Footage of a man in China pretending to be a disabled beggar has captured international attention (video below.)
In the YouTube video, a man can be seen walking up to the "disabled" man and promptly taking off his trousers, revealing to the world the supposed amputee has legs.
Passerby began screaming at the con artist in Mandarin while the man -- whose legs are stuck in his underwear -- attempts to slide away.
Many on social media expressed their outrage and shock.
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However, not much is known about the unidentified man or whether or not he is homeless, so at least one user tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.
YouTube user Jiyoon Lee wrote:
what if u guys dont have a money to eat or to take a bath, no one want to use u as a business man. then u will be homeless and searching for way to get a money. just give them a money if u saw them, just a little bit of money doesnt matter, rather they lie or not we will be happy tht we helped one person today.
It’s certainly a common trick to use among many disadvantaged people, Slate Magazine reports.
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In India, children are often kidnapped into trafficking rings and forced to beg on the streets. Many pretend to have no legs to earn more for their kidnappers.
Jillian Keenan writes for Slate Magazine:
Organized begging is one of the most visible forms of human trafficking—and it's largely financed and enabled by good-hearted people who just want to help. In India, roughly 60,000 children disappear each year, according to official statistics. (Some human rights groups estimate that the actual number is much higher than that.) Many of these children are kidnapped and forced to work as beggars for organized, mafia-like criminal groups.
Sometimes, however, they’re not even pretending to be disabled.
“Since disabled child beggars get more money than healthy ones, criminal groups often increase their profits by cutting out a child's eyes, scarring his face with acid, or amputating a limb,” adds Keenan.