Viral Facebook post warns of man scamming money across Wisconsin

A Facebook post, shared by thousands, is warning locals about a man who is asking people for money at gas stations and in parking lots around the state.

“As I was pumping gas I realized that I recognized the guy asking for a hand out. About a month and a half ago, he pulled into the parking lot where I work and had a story about how he forgot his wallet in La Crosse and won’t have enough gas to get home in Cottage Grove,” the post said.

People commenting on the post all share a common experience of seeing this man with the same story on different occasions.

Phil Gooding commented that he had been approached by this man multiple times at different gas stations.

“He came up and gave me this sob story of him forgetting his wallet in La Crosse and he had no money and he had no way to get up there to get the wallet and I’m like something doesn’t add up here,” Gooding said.

Gooding said he told the man he couldn’t help him because he didn’t have any cash on him. Months later, Gooding recalls seeing the man at a different gas station in Windsor.

“He gave me the same exact story,” Gooding said. “Then I realized the license plate on it, which matched the license plate in the post.”

Another Facebook user commented, saying she and her husband had seen this man outside Woodman’s in Sun Prairie.

“We thought it was odd that he had approached both of us like that, but now I see that this man seems to be making a career out of scamming the Madison area,” Amy Kennedy said in a Facebook direct message.

Gas stations mentioned in the comments, including Kwik Trip and Speedway, said they were unaware of this scam. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is was unaware of any reports of this scam.

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin said it is important to be cautious and verify where the money will be going before making any donations.

“Typically, if you are approached in a parking lot, chances are it is not a legitimate cause, but you always have to think with your head before you give, before your heart,” Tiffany Schultz, BBB Southwest Wisconsin regional director, said.

Schultz said scams can be reported to the BBB Scam Tracker.

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