Question: Is it illegal for someone to come up to you in a parking lot and just ask for money?
Answer: No, it is not illegal for someone to approach you in a parking lot, or anywhere for that matter, and ask you for money. However, if they lie to you to get the money then they could be charged with fraud. Unfortunately we see this all too often, especially at this time of year when people are usually feeling more generous.
Citizens are approached with stories of car troubles, sick families and other hardships, but most of the time it is a lie and they are trying to scam someone out of money. I know we live in an area where everyone is good hearted and wants to help, but please be careful about who you give money to. There are many organizations and programs throughout our area that can help someone if they are really in need.
If you are approached by someone asking for money you can call your local law enforcement agency, and tell the person you are calling the police to get them help. Law enforcement can check out the situation and see if the person is really someone in need. My guess is that after they find out you are calling the police they will decide to walk away and leave you alone.
I know this may sound a little rough, but through the years I have seen many people who were just trying to do a good thing but were taken advantage of. I am sure you have worked hard for what you have. Do not be tempted to give it away easily.
Please send your questions to: Sheriff Brian Hieatt 140 School St. Suite 3, Tazewell Va. 24651 or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.