Police are hoping people will think twice about giving money to beggars on the side of the road after catching a woman they say was carrying an expensive handbag and iPhone “attempting to scam people.”
Police in New Jersey US said they approached a woman walking in and out of traffic on a busy street with a sign that read, “I have 1 baby please in the name of God help me to buy baby stuff and diapers.”
The sign also featured a photo of a young child. According to the post The Township of Union NJ Police Department shared on Facebook, the woman claimed to be from Romania and living in the New York suburb of Queens.
However, officers were dubious about the woman’s claims of needing money after they noticed she was holding a handbag estimated to be worth AU$700 and a new iPhone X, valued at AU$1200.
The Street Crimes Unit officers concluded she “did not appear to be in critical need of cash,” and warned the public to be dubious of beggars who may be trying to scam others.
After police questioned the woman further, she admitted that she, and several other women, were “dropped off” to panhandle throughout New Jersey.
She was fined for impeding the flow of traffic and received a court summons for soliciting without a permit.
“It is nice to be charitable, but it’s not a good idea to donate to someone on the side of the road with a sign,” the Union New Jersey Police Department wrote.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.