Cyber Begging

I’m not a big fan of cyber begging for a couple of reasons: 1) There is rarely any way to tell if the story being told to get money from you is true or not and 2) It doesn’t address the problem of why the person needs the money in the first place (If you’re in debt and someone donates you money to get out of debt, if you don’t address the reasons you were in debt in the first place, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself with the same debt problem again). It also doesn’t help that Karyn is the poster girl for this entire cyber begging phenomenon when she was able to convince people to pay off the credit card debt she racked up.

While I wouldn’t normally bring this subject up, the main forum got spammed from a cyber beggar today asking for people to donate to help her family. While I don’t see anything wrong in receiving charity when a person is in need, I don’t think that spamming forums is the way to go about it. I’m also not real happy with a website called Digital Charity (where the spammer came from) that is encouraging their members to spam their cyber begging. From their FAQ Section:

How can I get people to donate money to me?

Promote the donation page that we create for you in as many places as possible, such as blogs, search engines, forums, and other websites…

When directions like this are given, the person that came may not even even known what they were doing was not appropriate etiquette and when they do, it certainly doesn’t help those who are legitimately looking for donations for a cause.

The other thing about cyber begging is that, on a personal level, I would be willing to bet that doesn’t work. Like with many things on the Internet, it’s a first to do type situation that garners all the attention and anyone who follows makes little to nothing. That means all the time these people take to create a page (not much) and then go around promoting it (this can take quite a bit of time) is basically wasted – and if someone is in desperate need of money, wasting time is something that they probably shouldn’t be doing.

Maybe I’ve become to cynical with all the get rich quick schemes that pass through the forums on a daily basis so that I’ve come to the point where I don’t trust anything that I can’t independently verify no matter how sad the story seems to be…

Note: After getting the spam, I wrote an email to Digital Charity asking them to make their FAQs reflect that spamming isn’t appreciated by most forums. To their credit, they did change the wording to explain that this was not acceptable.

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32 Responses to Cyber Begging

  1. Victor says:

    Yes, I agree with you where there are far too many get rich quick scheme that goes around the internet until the extend that I don’t know which one can be trust.

  2. OneDollarDream says:

    Thanx for the tips. I’m not trying to get out of debt, just build a little cushion.

  3. Michael says:

    When I put together my web page last May I had never even heard of cyber begging or anything like that. I just thought I would write about my wonderful wife and put together a wish that I truly never thought would happen. Still it was fun to put everything together so that alone made it worth it. So if I fit in the category I am sorry, still I love my wife and family so I felt I needed to do this.

  4. Kari says:

    I am so glad that you wrote about Cyber Begging. I am an honest person who needs a little help and when the cbyerbegging site requested $15 all I could think is that the only ones getting money are the ones hosting these websites. So, I searched for begging fraud and found your website and have decided not to post a request for help because of what you have said here. I paid $10 today to keep my utilities from being shut off, $10 that I don’t have because my mortgage payment will now overdraw my account. I was feeling so overwhelmed that I was considering posting a request for money, but deep inside me I kept thinking this is just a scam too. I don’t have alot of debt. I am 37 and obtained my first credit card last year so I would always be able to put gas in my tank. I have a $1300 limit on my card so it never gets too out of control. I’ve always had a car that has been purchased in full & I refinanced my house last year to get rid of my school loans from 1991. My house is the only debt I have. I consider myself responsible in the respect that if I don’t have the cash for something, I really don’t need it that bad. I also feel that I have been responsible by not having a slew of illegitimate children, but if I had, then there are plenty of government organizations that would leap to help me out. My mortgage is only $1100 a month but it eats more than one paycheck. It’s the heat, electricity & trash that I struggle to pay with my remaining $500 for the month while trying to balance out food and personal necessities. I have advertised for a roommate to help with the expenses, however I am also involved in Boston Terrier rescue with an occasional foster dog, and that tends to turn people away. I was feeling so desperate and overwhelmed today and I want to thank you for keeping me from making a mistake while in a frame of mind I probably shouldn’t be making financial decision in anyway. Thank you.

  5. Tammy says:

    I agree, it is hard to tell if people are being truthful on the internet. I also agree that if you rely on people to bail you out of debt, you can easily slip back into the credit card trap. But there are those who are responsible with their money, yet they still wind up in debt because of circumstances they can’t control.

    I created my site when I realized that I could put my entire salary toward my student loans for the next 5 years and still be in debt. I am a hard-worker, I don’t want to be rich (well…I do, but not at the expense of others), and I am responsible with my money. But I’m still in debt. If I tell my story, I’m in debt. And if I don’t tell my story, I’m still in debt. BUT, by telling my story, I can encourage others and add my statement to the never-ending debate about the rising costs of higher education. I also hope that those in school now will see the REAL costs of borrowing and find other alternatives to fund their education where possible.

  6. jennifer says:

    I have also just submitted my story through here @ digital charity. Please Help.

    Sincerely, Jen

  7. Cindy says:

    I was interested in your article on cyberbegging. Having never heard the word and not knowing the phenomenon existed, I put up a website recently to try to raise money to help pay the vet bills for an injured dog I rescued. I did it independently on a free website from Yahoo. I got a $5 donation from a friend who already knew my plight and a gift certificate for a pet store, which was actually very welcome. It was not a successful fundraising venture; on the other hand, I’ve met other animal lovers, other starving students, animal rescue workers, etc., all of whom had advice and moral support. I was referred to several charities who offer grants to help with emergency vet care. It’s too late for me to qualify for these programs, but I want to add links to my site in hopes of helping other animal lovers who find themselves in similar situations. So it has been worthwhile, even though it has not raised money. And best of all, even though I had to take a loan for the vet bills, I’ve been successful in saving the dog.

  8. The really sad thing about cyber begging is that it truly does a lot of harm for legitimate fundraisers seeking help with funding.

    It especially hits hard those raising funds for wildlife.

    It seems that many people think that donating to people about to become homeless is the more important issue.

    In this sense I agree with them, in fact our parent organization The First Nations Outreach Project deals with those issues as well.

    The folks that FNORP helps don’t have the money to get online. Thye barely have money for food and are almost always known in hte community.
    Helping them is indeed one of our top priorities.

    Unfortunately, small NGO’s can not afford the advertising needed to bring a large enough traffic flow to their sites to make the difference.

    Sites like cybegging sites cause potential donars to lose confidence and trust of everyone.

    It is probably not going to get much better in the future either.

    With Respect,
    Jim Windwalker
    Director Wolf Gardens Wildlife Center

  9. Becky says:

    I too am a real person in need of help. I have been looking for help for a long time. I am posted on alot of the “free”cyber begging sites. I am a real person and I have real problems. I also feel that being desperate that there is not very many places to turn. My children and I need that help not the scams. Those sites are not for scams they do happen but in general no supposed to. If you have to pay to beg for money there is a problem. If you have to reveal alot of personal information do not do it. There are real people that will help it is just finding the people that want to help you. I am still looking.

  10. bobbie says:

    I cannot get any help… All the help i seemed to get is scams. People trying to scam me. I am a mother of six children, I am very much struggling. I have posted in many places. I hope some how someone will help me out.

  11. benny says:

    cyber begging is not the answer. It’s a stop gap at best and it has been done so many times that it is impossible to know who is telling the truth and who is not. Instead of spending so much time trying to get money by begging, you’d be better off figuring out a sustainable budget since it is not likely that you will see any money from cyber begging. That may sound harsh, but the truth is the truth.

  12. Cindy says:

    I came across this blog and thought I should respond to it. I agree with you, there are a lot of people out there who are willing to scam anyone out of money. I know, I am the victim of a recent scam artist. So, in a desperate cry for help, I resorted to posting an ad on a digital charities. My soul is crushed but I do not have a choice. I am an overseas student who have been living in France for two years after being given a French Government Grant of 800 euros per month. Against all odds (seeing that the average monthly salary in France is around 2500 euros) I managed to live on this staipend. I was attracted to an ad to do processing work from home in an effort to further sustain my studies. And I was scammed out of some money. I am due to complete my studies and to go back to my home country mid-November 2007. The donations that I am after is simply so that I can forward my books, suitcases, printer and such ahead. I for one who has always been careful about money never thought I would be in this situation which required me to resort to ‘begging’ but unfortunately I am.

  13. Dan says:

    An act of compassion, if only spare change,is an act of kindness that says, you are not forgotten.

  14. Dan says:

    Thanks for your site.

  15. sara says:

    Cyber begging may be a scheme like most things are on the internet, but if u think about it its sorta like the lotto. You may actually be helped if ur in need.Some people really don’t have a support system, health is a good example. What if u or someone in ur family became ill and couldn’t work? The federal goverment will only help little, nothing close to what u have to have to make it in this world. I know. From what I can tell most of the donators aren’t giving their last dollar away, they are mostly well established people making more money than u or I will ever see. When they donate their money they agree that it would be better to help “people” out rather than uncle sam. Yes, charity is a tax right off.

  16. ben says:

    “When they donate their money they agree that it would be better to help “people

  17. Cathy says:

    I have read these comments and I have to agree that there are legitimate folks out there that are actually in need of a little bit of help. I have read some sincere posts, I would never give a dime to someone who only wants to enhance her looks, however I might consider giving to someone who has fallen on hard times and may acutlaly be at the end of his or limits. Budgets are great but with the rising costs of everything from energy to gasoline to the food you put on your table there may be that suffering lower middle class who are not accustomed to asking for anything. I am lucky I have a job,and have worked since my early teens. I have a debt that Ihave created and will pay. But there are those souls whose husband may have left or they have fallen on temporary hard times. Things happen in this world and we have to be aware of it.

  18. Nyambura says:

    There are times that a person is really genuine. I am one such person seriously interested in putting up personal development programs in Kenya, Nairobi and all I need is 1000$. To trash that dream hurts. Can anyone help?
    All the details are on my website.

  19. Eric says:

    Ugh. We recently (as in 4 days ago) put up a site asking for donations. We made a simple (and stupid) mistake on our tax return 4 years ago and because of this now owe the IRS $44,000 (which grows daily thanks to compounded interest and penalties). We freely admit our mistake, state that we are decent hardworking people who simply screwed up. I had no idea that there was a whole world of “cyber-begging” out there and hate the idea that we’re getting lumped in with people looking to get cosmetic surgery. Our situation differs in that we have good jobs with decent incomes but we can’t come up with the lump sum the IRS expects us to pay. Where could we market our problem and would people even be willing to help? Your comments and ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!

  20. N says:

    I noticed that there are two cyber begging sites ask for a set up fee and then a monthly maintenance fee. If many look hard enough they’ll find free sites to legitimately ask for help. It’s a shame that half the posts on cyberbegging sites ask for assanine things like helping a sick pet when keeping a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your mouth comes before a pet. Pets are a luxury not a necessity. I would rather ask for help with school expenses and bills than a pet because you can always own a pet, but it’s either you starve and end up on the street.

    I lost a really good job 4 years ago after they suddenly didnt need me anymore and I had this job for 8 years. Here I am with debt up to my ears from college and working as a certified nursing assistant which doesnt pay me much and I was working in home health for nearly a month until I wasnt needed anymore.

    What a lot of people don’t know is that even with a college degree the job market is extremely tight. So many are forced to take jobs that don’t pay them much and some people are seriously struggling like myself. At least I ask for money honestly instead of posting ridiculous things like helping a sick goat.

  21. TexasGirl says:

    I know there are those out there who just want an easy pay out. But maybe some of you don’t realize those of us out there, that when we say we have no money, we really have no money. It’s not going towards any types of luxuries. I pay on an apartment, car, electricity, water, phone, gas and food. I haven’t shopped for clothes in about a year. So sorry if I’m trying to get back into school to make something of myself but can’t because either we have parents that make too much money, who by the way don’t want to help, so we can’t get school grants or loans, or we can’t afford to only work part time. I live off of $900 a month. And my luxury is actually being able to pay on my credit card, even if it’s only $10.00. Don’t put down an entire website, you never know. Those website also provide you with ways to get to know the people, most just don’t want to take the time. Enjoy your nice nights out, enjoy the $9.00 you just spent to watch a movie when that could pay for three days of food in my world. With all my obligations to working everyday, I get one Sunday off a month by the way, and paying my bills, I still find time to help my sister and her dance team. Some people have real problems and some people get so low they do what they can! Maybe you should try our side sometime, but I would never want to put my life and the way I have to struggle on somebody else. Yeah, a budget would be great, if I had something to budget with. I get paid once a month and before the month is even up, my paycheck is gone. Usually without being able to go grocery shopping. So maybe somebody should consider being gracious when they realize there are people out there who do only have $4.00 in their bank account left over.

  22. amanda says:

    hi! i read your blog because i posted an ad on a cyber begging site and was researching, worried i might get scammed. i think it sucks when people ruin stuff for others,i think now a days anyone will take advantage of anyone else no matter what the situation is. who would scam for donations, i dont understand that. personally i am a mom of 3 actually in need of help to make a long story short i cant find a job to save my life and my husband doesnt make much, and my abusive junkie for an ex husband wont pay his child support.. scammers suck, but heres my take on it. if i walk out of the grocerie store with a couple dollar bills in change and see someone holding a cardboard sign i usually give them my change.. and ya know what for all i know they go home to a mansion and have half a million in the bank but the way i see it i did my part, if they go spend that money on beer or drugs or they didnt even really need it it doesnt really matter to me because i know in my heart that i made an effort to help someone in need the rest is between the other person and God if you ask me. i just wish people wouldnt scam for donations like that because i think if there were fewer scammers more people in real need would get back on their feet alot faster.. so scammers need to move over and let people with kind hearts actually help those who actually need help!

    thanks for listening!

  23. dom says:

    i am trying to graduate college and i am a year away, ive done my other clases not once having a textbook, please understand i am putting my best foot forward and trying very hard, i know i need to take care of my family and having an education and helping to give them one is the only way i can do that please my two older brother and one younger brother are in iraq sending my mom money to pay all the bills and bye food for us she is a single mom and unemployed , please if somone can understand my pain and my drive i have come so close my school has told me if i dont pay 20000 ASAP they will not put my grades on my transcript and will void them, i cant afford for this to happen if it does i know i will never be able to start over please if anyone out there can understand what i am going through anything will help. thank you for your timet here.

  24. GR says:

    I think there is no harm to ask for money online when you are in need. But I don’t think paying for a page on some site catering to that is a good idea because they probably are the ones making money not you. Instead why not create your own site that also has useful tips that could be helpful to others (as well as yourself) which addresses money/debt issues. This way if someone helps you, they feel they are getting something in return.

  25. DollarPoor says:

    With times being really bad these type of sites are popping up daily. That does lead to the problem of . assuring that the site you are possibly going to donate to is legit. If you’re not sure, see if there is a way to contact the one asking for further info on their plight.

    Now, as far as the name, Cyber Begging is concerned. I much prefer it be called: “Internet Community Financial Assistance.”
    Has a much better ring to it and doesn’t degrade those of us that are in truly in need of asking the Cyber Community.

  26. Linda Rhiner says:

    I hate begging, but I will do whatever I have to do to keep my bills paid. My husband cannot work due to numerous strokes and is paralyzed and unable to speak. I myself am disabled due to back injuries and surgeries that have left me in constant pain and unable to work as well. I do get a small allotment each month, but without my husband’s income, it isnt enough to pay the rent and utilities and buy food. He hasn’t been approved for disability yet, but he has a hearing in June. In the meantime, we just need a little help paying bills. Not permanent help, just a hand up in this tough time. Thanks and God Bless whoever sees this.

  27. mimi kline says:

    The bottom line is i think most ppl hate begging but whats a person to do?? when uve been dealt a bad hand? nothing but try to survive the best u can and do whats right for your family .. your a working class citizen so u dont qualify for the “conventional” way of asking for help.. welfare… foodstamps liheap or other stuff ..”your poor but not poor enough” so u may need help to ask for money to pay bills or just keep your head above water i 4 one believe in helping ppl that help them selves the ones that work but are still sinking .. not the ones who dont ..they get welfare but still manage to have cash for drugs and a good time ..but claim they cant work becuase of some everyday ailment most working class folks suffer though but still manage to get off thier asses to go to work and try….if u are going thru a hard time like the millions of amrican who are struggling help them…not the ones who just want to have everything handed to them …what else is there???

  28. Wendy says:

    Hey, not all cyber beggers or those who attempt it are really at fault for their debt. I am behind in bills really through no fault of my own well save the I panicked and got in worse, payday loan ewwww, had my hours cut back to nothing, kicked butt found a new job, but I had to have new glasses (driving job) in a hurry, a dot physical, new steel toed boots, and a cdl permit the state offered assistance till they found out I wasn’t unemployed, they counted my 3 days a month as still employed. I was before living from pay check to pay check spent my savings on an amazingly cheep house. I am trying cyber begging, hoping it works, I am a divorced single mom, ex stay at home mom so my credit and work history limits my loan options. I don’t qualify for welfare, the da can’t even make my ex keep up on his support, limited social interaction coming from a controlling relationship so no real social contacts to ask. where else to go but the internet. Not going to pay a site to beg on I am broke, if I had the money I would be paying my bills not begging on the net

  29. micheal says:

    yes some people are geting small donations.but also there are “email collecting software programs” that search the internet for your paypal be aware of that.

  30. King Neece says:

    I am a 65 year old Honorably Discharged Vietnam Era Veteran and recent bladder cancer survivor. We have one car between us (my partner is 60 who had to quit her job as a Certified Nursing Assistant due to health issues). We have a 1997 Olds with 209,000+ miles on it that is on its last leg. A running car or help with some money to purchase one would be a real blessing. I am on Social Security and actively looking for work. Thank you for listening.

  31. colleen says:

    There are many people who are truly disabled and can not work and plagued with health issues, who fall through the cracks of a broken system and can not get the help they need, and find their selves homeless one day if they do not get help in time. I may end up being one of those, I agree people should not be begging for money to pay off debts for credit cards and vacations and thing people like me only dream of. If some one is in real need for asistance to prevent them from losing their home or to get food for their family, or needed medical help there is nothing wrong with them asking. You have not because you ask not, The sad thing is the people asking who really don,t have anything are being attacked not only by spammers but by people that are greedy and jealous that they had the guts to ask for what they need instead of fading away into the back ground. Shame on you who thinks its wrong to ask for help but I bet if you find yourself about to become homeless you will be asking for help any where you can find to do so. Until you have lived in someone elses shoes don,t judge them for their actions but yourself for your own. God said to help the poor and the widowed. Don,t judge others for their faults and mistakes when you have a clset full of your own.

  32. Angelique says:

    Hello, I found this site searching for ways to get help paying some bills (mainly rent).
    I can understand how you could become disillusioned from all the scammers on the begging sites but it is unfair to lump everyone together.

    I for one am in need of help because I lost my job in July and have been living off unemployment which is only $820 a month, so yeah you could try to say its my fault that I fell on hard times, even though you don’t know me and have never spoken to me.

    I need help desperately, but when I find nothing but scams or people personally attacking me, all it does is make a real person on need feel more depressed and inferior than that might have already felt.

    And for the record, I wouldn’t, but people do commit suicide or attempt it when stress and desperation become to much.

    So people might want to think about that before you condemn a whole group of people.

    I am MORE then happy to provide (within reason) proof of my identity, and proof of my need but nobody has ever asked, because all I have found is scams asking to Western Union/ MoneyGram this or that amount so we can help you.

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