It’s a fairly common occurrence in urban areas, either on the street or at gas stations.
Now it’s moved to the suburbs, especially here in New Jersey.
Someone will come up to you and tell you they just need a few bucks for gas.
The person will say they are out of money and left their debit or credit card at home.
This usually happens not far from a major highway, of which there are many in congested areas of our country.
These are usually junkies looking for a few bucks for a quick fix.
Although sometimes it can be someone who wants to rob you or take advantage of you in some way.
It seems to be moving to the suburbs more and more often and that can be for several reasons.
Cities are becoming more and more dangerous and the people there are becoming more or more aware of cheating.
Some of these people are quite persuasive and adept at appealing to your kinder, more generous ways.
Last weekend I was approached in South Jersey by a young man with New York license plates.
The location was minutes from Philadelphia, which has a fairly active open-air drug market in a neighborhood called Kensington.
Whether he got a fix or a full tank with the money, I’m not sure. If you don’t mind where the money actually goes and don’t feel too threatened, you can skip a 5 or a 10.
Some people will ask the person to stop at the pump and they will pay for the gas at the pump.
If they ask for money for groceries, you can lead them to the gas station supermarket and pay for their food at the counter.
The smartest and smartest thing to do is to just walk away and either ignore them or pretend you don’t speak English.
Either way, it’s a sign of the times we live in that people are starting to trust strangers less and more people are trying to take advantage of others.
Just one warning and what you do with your money and compassion is your choice.
The opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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