You know that Singapore is a small place when you have ran into the same conwoman at least for the 3rd time in about 10 years. How is it that she still dare to pull the same trick without fearing that people will find her familiar and have her arrested?

She looked like a teenager when she first came up to me to ask for money to buy dinner for her younger siblings. She looks like a young woman in her twenties now, and still as plump as ever. You know, it is a wonder how people supposedly with less money than me can look so much more well-fed than me. Maybe wealth is a matter of perception.

Anyway, back to the story. Someone warned me that she is a fraud while she talked to me for the first time, and I volunteered to buy the food for her and bring it to her siblings. To me, it seemed to be a safer thing to do than to give her the cash and sort of a test of whether she is really in need. Someone who is hungry will likely accept the food while a cheat will reject it and accept only money. She rejected it and fled when I insisted on following her to her siblings. I had told her that I can help refer her to some organisations that specialise in doing social work and helping those in need, but she was not interested.

She approached me again a few years later and the story was similar. She was still as plump as ever, so it was even harder for me to believe that her family is in need of food. In need of money to pay the rent, school fees or buy new clothes I can believe, but food?! And this is the third time. I warned her sternly that I will call the police if I ever see her trying to cheat people of money again. People don’t really change that much. I’m still willing to help those in need. She is still preying on the kindness of others. People like her makes me sick, and more cautious about helping people whose plight I cannot verify.

A couple of years back, there was this man from China who told me he lost his wallet and needed just 10 dollars to travel to the airport to meet his friend who was arriving that night. He promised to repay me once he meets up with his friend. I did not help him. I could have asked for the flight number and checked if there was really such a friend on that flight, but it was too unlikely and too much trouble. The first instinct is to distrust them. Perhaps people do change.


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