I just witnessed what I have always feared, panhandlers scamming you and me for of money.

As I approached the intersection of Ambassador Caffery and Bertrand Dr. in Lafayette I saw a young man, in his 20s, holding a sign up asking for money. The kid was dressed nice and didn't appear to be down on his luck.

I drove away thinking, what if he is down and out and just needs something to boost him. I felt bad for assuming he didn't need the funds.

Well, as I entered a drive-thru location about a block from the busy Lafayette intersection, I saw the same young man get out of a silver car and hand his sign over to another man, who was waiting behind a gas station.

Once he handed the older man the sign, he got into a car with four other men in it and drove away. My assumption was correct. This young man did NOT need the money, he was scamming.

I was so fired up while witnessing this. I couldn't help but think of those who are asking for money that DO NEED help. Sure, this young man and his "team" may be stealing from those who give them money, but ultimately they are stealing from those who legitimately the assistance.

I'm sorry to say, but after witnessing this I just can't offer funds to those asking on the streets. I will never tell you what to do with your money, but I would proceed with caution. There are so many churches, shelters and other nonprofit organizations that could use our donations.

I want to note here that a number of people have told me on social media that they too have seen this operation in full effect. Many have reported that they have seen the rotation of individuals at busy intersections in Lafayette.

It's sad to see healthy people, who aren't down on their luck, take advantage of our generosity in Lafayette.

Sadly, this isn't the first story we cover like this. Remember the panhandler from New Orleans on her iPhone? Click HERE for the photo.


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