Tulsa Police Remind People To Beware Of Panhandlers

Police say 5 people were on 21st and Garnett asking people for money, with a sign saying it was to pay for a boy's funeral who had died in a car accident. Police say none of that was true.

Tuesday, November 28th 2023, 10:39 pm



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Tulsa Police remind people to beware of people on the side of the road asking for money because not all of them are actually in need.

They say 5 people were on 21st and Garnett asking people for money, with a sign saying it was to pay for a boy's funeral who had died in a car accident. Police say none of that was true.

Tulsa Police gave the group a ticket for asking for money without a vest. That's all they could do because people are allowed to panhandle in Tulsa.

Police say the 5 people claiming to raise money for a boy's funeral are from Romania and came from Connecticut. 

People say they want to help, but they don't want to get scammed.

"In my mind, I want to do the right thing and, you know, give that person what they need, but it's too much to think about cause you don't know if it's a real thing or not, so it makes you not want to do it, you know?" said Demetrius Flock.

"I ain't donating nothing because I already know it's a scam, but you know this block down 21st is a different type of people holding signs needing help, so you never know who's telling the truth," Nikita Webb said.

Webb says people who are truly in need make her feel sympathetic.

"You can tell that these people are really homeless, and they are hungry, and they're out there rain, sleet, and snow," she said. "These people are making up different things to get money. They stay down going from 41st to 21st, so it's a routine, that's their job."

Tulsa Police understand people want to be generous, but they say people should know where their money is going because scams like the fake funeral are very common.

"Situations like this of course people are going to donate," Danny Bean, TPD Officer said. "We just try to tell them this kind of stuff happens more than you would think, especially people in their vests. They're in intersections, and a lot of times, it's gonna be not the truth."

Homeless advocates say the best way for people to help the homeless is to give to trusted agencies that help those in need.

Tulsa Police say scammers will use children and pets to try to get more donations. 

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