Was Heart-Tugging Viral Video Of Generous Homeless Man All A Hoax?

CBS Los Angeles
Jan. 04, 2015

Can't say I'm surprised, I thought it was a scam the second I saw it, it was too perfect. All these YouTubers driven to make viral videos have been pulling scams like this one after another lately. Think the drunk girl who men try to rape video, the cat-calling video made by the scam-artist producer "Rob Bliss" (whom, by the way, some police in Lowell, Michigan hired to make a PR-stunt for themselves). At this point, if you don't assume scam until proven otherwise, you're not paying attention. What surprises me about this is that they're collecting donations off it, $136,749 so far. Collecting donations off a lie is fraud and is criminal, people have been sent to jail for doing similar, claiming they have cancer, etc. For their part, they're still claiming it's real. Obviously, I don't believe them, but I'll admit anything is possible. Of course, this story is only noteworthy because the media ran with it uncritically. - Chris, InfoLib

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) ó The viral video of a homeless man buying food for friends with $100 he had been given warmed the hearts of many of the more than 25 million people who clicked on it.

Donations came pouring in for the homeless man named Thomas. More than $130,000 donated from around the globe in about a week.

Josh Paler Lin, the YouTube personality who uploaded the nearly five-minute video, is telling everyone within earshot that the heartwarming viral video is real.

The homeless manís brother, however, said that his brother is being scammed. Meanwhile, an eyewitness to the filming also believes the entire thing is a hoax.

The eyewitness told CBS2ís Stacey Butler that he saw Thomas in Linís car when Lin purported the man didnít know he was being filmed. During the video, Lin can be heard telling his shooter, ďMake sure he doesnít see you.Ē

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