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Old 15 November 2018, 03:45 PM
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ASL ASL is offline
Join Date: 04 July 2003
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 5,978
Default Homeless man and couple allegedly made up story for GoFundMe get rich quick scheme

Homeless man and couple allegedly made up story for GoFundMe get rich quick scheme

MT. HOLLY, New Jersey -- A story about a homeless man who spent his last $20 for a woman stranded when her car ran out of gas seemed too good to be true. Now a report suggests it was all a get rich quick scam.
To recap, the story began as something like "homeless veteran gives $20 to woman who runs out of gas." Then it went to "GoFundMe setup for homeless hero, raises $400K." Next was "Couple accused of stealing money from homeless hero." And now here we are.

This ongoing story has nearly resulted in a "what pisses me off" post at every stage of its development because it plays on a number of stereotypes, including "all homeless people are veterans," "all veterans who are homeless must be so because of their service," "all veterans are heroes," and of course "all veterans have PTSD, which makes them homeless."

It turns out, surprise, surprise, the guy in this story was a veteran, but he got booted out with a Bad Conduct Discharge (meaning he was court-martialed) for drug use after only a year. He never deployed, not once, so it's not like he was self-medicating as a result of combat trauma. And yet people buy into this crap about "homeless veteran = hero = PTSD = homeless" and dump all kinds of money into it. I was pissed even before I knew it was a scam. I was kind of like "go figure" when it turned out the couple was holding back on the money. Now I'm just kind of like...

Seriously, people, who in the hell, in this day and age, in a major city, with credit cards and all, runs out of gas (like it's a total surprise they were running low as they went out for groceries?) and magically doesn't have a credit card on them? We're not talking some elderly man or woman who hasn't adjusted to a cashless society and the digital age, we're talking a city-dwelling millennial.

I hate scammers, but I almost hate people who fall for feel-good stories that play off stereotypes about veterans more. Almost. I could almost just shrug this off, except all that "feel good" money could have actually gone to veterans who actually deployed, actually suffered combat-related trauma, or at least aren't the sole source of their own problems. Or, heck, since drug addiction is a legit problem, it could have gone to people who are actually trying to get better, like, to fund rehab or something. Or, because it's not all about veterans, it could have gone to any number of legit charities for any number of causes. The intended recipient of these funds was ALWAYS unworthy. Even if he really was a combat vet, and really was homeless due to service-related difficulties, it would have been so much better to have that money go to a charity that would have helped not only him, but others too.

I hate hate HATE feel good stories.

Maybe I should have posted this in rantidote...

Last edited by ASL; 15 November 2018 at 03:51 PM.
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