This story has received widespread coverage but I felt that I had to comment on it because these kinds of things infuriate me. Last year, I read the heartwarming story of a homeless man who gave his last $20 to a woman whose car had run out of gas. The woman and her boyfriend posted this story online and started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the homeless man and received over $400,000.
It now turns out that the whole story was a scam and that the couple and the homeless man conspired to concoct the entire scheme. The scam was only exposed when the homeless man complained that the couple had spent nearly all the money on themselves living the high life and gave him very little, providing support for the old saying that there is no honor among thieves.
Why this story angers me is that such behavior takes advantage of the good nature of people. People are often touched by such stories and want to help out and reward those whom they see as deserving of assistance. A homeless person who is willing to help someone else is seen as worthy of being helped.
But this kind of swindle, even if it is sometimes just a prank, breeds cynicism and will result in people being much less willing to assist the next worthy cause, even if that happens to be genuine, and that is what makes it so reprehensible.