http://asu.org.sd/index.php/91621398/My neighbor’s recent Facebook status caught my attention immediately:
So, I just confronted a crack head at Kroger. What has gotten into me?
Nothing like a status update to make your head spin.
I couldn’t wait to text her and get the full story, and I was betting it was going to be good. It was so good, in fact, that she insisted on telling me in person, so as to bring the real flavor of what had transpired.
Her story actually began about a month ago, when, as she was minding her own business, she was approached by a lady in K-Mart, who asked her if she had any money after explaining that her father had just had surgery at the VA hospital. She’d run out of gas and needed to get back to Louisville. (Insert fake tears and a growing Pinocchio nose.)
Mind you, this wasn’t the first time my friend had been approached by a scammer. When she and her family were new to the area – and blatant audacity of some people – she fell for it. Ended up giving money to some chick who’d actually waited for my friend to finish her shopping so she could get cash back at the check-out. Sometimes we learn by doing, I suppose. And if you’ve ever been approached by a scammer (or politician for that matter) you know how convincing they can be.
So, back to the recent scam sister. There were tons of holes in her story. She claimed her car was at a gas station nowhere near K-Mart and in the opposite direction of the VA hospital, not to mention the hometown from which she claimed to hail.
This time, my neighbor was ready.
“I’m not giving you money, but I’ll put gas in your car.”
Oddly enough, the scammer wasn’t interested.
Flash forward to last week.
Summer, her husband and kids pulled into Kroger and noticed a lady getting out of a car. My friend couldn’t help but think the lady in question looked familiar as they made their way into the store. But all was quickly forgotten as Summer set off in one direction and her husband in another (tag team shopping, if you will).
As Summer stood in the spice aisle, she heard a woman approach an old man, and a familiar story played out. This time, though, the lady claimed that she’d just had surgery and raised her top to show off her scar.
The man had three dollars cash. So the scammer asked if he had a check. (Not kidding…).
Well, the scammer was apparently walking away when Summer approached the old man.
“She’s a scam artist,” Summer told him.
Which is when the scammer had the nerve to turn around and confront my friend.
“What did you say to him about me?”
As Summer came face to face with the scammer, the only thing she could focus on was the lone, and rotting, tooth in the scammer’s mouth. No doubt about it. It was the same scammer from K-Mart.
“I told him it’s a scam – that you were in K-Mart a month ago, doing the same thing.”
“I need gas for my car!”
“No you don’t! I saw you get out of a car and walk in here!”
The conversation heated up from there, with my friend positioning her mini-cart between herself and the scammer. At some point, Summer’s 15-year-old, 6-foot-tall son suggested they move along.
Which is when the scammer screamed, “You’re just jealous because you don’t know how to scam people!”
Please realize that my friend has a heart of gold and a disdain for confrontation. But sometimes, all bets are off.
“I don’t have to scam people, because I have a JOB!”
It was probably about that time that Summer decided she’d better high-tail it out of the spice aisle, lest the one-toothed worm should turn violent.
She alerted a store manager after turning the corner onto the back aisle, mini-cart on two wheels, and searched for her husband.
“I should probably tell you we may get jumped by a carload of crackheads when we leave,” she’d told him.
I imagine he never batted an eye – he’s a combat Marine veteran. Fighting the enemy is his career. (Wow. They both work for a living, lol.)
The thing is, I imagine scenes such as this may start playing out more often. Perhaps in the most unlikely of places. If you’ve never been approached by a scammer, consider yourself lucky.
Above all, if you’re ever approached by a one-toothed lady with a bad case of acne and trying to scam you in the spice aisle, try not to be jealous.