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People Asking for Money

Oneonta, Alabama
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942 posts
3 reviews
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People Asking for Money

I wondered how many of you have been asked by someone for money during your stay in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg. This past week while we were at Wal Mart in Sevierville, we were approaced by two different couples driving through the parking lot asking for money.

Each one gave a story about needing a few dollars. The first said they needed just 10 more dollars to be able to get a motel room. They had two small children in the car, but had a local tag.

The next time we were there, another couple said they needed a few dollars for gas money (local tag again). The odd thing is that the second couple also approached us at Ace Hardware in Gatlinburg a few days later with the same story. Each time, the couple drove up, said excuse me, and then said something about how they hated to ask for help, but they really needed money. The wife each time protested as if she were embarrassed as the husband asked us for money.

When the second couple approaced us for the second time, my husband commented to the husband that it seemed this might be a way of life for them to make money and the husband quickly pulled off. We then saw them in the Food City parking lot cruising around asking other people for money.

I guess you could call us cynical, but we both thought that some people may have found a way to get a little extra money by telling tourists they are down on their luck. I guess a few dollars per person adds up if you are driving around asking people all day at various stores. I think most people feel guilty if they don't give a few dollars. We normally would, but both of these situations didn't seem 'right'- something about each one made us suspicious that the couples were being dishonest.

I do know that there are people who get in a situation and need to ask for money and we have helped many people out, but for some reason, neither my husband, nor I felt these couples' needs were genuine. We both felt they were taking advantage of people.

Anyone else have a smiliar experience in the area?


Central Illinois
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353 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: People Asking for Money

This happens everywhere, especially in tourist areas.

2. Re: People Asking for Money

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Removed on: 14 August 2012, 01:17
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507 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: People Asking for Money

I used to manage a hotel just off an interstate exit. There were about 6-8 people that worked that exit and the next couple of exits down the interstate. There were two of them that would ask for money just long enough to get their beer and food for the day and then would leave. There were a couple more playing the "homeless" angle which we found out later they had a brand new dually pickup truck, each had the latest cell phone and they owned a home. They were making $200-300 daollars a day off peoples generosity.

I, like most people, are willing to help those in need. I have found the best way to determine if they really need help is if they say they need money for food or gas, to offer to go to the nearest fast food restaurant or gas station and offer to pay for their needs. 95% of them will run like they've been beaten. The other 5% really need your help.

Fairmont, West...
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285 posts
20 reviews
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4. Re: People Asking for Money

Yes, this does happen everywhere. It has never happened to me in the PF - Gatlinburg area, but a couple months ago, we were approached in Columbia, SC, by a woman with a sad story trying to sell us her watch. In my hometown, there are people that treat this as their day job. They are dropped off by car in the morning and picked up in the afternoon. There is always someone trying to get over on someone else. My wife says I'm a cynic - I think I am a realist. I support the Salvation Army and the United Way. We do our part, and thats all they are going to get.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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228 posts
1 review
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5. Re: People Asking for Money

You are spot on Sara. I have been approached at several gas stations by a couple in a car asking for gas money to get the woman to a badly needed "doctor's appointment". Mama didn't raise no fool! I give to accredited organizations and that's it! There is a guy who works the perimiter of The Great American Ballpark here in Cincy and his sign says"need money to feed my family". On the other side it says"just really want a beer"!! And believe it or not, when he showed this side, people more often than not gave him money or bought him a beer!

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48 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: People Asking for Money

I like to think of myself as a pretty generous person. I willing to donate my time, food, etc. One thing I will NOT give these panhandlers is money!!!! If I truly believe you are hungry, I'll bring you back a sandwich! If you need gas, I'll pick you up a gallon!!! But cash? No!

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824 posts
173 reviews
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7. Re: People Asking for Money

As if the time share people weren't bad enough! We haven't been approached in PF or GB, but, like others said, it is everywhere. Our church is just off the interstate and we've had people interrupt morning worship with some sad tale.

Tidewater Va.
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68 posts
35 reviews
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8. Re: People Asking for Money

My brother & I were approached in GB last summer by a woman needing money for a bus ticket. Said her dog ate hers Ha Ha . In our area we have a couple that travels to differant citys and stands on high traffic areas saying need money for kids Have watched her and her boyfriend split up to work differant corners.

Knoxville, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Pigeon Forge
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1,106 posts
66 reviews
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9. Re: People Asking for Money

I live here and have never been approached by someone asking for money.

Fort Belvoir...
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171 posts
188 reviews
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10. Re: People Asking for Money

We go to Pigeon Forge twice a year and have never had this happen.