Roadside panhandlers are becoming a common sight in many cities, and they can be very persuasive. However, it is important to remember not all of these individuals are truly in need. Many of them are scammers who use false stories and fictitious signs to prey on the generosity of kind-hearted people. If you see someone standing along the road asking for money, we encourage you to err on the side of caution and keep your money.
This very thing occurred in Marshalltown on Sunday, June 4. People stood roadside with buckets and wearing traffic vests, at Center & Anson, purporting to be raising funds for a charitable cause. When pressed about their story, the story quickly fell apart. Similar scams have reportedly occurred in other areas of the country.
It is unfortunate that we must worry about these things but fraudsters are always looking for an angle to steal your hard-earned money. There are many worthy charitable causes in Marshalltown. If you want to donate to a cause to help the underserved, consider funding a local charitable organization already serving these populations locally.
AUTHORITY: Michael W. Tupper, Chief of Police (email@example.com or 641.754.5771)