Have you ever seen those homeless people on the side of road next to a busy intersection holding a sign that says “Will work for food, Please help”? Turns out, they are making so much money that the news agencies did some major coverage on a few of these people.
What they found was that many had very expensive homes, drove nice cars and lived a great life. This was their job, they would drive to a busy intersection at key times during the day, change into rags and make more than what most of us make in a week in one day.
It’s wonderful that so many people are so caring, but it’s horrible that people like this take advantage of such kindness. People are getting wise and this isn’t working like it use to, so they have moved to the internet!
I received a well crafted comment on my site that was spam designed to get you to visit a website by Carlos, a down and out convict trying to get back on his feet – at least, that is what they want you to believe.
I followed the link, and when you visit the page, you’ll receive a sob story and background music by Sarah McLachlan called Angel; the song fits perfectly with the story.
Prisoners have a lot of time on their hands and some are experts at scanning the classifieds, finding a lonely person and writing. They build up their trust and often, that person falls in love with or provides income to the inmate. The inmate doesn’t just write one person, they write many and some have a great income. When they get out, they take the person for all they have or simply abandon them.
In fact, it works out so well for them, that they now establish websites with a story designed to persuade you to give. Once you give, you’ll receive a email giving you thanks and designed to make you give more.
Here is the story I was presented with when visiting the site, including McLachlan’s music playing in the background.
My name is Carlos
and i am looking for some help. I do not want anyone to feel obligated, just help if you can. please listen to my story before you disregard this web page.
For my story please go to the “about me” section. i prayed endlessly before i added this page.
if you would like to ask questions please feel free or you can write to
. i have a long way before i can rebuild my life but i hope that with your kindness i can push forward to a better tomorrow.
Because of hate, tragedy has brought pain to the world. Only we can make a change and move towards love. If you decide not to help me then at least think of others in need. The world judges a needy person as someone who is starving and homeless but the truth is that a needy person can be the smallest of things.
Maybe a person who’s car stalls and needs help pushing it or maybe someone who needs short term help. I am not in the worst of places but i do need a little help. i am open to criticism and respect your opinion.
I like to help anyone that i can. it gives me great joy when i help someone who is truly in need. if someone’s car is stuck in the snow, or if an old lady needs help going down the stairs. it gives me a sense of purpose. the hard part is that at times i cant even get out of bed. some days are just to much for me. i like to fix computers but i have a hard time enjoying it at times. i like to offer advice to the best of my knowledge. i usually like to remind them that god loves them despite of their flaws.
Join and speak your mind, the only thing that i ask is that if you don’t want to help me at least help someone else in need.
I want to thank everyone for visiting despite your decisions.
That was on the main page, then, when you go to the about page, you receive:
My name is Carlos
and i am a 30 year old Hispanic male. my story is a painful one but my hope is in the love of god through people. as a young child i did not have much. i was a young boy born in the poor country of Dominican Republic.
I was raised by my father and mother until my father abandoned me at the age of thirteen. at the time i lived in new york city. my mother and i struggled to make ends meet. at times we did not have enough to even eat.
At the age of 15 we moved to Lawrence Massachusetts. it was at this time that i decided to try and find a better life to stop the struggles and tears of my mother. the only flaw was that i chose the wrong way to go about it. after graduating high school i started to get ideas on how to get enough money to help my mother out with her struggles. i was attending college and at the same time i had let drug dealers persuade me that it was ok to sell drugs.
For a time i did not think of consequences and i even forgot about god. i started making money but without understanding of drugs or that i was being used by the drug dealers that i worked with. i was happy because my mother wasn’t struggling as she used too. we were able to pay the rent on time and have plenty to eat.
To make the story a little short, i was arrested on December 19, 2002 and received 7 1/2- 15 years in prison. throughout my time in prison i suffered to the point where i tried to commit suicide. i thought that i would not make it out alive. i understood that i had betrayed god and therefore the sorrow was unbearable.
I saw so many things go on that it affected my mind. i know that maybe some of you will say that i deserved it and i agree with you. i am not here to debate that fact. i am here to ask those with compassion and mercy in there hearts for help.
I suffer from depression/anxiety/panic attacks and sleep disorder. i am going through a rough time and i just don’t know what to do, which is why i ask for help. my mother is struggling by working hard to keep a roof over our heads. she is 60 years old and i know that she will not be around for much longer.
With all my mental issues, it is hard to posses a good job and my past doesn’t help either. if anyone out there is compassionate enough to understand then please offer some relief. i am looking for any financial help that you can offer. whether it’s 50 cents or more, i will appreciate any help that you can send my way.
You can check if my story is true. i was incarcerated in the new Hampshire state prison. if you are willing to help you can send any donations to
. i hope that my story reaches a caring heart. a heart that is willing to bring hope to a wandering soul.
Thank you for taking your time upon reading this letter and may god bless you.
I did some research and found that similar spam can be found on a ton of sites all trying to get people to visit the website. In fact, I found a whole network of such sites!
The site also has a forum where you can post information – you’ll be greeted by a number of loving people, all who are really the same person but with aliases. They will encourage you, side with you and take every cent you have and when you have nothing left, only then will you see the scam.
For all of you with big hearts and the ability to help a person in need, BE CAREFUL! There are a ton of crooks out there all looking to take advantage of you – do your research! Some of the smartest people in the world have been taken by such scams!