How do you determine who is being truthful and who is full of shit? Unfortunately, you cannot. You have to go with your gut feeling. I want to ask if they have proof of being a veteran. It is illegal to impersonate a veteran. I also will not give you any money if you are a female and you can obviously tell you have freshly waxed eyebrows and are ready for a touch up on your hair color. I give money to panhandlers on very seldom occasions. Normally if it is a woman I have seen continuously and she looks tired and worn out or if it is someone from a group I recognize collecting donations.
I want to stand on a corner with a sign that reads, “Full time working mother of 1 gifted child, married to a full time working Vet, just proving a point” or something similar that is wittier. My husband will not allow me to do this because he feels that opens me up to retaliation from the real panhandlers.
I personally have a relative who is homeless. The only reason is because he wants to be. He does not try to work nor does he have a desire to do so. I am not sure how he eats but I know he sleeps in large drain pipes or in the woods. It was his choice to live like that, why should I be charitable to someone of that nature?
The bottom line is to be careful when giving to panhandlers.