Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Let's not encourage scammers

Julie Reeder


Panhandlers from outside our area like we’ve seen the last couple weeks hurt those in our community who have legitimate needs. Usually when a local family and friends do a carwash, rummage sale, bake sale or just ask for donations, there is some awareness of the tragedy and we support them.

For instance when Mayra Mejia was murdered, or when the young man was run down in north Fallbrook, we were able to document the tragedy and help legitimize the fundraising so people could help and know that their donations were going to a good cause.

That’s one of the reasons we cover our nonprofits to the degree that we do. When you sign up as a volunteer, or write a check, you want to know that the organization is a legitimate one.

We document these people who show up the best we can. That’s why we had file photos from a few months ago and from last year. These scammers who come in from out of town quarterly and have made a living out of lying and playing on people’s emotions do not deserve our support. Their children are made to help at the detriment of their own education and we shouldn’t support that lifestyle.

I know that Gypsies have faced persecution. They were one of the groups who were persecuted and killed in WWII. They also have a rich history of music and the arts, and that deserves support, but lying and cheating people out of their money isn’t worthy of support. When I visited Greece, I was amazed at the large camps of hundreds that would take over an area and then panhandle in the street. We don’t want to encourage that lifestyle.

The last story we did on the people who stand in front of the Dollar Tree in white clothes and hats and are tied to a church up in LA County had their attorneys threaten us, but there was nothing untrue in what we reported so they didn’t pursue it. One of their main duties as a parishioner at their “church” was to go from town to town and collect money.

I had a homeless foster son for a short while in Fallbrook and Temecula and he said he much preferred to be in Fallbrook because people were nicer here. I love that, but I think this is going to get worse and if we stop supporting the scammers, they will go to another town with nice people.


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