it takes to write all of those emails is far more than it is to go mow a lawn and earn some real honest income. Many homeless people have a lot of pride and you won’t see them begging. They are the ones that stay out of sight and survive by dumpster diving when the rest of us sleep. I can’t abide beggars myself, but when I first arrived in the States I did feel sorry for them all, until my partner told me of a guy he SAW dressed in tatty clothing with a ‘Help Me’ sign on cardboard, sitting on the bottom of a freeway offramp. He watched the guy leave, walk around a couple of corners, strip off his ‘begging’ uniform, put on some nice clothes and climb into his almost brand new SUV. I have also heard of people offering beggars food and being told to ‘shove it’ because what they really want is $. I think for our own emotional survival we have to ‘harden up’ a bit, but at the same time not turn our backs on the genuinely needy. Not always easy to get the right balance.
    As to emailing you asking for money – this diaper money thing gets to me. I cloth diapered my kids, so if I was out of diapers it was because I needed to WASH some! I think disposable diapers are disgusting (okay, getting off topic..sorry).
    How do you deal with someone begging for money for a room with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth? I ignore them! If you seriously need money for a room, STOP FREAKING SMOKING!!!
    Okay, rant over!

  • Sam says:

    Hey Everyone:
    Great post by Tiffany. She is always there when we need moral support. We have been going thru a lot with the loss of our daughter and the recent open heart surgery of our granddaughter and Tiffany has been so supportive with her kind words and prayers. Can’t ask for more than that. Tiffany is truely a caring person.

  • I wonder how true the persons financial state is. No one really knows if that person needs cash for diapers or for bill paying. Maybe it’s one persons way of reaching out a hand to see if someone would fold, and fork over the cash. Sounds like a sneaky, unethical practice, if you ask me. Glad you’ve ignore the emails for cash requests. You don’t even have to explain to any of us Tiffany how you use the cash you generate from your business for your family. It’s YOURS, you earned it, YOU do what you want with it- simple as that. It’s Nobody’s Bee’s wax! :) We all realize the extra cash, if there is any, usually is to save for a rainy day, or put toward our retirement. So the next time a Kind Hearted Soul DO gooder gets these spammy cash request, do not feel guilty, just say NO. Tell them to go scrap metal for cash. Say to yourself, “Don’t you do it, don’t you do it” LOL

  • ana says:

    wow. WOW. I was shocked when I read this post! It would never occur to me to ask someone I did not know personally (and know very well, mind you) for a loan of ANY kind. Money for diapers? It’s actually sad that someone would lean on you rather than a relative or a friend …

    When I read the title of your post in my email I thought it was a joke … sadly, on few levels, it isn’t a laughing matter at all.

    Thanks for posting this Tiffany. It was quite illuminating.

    Thanks for writing this!

  • Agneta says:

    A lot of thoughtful insight splashed into this post. As usual.

    When I had my taxi business, I had low-life encounters almost every day. Some just stepped out of the car and walked away without paying. Others had the screwed vision that I was making so much money that it was ok to have a free ride. Needless to say, I finally had enough and shut the business down. It drained me from anger. I took a job as a truck driver instead. I couldn’t stand those creeps.

    That change of path quadrupled my income overnight and reduced my working hours to a fourth. Now, I’m working my way to a sustainable living again as I lost that truck driving job over a year ago. I would rather die than ask for money. I can’t even consider social welfare. It’s a fail in my mind. Lending tools to get a job done is one thing but asking another person to do the job for me is outright vise.

    I see 6-7 year old kids go to city dumps in India, Africa, and many other places. They *work* their way though the garbage and filth 9-10 hours avery day to find things they can use, or (for heaven sakes, no…) eat. They don’t even complain. In that perspective, I just want to grind those low-lifes into fish food.

    Every time I’m given something, it creeps under my skin. Makes me feel in debt. I have shared my critical financial situation some times with you, Tiff, but I would never ask for money. It was merely a ventilation. A thought of insight from you, or a simple word, infusing energy and courage to withstand the fight is so much more worth than money can be. And you’ve given advice and cheerful pats on my shoulder to an invaluable extent. Like lending me a tool to find a solution.

    I saw a tag line a while back. They’re pretty fun sometimes. This one goes:

    “Give a man a match and you keep him warm for a minute. Set him on fire and you keep him warm for the rest of his life.”

    Pretty snug fit of what I would want for such beggar scammers.

    What do you prefer with the coffee? ;)

    • Tiffany says:

      Yes Agneta – sharing situations isn’t bad to me. I welcome that. I also don’t mind people using welfare when it’s needed. I like that saying!

  • Sheryl says:

    WOW – I’m another in shock, I can’t believe people actually write you emails asking for money.

    WOW!!!

    Besides the fact that if you did decide you would help them just this once, they would most likely ask you again and again. And if you say yes to one person then you need to say yes to everyone.

    Do they think you are their own personal charity that you can do the work and earn the money and then just hand it over to them????

    I’m really shocked – well done Tiff for writing about this and letting people know that IT’S NOT ACCEPTIBLE to just ask for money!

    Maybe they should stop buying alcohol and cigarettes and use birth control if they can’t afford to buy diapers!!!

  • Clefty says:

    Oh wow I’m surprised people would really do that. That would be pretty annoying if it happened often (or at all actually)!

  • Kathy says:

    I’m absolutely astounded that strangers can do this. I was once in the position of having to accept help from a govt. agency and I couldn’t stop crying. I felt humiliated that I wasn’t able to look after myself.

    There are organised charities to help people who are struggling and Op Shops in Australia are a great way of getting just about anything. All my clothes are ‘pre-loved’ and come from Op Shops and I’ve bought many Christmas and birthday presents there too.

    It’s amazing what people get rid of – unopened bottles of perfume, bath sets, glass/crystal trays. I once bought a beautiful porcelain doll for $8. The lady was in her 80′s and had had it since she was a child. None of her children wanted it. I also purchased a crystal dinner set for six – cost me $25 and it comes out for Christmas.

    People need to learn to help themselves instead of expecting others to look after them. The world doesn’t owe them handouts – they have to take responsibility for their own lives. And diapers? What’s wrong with cutting up some old sheets or towels (from the Op Shop). Much less landfill that way too.

  • Christiena says:

    I remember standing on the street with a suitcase, $20, two little girls and a bun in the oven. A choice made when the alternative was worse. Fifteen years later I was homeless for 6 months because fibro meant I lost my job and the rent went sky high.

    AT NO TIME did I ever ask someone for money. I went to the appropriate sources for a hand up but most importantly I took responsibility for myself.

    Those of you who feel sorry/guilty :

    You can NOT help someone who is doing nothing to and isn’t interested in helping themselves. You are but a band-aid for them. One of many on their list because begging/scabbing is easier than looking for long term solutions and doing some hard yakka.

    I am now gratefully on disability but am doing what I can to become an independant, contributing member of society again. 1000′s like me WILL NEVER send you an email asking for $$$ – we’re too busy doing it for ourselves.

    Appropriate responses:

    Dear [name],
    It saddens me that you find yourself in such a bad situation. Me giving you money isn’t going to fix your problem however – only you can do that. Here is/are link/s that might be helpful.
    Welfare [link/s].
    All the best,
    [your name]

    Dear [name]
    ummm. NO.
    Kind regards,
    [your name]

    • Tiffany says:

      Love your story – you’re an inspiration!

      • Christiena says:

        Thank you. I guess we all have our stories about the personal challenges we’ve faced Tiff, it’s what we do with those stories that defines us. Some ask for $. The rest of us work really hard and chin wag about how to deal with those who ask for $ lol.

  • jan says:

    I gave $5 to a young girl in the city once, she told me she was homeless and I had bags full of shopping and felt guilty. As she walked away, I thought hold on, she is beautifully dressed, long, clean hair – yep about 100% sure that I had been “had”. Some people just have no morals when it comes to scamming money.

    • Tiffany says:

      Yeah my Mom a couple of years ago wanted to give $20 to a young pregnant woman begging. Her companion stopped her and a few minutes later her BF arrived and she stood up and removed her baby bulge – it was a pillow.

  • Nayan Mandal says:

    Hi Tiffany:

    I read your post and some of the replies as well. You must have been felt forced to write this post, and I appreciate it.

    At the end of the post, you have advised these money-seekers to go to real life family and friends. I feel, from my personal experience here in India, these people have already exhausted these two sources.

    1. I lent money to a relative – only a portion was returned over years.
    2. I lent money to a distressed woman in the neighborhood – that was a chaos ended with this woman stopped talking to us.
    3. I helped my jobless friend with money – now he is in a highly-paid govt job and has not called me in the last six years because of his fear that I would ask for a return.
    4. I lent large sum to a friend who has a business – he thinks he will only return when he makes sufficient profit out of it.

    I have programmed myself not to lend any more. These people have exhausted their sources.

    You just ignore their emails and invest your precious time in guiding us and growing your business.

    • Tiffany says:

      You’re right – but a family member/friend would know even more so if the story was BS. More than a stranger. And I know many who exhaust their relationships with begging, too.

  • Pete Moring says:

    More often or not these type of requests are simply ‘Organised Crime’ with banks of operators (like call centres) searching out ‘targets’ who they feel might respond positively.

    They hang out in most forums and especially the ‘lonely hearts’ forums. Your obvious good nature comes accross as a shining beacon for this type of crime – so expect a whole lot more heading your way Tiff ;-(

    Good job you got the ‘delete’ button handy though.

    Pete.

    • Tiffany says:

      Yep I get these too. This type I’m talking about are those I see actively involved in learning about IM – not just money. But to cross that line into begging for cash is awkward and rude.

  • Barney says:

    I’m getting almost old enough for diapers again. What do say Tiff you want to kick in a little.
    LOL

  • Ruth says:

    I would sleep on a park bench and go hungry first. Too much pride. We have evolved into a “you owe me, bc/ I was abused, fatherless, motherless, not taught basic skills, etc.”

    There are people who need a hand up…there are half-way houses for those willing to get and stay off drugs, there are shelters, and for God’s sake, there are churches by the gazillion in every city.

    They will either place you in a motel room for several days or find somewhere you can go, and work for you to do.

    The ones lurking in the forums and emailing successful people are the ones who have used up their other face-to-face resources.

    I must tell this true story. I lived in Austin, Tx in 2004-2007 and the pan-handlers were fixtures.

    There was one, though, on a part of I 35 that I had to drive that was so entertaining, I gave him a dollar once. Once.

    I have never laughed so hard. He was clean, dressed in cowboy attire, down to spit-shined pointy-toed boots.

    His cowboy hat was spotless and his checkered shirt and crisp jeans faultless.

    He was probably a billionaire, but if I’d had a hundred dollar bill I would have given it to him that day.

    The light turned red and he started singing and dancing up and down the median. He entertained everyone waiting for that light to change. He collected some money, too.

    As hot as that day was, he surely had himself a day job, dancing, singing, and panhandling.

    • Tiffany says:

      Yep I’ve seen people playing guitar for money – at least they’re working in some way! Not just a sign that says “hungry and homeless.”

  • Staying Anon on this One! says:

    I have a physical product online store that I have run for several years. I have worked my tail off to get where I am – and it was not based on handouts it was all bootstrapping and hard work.

    Among the products I sell are cloth diapers. I have lost count of the number of people who have emailed me asking for free stuff – and the ones who claim to be bloggers are among the worst. At least once a week I get an email from someone who has a brand new Blogger blog.

    They ask for “free stuff for review” and promise they’ll make me rich in the process. In nearly all cases they have no traffic, no history, no experience blogging – they just see the blog as a way to get free stuff.

    One recent email asked me for $400 worth of free diapers – with the promise that she’d make me rich as her blog takes off.

    Um, thanks, but I’d be out of business if I gave free stuff to every person who comes begging. I can and do donate to organizations and I have been known to help those who are having a tough time – but these requests are unprofessional.

  • Latha says:

    I never knew this happened…

  • Jeff says:

    Like my journalist father used to joke – “Some people just ain’t got no class!”

  • cg says:

    Darn…………….

    mega millions has the bigget payout ever – I was going to ask you for money so I could buy tickets (under $50.00) – and if I win, I would gladly double the payback to you – an easy way for you to dpuble your money ………

    Seriously Tiff – been burnt a few times that way, – so now I am very picky…

    Never money – been known to take someone shopping – food etc, – once even a Christmas tree for a family was down and out (the look on the kids faces was a great reward).

    My time – only for those who have earned the right, by being someone who is not taking advantage of others – and often is giving ofr themselves within their means.

  • Philip C. says:

    That’s my homie. Tell ‘em Tiff. They can go stand on the divider at a busy intersection or at the freeway offramp.

  • Debi J says:

    I wish my other half had even an ounce of our distrust for those who scam and take even though they don’t really need it and certainly aren’t willing to work for it.

    I love him for his willingness to give but only to a point. He gives even if that means jeopardizing his personal finances (food, gas, doctor visits, etc.).

    I’ve explained to him several times why you can’t help the poor by being one of them…yet he continues to give away his money to anyone who asks. (A huge reason why we do…and will always…keep our finances separated. :)

    Sorry…but if my kid had to work for an allowance (and now a paycheck), then so can the adults who contact you!

  • Peter Egan says:

    Wow! Thankfully, I’ve never received an email like that, and wouldn’t know what to think if I did. It’s not like those who are down on their luck can’t get loads of free money from the government (any government of a developed country) for years at a time.

    I’d take offense that someone singled me out rather than go and sign up for all the social welfare entitlement programs so rampant in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland (and all of western Europe), Australia, New Zealand and everywhere else with internet access.

    In the USA, people get paid for NOT WORKING. Not just the unemployment benefits either, there’s food stamps, welfare, section 8 housing, free meals for the kids at school, Medicare, Medicaid (and on and on).

    If I were asked to give or loan someone else money via email, the conversation would go something like this:

    You’re telling me that you’ve exhausted your entire eligibility to collect money I’ve already paid into those systems — then have the audacity to ask me for EVEN MORE?!?

    How about you get a job. The absence of a question mark to denote the end of the previous sentence was deliberate, because it was not a question.

    I work for a living. I’ve been fired before. I got another job. It’s not difficult.

    People who say they cannot find on (at least in America) are full of it.

    I’ll spend my last dollar to save a stray dog who is starving and genuinely needs my help. However, unless a person is elderly and bed-bound, don’t come to me looking for money unless you’re willing to give me something in return for it.

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