I want $10,000 to purchase a diesel engine vehicle and a biodiesel system. I’m tired of paying so much for gas and would love to go green. I put over 100 miles a day on my vehicle and want to stop polluting. I can’t stop driving but I can buy a diesel engine vehicle and filter fast food oil from the local restaurants. I’ll take the money that I would have spent on gas and put that toward college instead. You can help me help all of us. Contact me at [REDACTED].
This doesn’t represent a typical gumbaby post, but I felt it was critical to get it up here. Begfordollars.com is a site where people post their requests for money, with reasons why they need it. There is nothing on the Begfordollars site which makes it clear who runs it. The only claim made about the site’s reliability is a link which reads “Is this for real?” and presents the reader with the following text:
Welcome to the Beg For Dollars site. We’re going to let you tell the world why you need money. Maybe you need to pay for an operation for a sick pet, or you are looking for a new outfit, or maybe you simply cannot work. Its all fine by us, tell us what you need and with a little luck maybe someone will be willing to help you out. There are plenty of people out there with money that they do not want or do not need and now is your chance to cash in on their charity. So don’t hesitate and remember always that a closed mouth does not get fed!
The blog links to a number of other super-dubious sites, including questionable job advice, free promotion for aspiring models (again an unattributed site, which claims on its About page to be “safe”), salaciousdonations.com (even less safe for work), complaintservice.com (your consumer complaints go up online, sure, but then what?), and a number of other petition and consumer service sites which went down for updates recently.
This is a website genre pioneered by the guy who put up a site where women could ask for money for breast implants — a genre which I’d really been hoping wouldn’t end up becoming a genre, actually, and would instead quickly go the way of Angelfire pages with auto-loading midi files of “Send In The Clowns” and animated gifs of running puppies. No such luck. (Those Angelfire pages seem to be the progenitors of MySpace pages from this vantage point, anyway. OK, taking off my snob hat now…)
Alarmingly, posters on a number of these sites include their names and phone numbers as well as their email addresses. When I showed these to my friend Yoz, his response was “the words ‘fish’ and ‘barrel’ drill irresistibly into the mind.” And, in fact, 419-style scam posts are also in evidence around the site.
How many sites like this are showing up around the Internet? I’m at a loss for what else to say. This is just alarming. Please, kiddo, put that money towards college…