Neighbors say panhandling Central Florida man pretending to be homeless

Man tells Local 6 he is living with family now but was homeless for months

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Neighbors near Altamonte Springs are calling a panhandler a fraud after they say they've captured evidence that he's not really homeless.

A video of one neighbor's confrontation with the man named Craig was shared several hundred times on social media. In the video, Austin Beeghly calls the man a scammer. 

"You're scamming residents in here that have worked really hard for where they are," he says. 

Beeghly says he's spotted the man several times on the corner of Wekiva Springs Road and State Road 434 with a sign that says he's homeless. Craig told Local 6 he's not homeless, but says he was when he was photographed with the older sign. He says he's still been panhandling, but has not been telling people he is homeless. 

"I'm down on my luck. I'm having a hard time. I just started a job. I'm waiting get my paycheck," he said. 

"That extra dollar or two that somebody else might be giving him could go to an individual that truly needs it," Beeghly said. 

Craig explained that he's living with his family now, but had been homeless for months. 

Neighbors also reacted strongly on social media after seeing someone snap a picture of the panhandler buying groceries and beer at a nearby Publix. Craig explained the beer was for his father. 

He says now that he has a job he doesn't plan on panhandling in the neighborhood anymore. 

According to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, pretending to be homeless in order to panhandle is not against the law. They caution that people should consider that when giving money to someone on the street.