Cyber beggingMarch 16, 2010Jon Brooks 1 Comment »
From an article in the Boston Globe last October titled “Panhandlers move from street to Internet.”
Some homeless people now have blogs where they seek donations. There are web forums where the homeless exchange ideas, sites where people can donate money, and bulletin boards where penniless artists and foreclosure victims ask for cash. There’s even a Wikipedia entry for “Internet begging,’’ which is one of more than 3 million websites listed by a Google search of the term…
On Homelessforums.org, thousands of people post questions and comments about everything from how to stay safe on the streets to where to camp for free. There are pleas for money on CyberBeg.com, which compares itself to a lottery, and Begslist.blogspot.com, which describes itself as a “source for free . . . e-panhandling, online donations, debt help, finding financial resources, and a great place to ask for financial help from the kindness of others.’’
Cyberbeg.com, which charges a fee for listing, currently has a notice on its front page that $24,397.60 has been donated to members, followed by a link that exhorts “Start begging now!”
An entry from Cyberbeg.com:
And NOW it is snowing!
I am a single lady, age 63. I work 2 part time jobs and I have taken early retirement in order to make ends meet. I currently earn, including my social security, about $1300.00 a month.
I finished paying off my small frame house about 15 years ago so I feel very fortunate to have a shelter over my head. I cannot afford house insurance if I could get it in the first place. My house is in desperate need of repair and the people who insure don’t care much for its’ present condition…so,no insurance.
I had a man come to give me an estimate for replacing part of my roof that has been leaking very badly. As he stood on the roof telling me what all he was going to have to do, he literally fell through the roof! He quoted me the price of $2,000.00 to fix that portion of the roof. I just cannot come up with that much money right now, and I am afraid the city will come and condemn my house now that there is a hole in the roof.
I have horrible credit and I stopped taking out credit cards several years ago because I just could not make regular payments. I cannot get a loan on the house because of this. The last time I tried for a loan against the house, I was told that I also did not make enough money. My house needs about $15,000.00 worth of repairs.
If anyone out there could find it in their hearts to help me raise the dollars to repair my roof, I’d truly appreciate it.
Here’s one from Begslist:
Hello everyone. I am a married 40 year old woman. I have a truck driving husband who works so hard, from 1 a.m. till late afternoon around 3 or 4 if not later. I have 3 teens, 2 boys and 1 girl. I love to garden, read and play on the computer. We are struggling just like a lot of people. I was diagnosed at age 38 with hyperthyroid, then later that year was told I had colon cancer. I had my first surgery on December 1, 2005. Within 3 months I was told I had to have a total hysterectomy as the cancer had spread, that was done on March 29, 2006. I was not getting better with the thyroid so in December 2006 they did a radioactive iodine treatment which killed my thyroid, I was told I would go into hypothyroid within 6 months…
And on it goes… Without casting aspersions on any particular hard luck story, I think you’d have to have a pretty rose-colored view of human nature — I mean, almost to the point of being a happy wirer of funds to that nice Nigerian bank official who emailed youl — to practice charity this way. Here’s an interesting post that appears on Cyberbegging.com:
I canceled my subscription.
This site attracts no one but scammers.
Remove me from your list.
Remove my ad.
And here’s an interesting discussion on cyberbegging from a debt consolidation company’s web site:
Has anyone ever tried any of the cyber begging websites? I am so desperate for money and I’m probably 2 or 3 weeks away from Chase and B of A filing a lawsuit or judgment against me. So I posted for help on digitalcharity.com – ’cause it’s free. The title is “I Need Help So I Can Get A Job”. What I wrote there doesn’t tell the whole story … I am in really dire straits … I feel like I woke up in the middle of a Twilight Zone episode. I know if I straighten out my financial situation, I’ll get a job. For me it’s the catch-22. Can’t get a decent job until I get my financial situation squared away and can’t get squared away without a decent job! I sold what little possessions I had last summer.
I am in a horrible situation myself. i have no idea if cyber begging works, my guess would be no as I think people have so little money these days that they would not spare to someone who might be making everything up…
Cyber begging has been succesSful for a few who have started websiteS with names like Itsuckstobeme.com and know the secrets and hard work of driving traffic. www.Modestneeds.org is good but not in this economy as there is so much competition for money.
I don’t give to those type of sites. They could easily be lying, not saying you are but you never know who or what is behind it. I just don’t trust it.
I’ve never tried Cyber Begging, even though I’m desperate enough, lol. I just never thought it would work. I’ve seen people’s ads online before like “help! I need money!” and stuff like that, but I’ve never helped anyone else like that online, so I don’t think anyone would help me…I guess I just don’t feel like putting my business out there and then asking people to give me money. I know I’ve made mistakes and I’m trying to learn from them all, but I just need money, not to put my whole story online, lol. I could tell my story and probably make people feel sorry for me, but that’s just not me, so I would probably never try Cyber Begging.
Cyber begging sites don’t work so I wouldn’t waste time trying to get donations. All I ever got was scam offers flooding my inbox every day! It’s a shame people seek out other people that are desperate for money and try to take advantage of them. I was trying to find a way to reach a philanthropist that wanted to help individuals in need. I was willing to provide proof of the debt and even offeedr to have the donator to send the money directly to the creditors that I owe. I know some people may be wary of sending money to people they don’t know. Can’t say I blame them but I offered an alternative to that and still had NO luck! I tried a couple of very wealthy people and again NO luck! I don’t know what else to do. The pressure of trying to keep up with all the bills is killing me!!
There are so many scams, there are legitimate people who could use a spare dollar from someone. I just learned of the “cyber-begging” concept and I just have to try it. My family is so desperate right now, we have a huge tax debt that has been troubling us for years, we pay a huge payment and it does nothing to pay the principle down.
According to Wikipedia, the original cyberbegging site was Save Karyn, who asked people to send her money to help pay off a $20,000 credit card debt. That one was real, apparently, as the site’s operator actually wrote a book about it.