The question in the title sounds a little absurd at a glance. Back in the days, beggars would attract lots of sympathy as they used to be very genuine in their situations. This is however something that has changed with the passage of time. As needs surpass the available money and resources, many people have taken to begging but also use this as a means to cover up their main activity of selling (often illegal substances).
They pose as helpless homeless beggars. This is not to say that there are no genuine homeless people in great need. Unfortunately there are and the genuine homeless needy beggars still do exist.
However, it has just become very hard to distinguish between the genuine and the fake beggars. The fakers have come to ruin the day for the genuine beggars since people have refrained from giving their money to them.
The Fake Beggars
Most of them just want to have an easy life without working for it. They will choose a specific begging spot or move from place to place depending on where they feel they can make a kill or where they need to if they are peddling drugs.
Even though most large cities will get rid of beggars, they still find a way of getting what they want. Whereas there are very genuine needy street beggars, it has become very hard to tell who is who. This is especially so in cities which have been cited as notorious when it comes to the fake beggars.
Peddlers Disguised as Beggars
One of the problems today is that beggars have become an easy medium for the peddling of illegal substances. The street peddlers disguise as beggars only to wait for clients to come and buy what they have. This is usually a well-planned game with the buyers knowing the sellers quite well. Unless you have a very keen eye, it is hard to notice that anything has changed hands within a few seconds between the two parties. These kinds of beggars reap twice as much. This is because they still touch the hearts of sympathetic passer-bys who give them alms, and they also make a killing with the substances they are selling.
In some cases, they will play the role of a bridge between the illegal substance dealers and the large buyers. Since it can be very inhumane to mishandle beggars, they rarely get suspected of anything. They therefore make the trade very easy between the buyers and sellers. The only way police officers or security officers can manage to tell genuine and fake beggars is through close monitoring. In some cases, the beggars have been followed when going home only to discover that they live very posh lives.
Private Investigation Work
As a PI company we have had some experience monitoring street activity to try and distinguish between genuine beggars and drug peddlers. It can be very difficult and long and laborious work.
The monitoring can be costly and tedious, especially since the beggars/peddlers are scattered in the cities. It also might not pay off when all the time has been spent monitoring one beggar only to find that indeed he or she was a genuine beggar.
By Meini Listanti