The “Lady In Distress” Scam

What a day eh, commercial free-loaders and now this in my inbox from a dirty skanky scammer … hopefully this it for today !

Är så ledsen att jag stör, jag är i Limassol, Cypern just nu och jag
felplacerad bara min påse med alla mina viktiga poster, telefon och
pengar vid busstationen. Jag är typ av strandsatta nu kan jag behöva
lite hjälp från dig.


from Jennie Wiklund <>

Translated from Swedish

Am so sorry to bother you, I am in Limassol, Cyprus right now and I
just misplaced my bag with all my important items, telephone and
money at the bus station. I’m kind of stranded now i need
a little help from you.

Thank you,

Reminds me of when I first moved to London, many moons ago. I was walking down one of London’s main streets, Regent Street. A young woman approached me, a distressed expression on her face. She told me her purse had been stolen and needed £3 for a night bus to get home. For some reason I refused, but did feel very guilty about it, all the way walking home in fact. What if she had been genuine? What if it had been my sister who’s stuck without any money ?

But some things just didn’t add up. A night bus in London at the time I think was only £1.50, so why the request for £3 ?

Anyway a couple of days passed, and I happened to be walking up the same stretch of street. Who approaches me, but the SAME young woman. And guess what, same story, purse had been stolen and needed money for night bus to get home. What a RELIEF, my guilt completely lifted, I’d been feeling guilty over a nasty skanky scammer. DOH !

What I find most nauseating and abhorrent about these types of scams, is that they pull on some pretty compassionate heart strings. And the scammer just doesn’t care what damage they might cause in the future. I mean if someone genuinely needed my help, am I more or less likely to help them as a result of being treated like this ?

On the plus side, what did I learn ? Well be compassionate, but don’t be a fool, lady tears aren’t necessarily authentic lady tears.


Don Charisma

Resources & Sources

Crying Woman Photo – morgueFile

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Warm regards, Don Charisma

48 thoughts on “The “Lady In Distress” Scam

  1. It’s a double edged sword, you want to help someone, but you don’t know if their really in trouble
    or just scamming.

  2. Yeah I had the same situation once, I saw the woman the whole week doing the same thing every day in differents places. The first day I saw her I felt so bad because I didn’t have any money, so I offer to her to pay the metro ticket for her with my metro monthly ticket, since I had just that… but she said no…. And I was like, okay, well, I think it can help you, but goodbye…An then one day there was a little girl so worry for her, and it felt so wrong that I just went there and said; let it go, this woman is asking for money every day with the same story, and it is a lie. And the young girl was like What???? But I felt like I had to do it because it is wrong to feel sad for them, they are sick, they lie, they have drugs problems, and I can feel that, but to feel bad for someone who is lying to you, it is too much even if they are losing their mind, because they are…

    1. Understood, for me it’s simply – once someone has started to act unvirtuously or disrespectfully towards me, I lose any respect or virtue towards them, generally I want separation, as soon as possible. I’m patient and try to start relationship with an open heart but closed heartedness is necessary for one’s survival in this world … This is just life, not to worry too much or lose too much sleep … if one wants to do something to help, then do volunteer work for charity or similar 🙂

      1. wow, I was writting my comment but something happen and I thought it was erased, now I can seee it wasn’t hahahaha and you are right, it is not necessary to worry that much when you have a lot of ways to do something about it without being tricked 🙂

  3. men uses MONEY and PHYSICAL STRENGTH and women uses TEARS for the same reason
    now u know to how discern crocodile tears from tears

    1. True say, can see that perspective … I actually learn’t this a lot earlier in school waiting to see the head-teacher told me how she puts on tears to get less stern punishment …

  4. Yeah, we once had a very pregnant-looking lady ask us for taxi fare, because she was about to deliver the baby any moment. We said, “Hop in; we ourselves will take you to the hospital”. Surprise, surprise — she backed off! You would have had a similar experience if you had offered to get into the bus and buy her her ticket 🙂

    1. I’ve heard the same advice about beggars, offer to go and buy them a cup of coffee, usually they decline … a lot of the time, I just am too busy to waste my time even interacting with people that are essentially trying to rip me off … it’s hard I know, but they made their choice already ….

      1. For sure, I agree it’s a good strategy … what I’m saying is that often I’ve already made my mind up, so have a clear conscience to walk on by … in Thailand it’s harder to walk on by with clear conscience, as often these people obviously seem genuinely in need, a man with no legs and no wheelchair for instance … but they usually still have a smile on their face and what seems like love in their heart … sometimes I give a little, depends on what’s happening for me that day 🙂

  5. Very similar situations have happened to me and I hate that the antics of some have made me calloused to all.

    Tip: She probably needed the double fare for she and her boyfriend who, in all likelihood, was waiting in the shadows to attack anyone who confirmed that they were carrying money.

  6. I encountered the ‘North American girl who was out of money and the embassy couldn’t help and she had a baby to feed’ in San Jose.
    A policeman told me not to give her money – he worked that pitch every day….and so did she.

    He was right…i saw her again….

  7. Something similar happened to me once. The guy claimed that his stuff had been stolen while aboard a ship he was working on. He was very angry when I refused to help him. But I knew it was a scam eventually …things just didn’t add up like you said. Enjoy reading your posts. 🙂

  8. Don, I had a similar experience. My friend and I didn’t pay and we walked on. After a few paces, my witty friend made me wait and watch what the guy did. Soon we realized the guy was a scam!

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