Fake security guard tricking people into giving money

You do not have to look very hard to find a panhandler in Houston. But the clothes of one panhandler is catching people off guard
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
You do not have to look very hard to find a panhandler in Houston. But the clothes of one panhandler is catching people off guard.

"I have given him money, a lot of my co-workers have given him money too," victim Bridgeth Perez said.

It turns out a lot of people near this Shell station at Wilcrest and Westheimer have given one panhandler plenty of cash. The reason may be the clothes he's wearing.

"He looks like a security guard, a legit security guard," Perez said.

And why not? Eyewitnesses say the security guard with his hand out wears a black security guard outfit, even wears a badge and carries a flash light.

The disguise apparently works so well others may be following suit. Recently, a man dressed as a security guard approached people near Lakewood Church, saying he has not been paid by the house of worship.

Instead of handing out money, one person reached for their cell phone, deciding instead to call Lakewood Church to find out if the security guard really did work at the mega church.

"You want to check tings like that out," said HPD officer Barry Curtis, who works with volunteer clergy across the city. He's never heard of a church security guard going unpaid.

Another tactic used by the fake security guard, claiming they are helping a woman who is out of gas. Either way Curtis has this advice:

"They should definitely get into a public area with other people and they should avoid that person, get into a safe place," he said.

Curtis adds, do not give a panhandling security guard money.
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