People seeking financial help very often tell a story to justify the request.
I’m trying to get home on the bus. My car broke down. My paycheck is late.
Scrutinizing the veracity of these stories is cruel. Assume they’re false if you must, or assume they’re truthful. The real question is not “Am I being lied to?” The real question is “Can I help this person?”
If you help and the story is true, that’s a good outcome. If you help and the story is made up, that’s not necessarily a bad outcome.