Having a problem covering your medical expenses? Need money to get out of a bad marriage? Can't afford your next vacation? A growing number of Americans are going online for help, starting a website at which they beg total strangers to fund their cause. Internet panhandling got national attention last June, when Karyn Bosnak, an out-of-work TV executive who had racked up $20,000 in credit-card debt, posted the site to help pay off her Bergdorf's, Prada and Gucci bills. "Nothing is really in it for you," she wrote. "But I do believe ... if you help me, then...

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