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Were we conned outside Sarria

Discussion in 'Camino Crime Watch' started by Peter Cannon, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    That is a very different sitation and one that gets me very angry. If there is ine thing that gets drilled into anyone working in fundraising for charities, as I do, it's ethics. Oh the humber of times I had to inform my own board of trustees that "no" because it's not ethical, not in line with proper accounting guidelines for charities, what would people say if this made it to the papers, etc. So having people use a charity's name to steal gets my blood boiling.

    One day I walked past a man asking for money outside a hospital for some unknown, though registered, charity. He was asking for "money for the sick children". As I ignipored me he said soemthing along the lines of "you rich heatless people who won't help,sick children". Ohhhh.... I turned around and I swear he was hoping he had never been born.

    Gave him a loud talk about the damage he was causing all and any well intented charity by his disrespectful behaviour, that he had no right to juge, far less insult, those who did not drop money in his jar, that he had no idea of people's financial situation nor charitable contributions. I asked him for his id tying him to his employer or charity he was volunteering for. He wouldn't show it to be, but as he was wearing a best with the logo .... I gave them a call and told them what he was up to.

    I bet you that when he went back into the charity that was the second time that day he wished he had not been born.
     
  2. Ralph Keith Redhead

    Ralph Keith Redhead Member

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    Hi Peter - In Santiago last June, outside the Cathedral, I saw two such young women being escorted to the local police station... and the next day the same women were back doing the same. I also witnessed a local middle-aged guy very loudly complainning to two 'deaf and dumb' charity collectors - they gave as good as he was giving them, and I don't think they'd experienced a sudden, miraculous cure for their 'ailment'. From what I saw, the 'charity' collectors are unstoppable, tenascious and no matter what locals or police say or do, they will always be a special part of our Camino ;-) I can only smile at them and wish them a 'good day', when I see them - sometimes they smile back :)
     
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  3. volleyjanice

    volleyjanice Member

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    When we arrived at the Cathedral in Santiago in 2015, I was videotaping as we walked through the archway into the square. Grandiose notions of capturing the big moment of our arrival after all of our hard work, blah blah blah... I had no sooner stepped into the light when I was accosted by a young woman who was thrusting her little piece of note paper at me rather aggressively. This was immediately followed up by me seeing the clown train (as we referred to the tourist "train" that takes people throught the city.) Forever immortalized by the audio is my rather bad language expressing my frustration that this "moment" was not going according to plan. After some time laying on our backs in the square, where various tour groups tromped in front of us, our sense of humour returned as well as some perspective. Santiago de Compostela doesn't belong to us, every city has people who beg, and our experience is no more important than anyone elses. Quite frankly our own private scripting of what was going on around us made for a very humorous and enjoyable experience. Everyone is there for different reasons and has a different perspective. For me, I now look at the "end" point of the Camino as something of a gong show and a great illustration of human behaviour at it's best and worst. Thankfully we were able to walk on to Finisterre and Muxia. Muxia provided the ending we were looking for.
     
  4. MoniRose

    MoniRose Active Member

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    My tax accountant said, "Decide each year to whom you are going to donate and how much, then write your checks. This way you will have documentation for taxes and can walk right past all the panhandlers, etc."
    I do this and have no guilt. When the girl at the drugstore asks,"Would you like to donate a dollar to help save a child from cancer?" I can say , "No", knowing I already have. I just hate it when they phrase it that way as an attempt to guilt me!!
     
  5. Sarah Olson

    Sarah Olson Member

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    I spent a few days extra in Santiago, staying near the Cathedral, so I saw many of the same beggars on consecutive days, including one young woman. They may do this for a living, but I can't believe that it is their life goal to be on their knees on the cobblestones in the rain, holding out a paper cup. It may bring them money, but joy? Doubt it. We are so much more lucky to have options and be able to live joyfully. I will not begrudge them a couple of euros to help pay the bills. When in doubt, err on the side of kindness. <3
     
  6. MichelleElynHogan

    MichelleElynHogan Active Member

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    If you are of a mind to feel out the scam, ask for an address for the school. Pull out your cell and start checking google maps or something. If they tell you it is not built yet, simply say, "How is that possible? I made donations to this school 20 years ago. It has to be built by now."
     
  7. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    The Pilgrimage is never a bogus cause.
     
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  8. MinaKamina

    MinaKamina Active Member

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    Perhaps it would be better to quote the full post and see if your answer still applies.
     
  9. Colette Zaharie

    Colette Zaharie Happy Pilgrim

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    This scam is even done in the town I live in in Slovakia.
     
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  10. joanneking

    joanneking Member Donating Member

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    We see them in Paris all the time, especially at tourist attractions, e.g. the Eiffel Tower. Once we saw a group of the young girls all gathered around an older woman who was yelling at them. They then dispersed into the crowds to resume their "work." So, yes, it is doubtful they are volunteers. Parisians are well-acquainted with these rings. We were always advised to stay well away.
     
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  11. Kieran Kenneally

    Kieran Kenneally Inspired

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    Thank you quotes out of context can mean anything it says in the scriptures 'there is no God' but don't forget the first part 'the fool says in his heart there is no God'
     
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  12. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    Please. Do not think I haven't read the whole thing and understood it.

    I seem to be subjected to a rather unpleasant online moral purity campaign recently, here and there.

    I can only conclude that telling people what you think is considered to be wrong.

    Crikey, let me get back onto the Camino and outside of everyone's precious safety zones !!
     
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  13. Richard A Stead

    Richard A Stead Member

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    Happened to us last year. You were conned.
     
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  14. SteveSherry

    SteveSherry New Member

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  15. SteveSherry

    SteveSherry New Member

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    My wife was conned in 2014 in Paris. Later that day we saw them being arrested a little further up the Seine River. Call it what it is, stealing. The clipboard is a dead giveaway. It was the collecting for the deaf con. They are very good at it and probably make good money.
     
  16. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    Are you sure they were "arrested"? Taken away to jail in handcuffs?
     
  17. SteveSherry

    SteveSherry New Member

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    No handcuffs but certainly put in the back of a van and removed from the area. Jail? Probably not, but that's not a prerequisite for being arrested. I'm always happy to give beggars money or food and really don't care what it's spent on but being conned is another thing. Maybe it's brought on by desperation in this world we now find ourselves in. I love the Camino because I get to step outside the ' real' world and enjoy nature and the company of wonderful people. It recharges me for the future.
     
  18. Rhysmike

    Rhysmike New Member

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    Yes, we've seen them near O'Cebreiro too
     
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  19. nycwalking

    nycwalking Veteran Member

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    In 2001, camino number one, I used the Lozano guidebook freely given to Pilgrims by Spain's Office of Tourism in NYC. Lozano cites Aymeric Picaud, the French monk who wrote Liber Peregrinationis circa 1130. Picaud mentions the town of St Jean probably S6JPP as the town which charges pilgrims an extortionate tax by "evil tax collectors". Apparently, pilgrims were waylaid with, clubs and sticks, by officials forcing pilgrims to pay unjust tributes.
    And, Montes de Oca, was one of the most feared stretches due to terrain and, "blood thirsty bandits who would rob and murder passing pilgrims". Give us scheming innocous beggars any day. At least we get past them without a bang on the noggin and our possessions and lives intact.
    Lastly, on the stretch from Puente de la Reina to Estella, Picaud says once you cross the river Salado: "Take care not to drink the water here, neither yourself nor your horse, for it is a deadly river! On the way to Santiago we cane across two Navarrese sitting by the bank, sharpening the knives they used to flay pilgrims' horses which had drunk the water and died. We asked them if the water was fit to drink, and they lyingly replied that it was, whereupon we gave it to our horses to drink. Two of them dropped dead at once and the Navarrese flayed them there and them".
    Buen camino.

     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
  20. JabbaPapa

    JabbaPapa "True Pilgrim"

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    Puente La Reina was another place for this sort of thing if I remember correctly, the bridge was I think built partly as an effort to put a stop to it.
     
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  21. Kathar1na

    Kathar1na Member

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    It's a century old Camino scam :). I purchased "The Miracles of Saint James" by Coffey, Davidson and Dunn a few days ago. It's a translation from the Latin into English of Book II of the Codex Calixtinus (22 miracles associated with St. James) and of chapter 17 of Book I (Veneranda dies sermon). Quote (from around the year 1150, roughly):

    I am not sure what I should say about certain hypocrites who, although they are healthy, feign the appearance of sickness, sitting along the route of Saint James or some other saint, and show themselves to the passers-by. For some, out of cupidity, show the passers-by their legs and arms, dipped in rabbit blood or ashes, whipped with a quivering hide, in a most miserable appearance, so that they might extort alms from them. Some stain their lips or cheeks with dark coloring; some who have Jerusalem-type palms and capes, paint their faces and hands with exfoliated bulbs, which the French call lotuesses, so that they might have a sickly appearance. Similarly, others pretend that they are mute or deaf, although they are not.
    [More gory descriptions of various scams]. They are so filled with pride that they do not want to accept bread or modest alms, but do take coins or cloth or wax.

    And here's some of the advice given, in part similar to what is often said here but there's more: Therefore, while you are going to the threshold of Blessed James or whatever saint, do not judge those to whom you should give alms, but correct them diligently when you return. For, as Blessed James says: "Whoever shall have caused a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, will save his soul from death, and will cover up a multitude of his own sins."

    So, everyone walking back from Santiago, there's work waiting for you in Sarria :cool:.
     
  22. Kieran Kenneally

    Kieran Kenneally Inspired

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    I think we all have different views no offence meant would be sooooooooo boring if we all thought the same way:p
     
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  23. rappahannock_rev

    rappahannock_rev Anglican Catholic Priest Donating Member

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    I met those two somewhere near Palas in 2012...

    Offered them a couple of euros 'cause I'm a priest and I was wearing my collar and I somehow thought it would look bad if I didn't. But I knew they were bogus. And they knew that I knew. I half expected them to decline the offer. They didn't. So I gave them a blessing, too, gratis. :)

    I sorta hoped that they'd be moved by that encounter to rethink what they were doing, moved to a change of heart and to a new and better life.... But obviously not.
     
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  24. Kanga

    Kanga Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    @rappahannock_rev sadly I think that your generosity only reinforced their business model....

    It might be good for members to be aware of Article 41 of the Spanish Constitution which states "that the public authorities shall maintain a public social security system for all citizens, guaranteeing sufficient support and social benefits in situations of need, especially in the event of unemployment, and that the support and additional benefits shall be free".

    My "quick and dirty" search of the internet tells me that for all citizens that means universal health care and a means tested social assistance scheme and old age pension scheme - small but hopefully no-one starves. There is also a contributory unemployment and pension social security scheme for those who have worked and made payments, which is very heavily subsidised by the State.

    Please do not follow up with a political discussion. You can do further research off-forum if you are interested.
     
  25. Jean Abreu

    Jean Abreu New Member

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    My son and I walked the Camino in April/May and we ran into this very thing. They were collecting for the deaf I believe - and one gal did appear to speak with the voice of a deaf person. Both my son and I coughed up a few euros and as I walked on - - - - I wondered what had just happened. Now I know!!! :)
     
  26. Sandra Smith

    Sandra Smith New Member

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    Sadly- I can assure you that this is a con. I'm a professional sign language interpreter- have been for 29 years! Before I walked the Francés in 2014, I heard about this going on. I was so hoping to run into them to see what was happening.

    Happily, I did have them approach me on the way. As I suspected, they freaked out when I starting signing with them! I guarantee they are NOT Deaf. Deaf culture worldwide includes an automatic "chat" when someone else approaches signing. These girls were petrified and hurried off. I yelled back to people behind me that it was a scam. The girls got nothing from a long line of us.

    Spread the word. It's a big, long-standing scam! I guarantee it.
     
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  27. Kieran Kenneally

    Kieran Kenneally Inspired

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    The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak
     
  28. WalkingJane

    WalkingJane New Member

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    Is there a charity in Spain for the deaf??
     
  29. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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  30. Zak mellor

    Zak mellor New Member

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    5 Caminos another this year
    Yes I saw these girls, I was told It's a con
    But as you say no harm done
    10e. 1 e would have done the trick
    Buen Camino
     

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