Have you ever been approached by a stranger who told you they needed money for an emergency? What would you do?
Last week I got an email from the city's police department letting me know about several recent cases of panhandling in the area. Although each incident varied somewhat in the details, the basic story was always the same--a city resident is in a retail parking lot when a young person approaches him/her crying and states that they need money for an emergency, such as an ill child or needing gas to drive home.
The email stated that if you were approached there's an easy way to deal with the situation without giving the person money. All you have to do is say something like, "I can't help you, but I'll call the police for you." If it's a legitimate emergency they'll welcome police assistance and stick around, but if it's a scam they'll will argue that police are not needed and leave.