Yungerman Scammed Out of Hundreds of Dollars

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streimel-chassidimThe Israeli news site Bechadrei Chareidim reports on a chareidi Yid who was scammed out of a large sum of money after falsely placing his trust in a frum-looking person in Yerushalayim on Purim.

A yungerman who often collects money to cover his costs met a fellow dressed like a regular chareidi Yid, with a shtreimel atop his head. The shtreimel-clad fellow spoke a perfect English, and realizing that he must come from the United States, the avreich related his dire financial matzav and asked if the gentleman could help him with some tzedakah.

The shtreimel-clad man told the avreich that he has $1600 for the purpose of tzedakah that he brought with him from America. However, he said, he just landed and unfortunately has no cash of his own for expenses and needs to borrow money. After some back and forth, the fellow says that he is looking to borrow $800. In fact, he asked the avreich if he could borrow that sum from him and said that he would return it shortly – with a donation of $1,600 in tzedakah for the avreich.

Why the avreich believed the man is not clear, but he apparently felt comfortable enough giving money to this well-dressed, impressive, frum-looking fellow, especially since he’d be getting a $1,600 donation.

The Bechadrei report states that the avreich did not obtain the fellow’s phone number for some reason, but had given the fellow his number to call when he would be ready to meet.

In the end, to make a long story short, the avreich has not heard from the fellow and has realized that was scammed by a well-dressed looking guy who played on the sympathies of a caring Jew. He is looking for other well-meaning Yidden who may have been conned by the same fellow.

Clearly, the lesson learned is to be wary of anyone, no matter what they look like or are wearing.

Being naïve is not a mitzvah.

{Yair Israel}


  1. Maybe he was genuine at the time and something happened out of his control that prevented him from getting in touch..??

  2. The picture suggests that this man is the scammer. If this is not the case, then matzav should remove the picture.

  3. The gemara describes a certain amora who was so holy that people would lend him money without witnesses. It also says lending someone money without witnesses is lifnei iver. The avreich did an aveirah, and got his punishment in olam hazeh.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about his loss. HaMokom yemalai chesrono.

    About scams, as its three weeks before Pesach- there the Coney Island ones. I know several people who ended up losing hundreds of dollars in their “double-or-nothing” for a huge teddy bear. All you need is an easy shot, which they helped you get 8 out of ten.. and all you need is two easy shots. NEVER do it. No one wins, unless they want you to for advertisment purposes. And people lose hundreds of dollars..

    Chag Someach

  5. For someone living of Tzedakah how did he have $800 readily available in cash? Maybe he doesnt need Tzedakah and Hashem gave him a taste of his own medecine.

  6. About those Coney Island scams. I played one for a dollar and was then pressured to go for a second for 2 dollars to get my money back and win a huge teddy bear. I stopped and watched the next guy. I noticed that when they want you to win to gain confidence (the first 3 shots) they place the golf tee on level table when they want you to lose they push it into an indentation that is the size of the head of the tee– impossible to knock it down it is a cheat. I leter noticed some poor heimishe lady lose big buck$ to these scammers. Rule of thumb… if it sounds to good to be true… walk away!!! it is!!!

  7. Give the guy the benefit of the doubt! If a guy only has $800 to his name or even $5000 (but that is needed to go towards his monthly expenses of $7000) the guy needs Tzedaka. You are no “maven.” You should never have to come on to others but have a heart. There are so many aniyim its terrible.

    Now with regards to the guy who lost the $800 the article is a bit fuzzy about what really happened. Either way I think he learned a valuable life lesson. I got scammed in business out of $2000-$3000 (by a non Jew) that I couldn’t afford to lose at the time and it caused me a lot of tzaar. However looking back, I learned a lot more from that experience than what I learned in business courses!

  8. The Toirah absolutely forbids interest, even if for a “good cause” – this “avreich” should have paid more attention while learning eizu neshech instead of agreeing to be oiver the la’av deoraisah of paying interest


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