This episode tells me that to offer help to others ought to be everyone’s business and that any pleas for help should not be ignored.

WITH so many conmen preying on victims, the public is constantly warned to be careful with their money and belongings when approached by strangers.

Recently, my wife had an interesting encounter at the market.

She said a woman, in her late 70s, had approached a group of women to ask for a lift home.

The woman said her daughter had dropped her off at the market in the morning and would pick her up at 11am.

But, she had done her shopping and didn’t want to wait for her daughter.

Not surprisingly, the women did not respond. They walked away and did not even bother to find out whether the old woman really needed help.

They probably thought the old woman had cooked up a story to get money from them. Perhaps, they also suspected that her accomplices were waiting to pounce on them en route to her home.

After making some enquiries, my wife thought it was better to err on the side of caution.

But, what if the old woman was telling the truth and really needed a kind soul to send her home?

Like a detective, my wife checked what the woman had bought at the market and discovered that it was what women would buy for a week’s consumption.

That gave her added confidence that the woman was telling the truth. She decided to send the woman to her home nearby.

This episode tells me that to offer help to others ought to be everyone’s business and that any pleas for help should not be ignored.

We know there are many con artists around, but there are also people who need help, like the old woman.

Use your gut feeling and decide whether the request for help is genuine.

However, to avoid falling victim to scams, it would be wise to seek a second opinion when your money, investments or property are involved.

Dr Tan Eng Bee, Kajang, Selangor

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