Grifter Alert — Brooklynian

Grifter Alert

Hey y'all. There's a new grifter lurking around, telling folks a sob story for bucks. Approached me three times already. About 5'6", white, wearing a dirty white shirt, unkempt thinning hair, few days facial hair. He'll say something like, "Can I ask you a question?" Then he might pull out a pair of cards and say he just got back from Elmira—the prison, that is. If you neg him he'll bounce away quickly, in search of another target.


  • Doesn't sound like a winning business strategy to me.

  • Are you sure it's not John Liu with his latest fundraising strategy?

  • Sounds more like Eliot Spitzer to me.

  • Damn! he got me for a quarter for a phone call!

  • Last week I was approached by someone on Bedford and Eastern pkwy who asked me if I could spare some change so he could buy his daughter some diapers. Immediately my native New York defense mechanism was to say "no," I did, and went off on my way to the bank. I kept thinking to myself "how could I say no to that guy?" I felt really terrible and when I headed out I pulled out some cash to give to him but he was gone.

    I don't know if he was telling the truth or not, but it really sucks that there's no telling whether the story you hear is the truth or just another sob story. I've been fooled too many times that even hearing a believable story my first reaction was no.

  • I keep thinking the title of this thread is "glitter alert" and then I get sad that I was wrong.

  • Humans of New York

    I've seen this guy a lot around Clinton Hill. I believe the photo is taken on Vanderbilt at Fulton. He's out day and night in the middle of the road asking for change. It's easy to forget, and I'm guilty of this, that those on the streets asking for money are people with their own stories too.

  • people should just have a sign" i'm a beggar going to use the money for drugs and whores and or rent". NO more stories just a honest tale. I'll give money to that or not :p.

  • If I ever fall into hard times I am recycling cans.

  • If I ever fall into hard times, I am running for a local political office.

  • If I ever fall into hard times, I'll run for office pull a Carlos Danger then write a book and have a reality TV show.

    The guy hit up my friend and I in front of Park Place Coffee this morning. First he wanted a couple quarters for the train so he could go to a shelter in Manhattan. Then he saw we were drinking coffee and he wanted a cup cause he is a diabetic and the blocks are long. He seems to be getting more insistent but he left us alone eventually.

  • I once got upset with my mother for giving $ to a guy who admitted he needed it for a beer. When I asked her why, she said you never know what led someone down the path to homelessness and drugs/alcoholism. Maybe someone lost a child, or struggles with a mental illness, or is suffering with severe depression or some other pain and loss. You don't know if that one beer will help them ease the pain enough for them to decide not to kill themselves, but instead to get help.

  • But I still don't give money.G

  • My brother had an excellent response to such stories.

    Whenever someone approached him with a story, he would respond:

    "You can use this money to pay for x (your mother's surgery, etc) if you want, but what I would do if I were you, would be to get really high"

    They would often respond, "yea, no bullshit, that is exactly what I am going to do".

    He would then high five them and give them $5.

  • That sounds like it could get very expensive.

  • He seemed to feel it was a win for both parties.

  • I only give money to honest bums who loiter around liquor stores.

  • I think Aaron Sorkin put it best:

    "I'm hoping they're going to spend it on booze. Look, Dan, these people, most of 'em, it's not like they're one hot meal away from turning it around. For most of 'em the clock's pretty much run out. You'll be home soon enough. What's wrong with giving them a little novacaine to get 'em through the night?"

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