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many johnnys
May 17, 2015

This thread is full of stories of people doing just that :(

If you have an iPhone and he's not literally entering the numbers in by hand, you can try getting robokiller. I haven't used it myself, but I will when it comes to android.

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bongwizzard
May 19, 2005

Then one day I meet a man,
He came to me and said,
"Hard work good and hard work fine,
but first take care of head"
Grimey Drawer

Cast_No_Shadow posted:

People appear to be willing to work surprisingly hard for easy money.

We once had someone, over the course of a single night, steal an entire 30y dumpster full of scrap metal from behind the shop. Like, this must have taken like 3-4 pickup trucks and just hours of hauling poo poo out. And steel wasn't even going for very much.

greazeball
Feb 4, 2003



There should be fake credit card numbers you can give to scammers that secretly notify the police when they're used.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006

Public school teachers are callous dictators who won't lift a finger to stop children from peeing in my plane

greazeball posted:

There should be fake credit card numbers you can give to scammers that secretly notify the police when they're used.

I was actually thinking about this, or (even better) a rotating series of phone numbers you can give scammers to "call you back" that lead directly to MasterCard or Visa, where an actor will complete the scam and get all the necessary details to prosecute the offender.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH
Here's an amusing one from Minneapolis right by the Metrodome. If you've been to a Vikings game in the early 2000's you probably met him. It's just one guy that does it. It's absurdly specific.

Mid 50's black man in a trucking company uniform (company doesn't matter as it changes) walks up to you and tells you that his truck broke down and he has to get it fixed at Bobby and Steve's Autoworld (just down the road). He says his kids are waiting in the truck but his boss says he has to pay $10 for a cab by himself to get to a hotel while the truck is being repaired. Bear in mind that Bobby and Steve's does not repair over-the-road trucks.

He then tells you that he tried to fix the non existent component with a hammer and hit his thumb. He then shows you his messed up thumb. Then he pulls out a notepad that has an insane diagram of his nonsense route that did not reference the Twin Cities in any way, and then asks you how to get to Bobby and Steve's (yes this makes no sense as he already told you that his truck was there and it's literally a 5-10 minute walk on Washington from the dome).

Then he asks to borrow the $10 in cash and he'll write you a check for $20, just don't cash it until tomorrow.

Here's the messed up part. My friend told me the story about this guy told because he'd run into him at the dome about a year before. As we were walking to the dome. The guy walked up to us and gave his rap and asked one of us for the $10. My friend said "I know you. You gave me this speech last year." The guy lost his poo poo and started calling us racist assholes. My friend even listed back to him every single thing he said including the ridiculous notebook with a detailed description of the thumb thing.

To me, that's a lot of story work for "Hey friend, can I bum a 10 spot, I'm hungry".

BeigeJacket
Jul 21, 2005

These MLM things seem uniquely American. I've never seen them in the UK, and always have been left confused by Amway jokes in movies and TV.

Anyway I got scammed once, and I haven't seen this type mentioned up the thread so here I go.

I was out with a mate late at night in the middle of London and we were very drunk. We were outside the pub smoking, when this guy appears and says "sorry gents do you have a few quid spare for a taxi? I need to go the hospital for THIS" and proceeds to show his forearm which has a GIANT loving gash running all the way up. Absolutely horrific looking wound.

I was like "Jesus Christ! Here's my loose change, let me call you a cab, etc". My friend was rolling his eyes and tutting. Mr Forearm exits the scene and my mate asked me how I didn't notice that a) the wound was clearly not fresh b) the guy didn't seem agitated or in pain the way most people would be if they'd just torn a massive hole in their arm, and c) he had been loitering around before he approached us.

I had not noticed these things. Was too taken aback at the site of the messed up arm. Either the guy had kept this gash untreated so he could scam a few quid off drunks or it was a fake - which I really don't think it was. hosed up either way.

greazeball
Feb 4, 2003



BeigeJacket posted:

These MLM things seem uniquely American. I've never seen them in the UK, and always have been left confused by Amway jokes in movies and TV.

Here's a 1-2-3 part article that shows just how loving crazy the USA is for MLMs. It's depressing as poo poo (will probably just amuse you though as a non-American).

BeigeJacket
Jul 21, 2005

greazeball posted:

Here's a 1-2-3 part article that shows just how loving crazy the USA is for MLMs. It's depressing as poo poo (will probably just amuse you though as a non-American).

Thanks. Having had a look at Amways wiki, I'm surprised at the paucity of the product lines. I was under the impression that they sold everything - TVs, insurance, power tools, dildos. But it just seems to be diet pills and shampoo?

swenblack
Jan 14, 2004

mostlygray posted:

Here's an amusing one from Minneapolis right by the Metrodome. If you've been to a Vikings game in the early 2000's you probably met him. It's just one guy that does it.
Wow! This exact thing happened to me in Seven Corners outside the Town Hall in 2003. I still remember the thumb. :(

I gave him $2.

Edit: Seven Corners is was within sight of the Metrodome and about 100 yards from Bobby and Steve's.

swenblack fucked around with this message at 00:37 on Apr 14, 2016

AlbieQuirky
Oct 9, 2012

Just me and my 🌊dragon🐉 hanging out
Multi-level marketing was catching on big in China, but the government has been cracking down.

It's also huge in South Africa.

AlbieQuirky fucked around with this message at 00:47 on Apr 14, 2016

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.



MLM's are pretty big in Russia as well. I'd say it's an indication of psycho-social pressures of income inequality and a lopsided distribution of wealth, but "capitalism" just captures things much more neatly.

Marenghi
Oct 16, 2008

Don't trust the liberals,
they will betray you

greazeball posted:

In Dublin, the rental market was really loving crazy in 2003-2004. To get a place, you typically had to show up with first & last in cash and be ready to hand it over and sign the lease on the spot to get keys. None of this, "I'll think about it and call you first thing in the morning" (I found out the hard way about this). But obviously this just leaves people open to all kinds of rip-off artists, like the guy who rented his apartment to 9 different couples who all showed up with working keys and rental agreements on the first of the month. He had gotten about 4000 from each of them.

Did you mean to type 2013-2014 or was the rental market bad back then too. Because the rental market has been getting bad the last few years and that scam with a dozen people showing up at the same day to collect the keys to the apartment they already paid a deposit on has happened recently.

BeigeJacket posted:

These MLM things seem uniquely American. I've never seen them in the UK, and always have been left confused by Amway jokes in movies and TV.

They exist in the UK I'm sure. I know loads of people who should know better getting involved in them here in Ireland. Avon and Herbalife seem popular with women. Lately I've seen lads getting involved with MLMs selling gym supplements, protein bars, powders and the like.

And I was once solicited by someone through Facebook by someone from England. She may have found my profile through one of my acquaintances who swallowed the "get rich" kool-aid. In any case she gave me some big spiel about what business is recession proof, what product do you always see homeless people using. Her answer was cigarettes and coffee, homeless people always use both somehow showing what popular products they are. At the time I wanted to say homeless people aren't exactly a market flush with money, and that coffee shops are a dime a dozen, but I resisted being snarky and let her continue the sales pitch. She eventually got to her product which was some coffee mixed with a dried mushroom powder.
She went on a bit longer about how they're not only a great product to use but they also will sell like hotcakes. I feigned interested and she offered to send me free samples. I was a bit trepidatious about giving my home address to a stranger but she hadn't my real name and my address is only for the flat, I wouldn't have to give which apartment number it was to receive the post, so I went ahead.

She did send me 6 packets of Organo Coffee. I tried a few, they were alright but nothing special, definitely not worth the regular price.
I still have one of the packets, she included her contact details which I've blacked out. I guess she was hoping I'd sign up after getting free coffee.



That phrase "health and freedom in one cup". I think that was the MLM slogan. She kept repeating how the coffee was both good for your health, but also a path to financial freedom where you won't have to work a 9-5 ever again.

Marenghi fucked around with this message at 04:55 on Apr 14, 2016

photomikey
Dec 30, 2012
I once saw a broken down car on a freeway in the middle of a large city, I worked for the local TV news, I had time to kill at that moment, the fella was in a place where it would be inadvisable to walk to the next exit... all this occurs to me in a flash and I pull over to see if he needs a lift to the exit. His girl is in the passenger seat and he is examining the engine. I forget what the story was, but the car died, he pulled to the shoulder... he lives in the hood (mile or two), wants to know if I'll push him bumper-to-bumper up the exit ramp. I'm in a company car and I decline. I offer to call him a tow truck and he only has twenty bucks. I happen to know a local place that will tow you a couple of miles for $40. I call the company and get them underway, and give the guy some cash, maybe $30 or so, and I split. Soon as I pull off I think of something else I want to tell him, so I make a loop through the streets to hit the freeway at the prior exit and stop to talk to him again. Maybe 5 minutes passes. Back on the freeway and there is no sign of him. Certainly not enough time for the tow truck to arrive, hook him up, and pull away... but what an odd scam. Pulling to the side of the freeway seems extreme, why would he tell me he had $20... Anyhow, I think that day I got taken for $30.

Living Image
Apr 24, 2010

HORSE'S ASS

BeigeJacket posted:

Thanks. Having had a look at Amways wiki, I'm surprised at the paucity of the product lines. I was under the impression that they sold everything - TVs, insurance, power tools, dildos. But it just seems to be diet pills and shampoo?

They definitely exist here. Back in 2011 I interviewed for a couple of 'commission-only sales' jobs (one unwittingly, one for fun). As someone mentioned upthread Herbalife and Juiceplus are both popular here. Avon technically is one too but I think people actually make money doing that so it's not quite the same.

One other big scam here was around the Warm Home scheme or whatever it was called - the free insulation one. Companies were sending people door to door for it, on a comission-only basis. If they 'sold' the company paid them (they were given a grant from government to do the work). What they didn't say was that it was years since this scheme had started and British Gas had already done most of it, so all these door to door guys were being sent places it was literally impossible to 'sell' to.

BeigeJacket
Jul 21, 2005

I spent an hour looking at MLM wikis and you tubes. Didn't realise they were so prevalent!

The YouTube videos from the MLM people are interesting. There are a ton of em with titles like 'Is MLM a scam?" which was the sort of thing I was looking for. Turns out the answer is 'No, definitely not' and here's a long meandering explanation why featuring missing the point entirely diagrams scribbled on a whiteboard . These people love whiteboards.

Jean-Paul Shartre
Jan 16, 2015

this sentence no verb


Carnival of Shrews posted:

Well, I'll be damned if the same old "Women Empowering Women" crapola from 2001 isn't still doing the rounds, but gussied up and now parasitic on the legitimate idea of 'gift circles' (basically bartering groups for skills and time, often entirely or mostly consisting of women):

http://priceonomics.com/when-your-womens-empowerment-group-is-actually-a/

Long, late edit: Having followed some of the links from this article, I would be surprised if all these "Womens' Empowerment" groups don't in reality represent the bifurcations of one original group, repeatedly re-branded to appeal to different sectors of the market, and most of all, to disguise the fact that this scheme has been around for ages.

Unlike the gigantic hierarchies that build up in MLM, there are only four tiers to these pyramids, with membership following an 8:4:2:1 pattern. Raw recruits put in $5k, and when 8 recruits have been found, the person at the top gets a $40k payout and leaves. When this happens, the remainder of the group is cut in two like a flatworm, and each half must regenerate by finding eight bottom-tier recruits. The 'senior sisters' (people who have powered through the cycle several times, on the strength of their recruiting abilities) must know exactly what they're doing.

It doesn't need a criminal mastermind to work out that once you get into the payout position, it might help if your half of the flatworm has a shiny new name, ideally one that targets a special-interest group that hasn't been hit yet.

I'm pretty sure that, at least in CT, they're gone after and jailed the women at the top of these under Ponzi scheme-esque laws. Since there's no actual prodcut being sold, which is what separates MLM from Madoff, etc. this is actually illegal.

Marenghi
Oct 16, 2008

Don't trust the liberals,
they will betray you

BeigeJacket posted:

I spent an hour looking at MLM wikis and you tubes. Didn't realise they were so prevalent!

The YouTube videos from the MLM people are interesting. There are a ton of em with titles like 'Is MLM a scam?" which was the sort of thing I was looking for. Turns out the answer is 'No, definitely not' and here's a long meandering explanation why featuring missing the point entirely diagrams scribbled on a whiteboard . These people love whiteboards.

They are very good at gaming search algorithms. The top hits on Google for is such and such a scam brings up exactly what you encountered. Links to videos or articles where a person starts out with the premise that people may be worried this opportunity is a scam, followed by a long sales pitch for why you should get involved.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.



BeigeJacket posted:

I spent an hour looking at MLM wikis and you tubes. Didn't realise they were so prevalent!

The YouTube videos from the MLM people are interesting. There are a ton of em with titles like 'Is MLM a scam?" which was the sort of thing I was looking for. Turns out the answer is 'No, definitely not' and here's a long meandering explanation why featuring missing the point entirely diagrams scribbled on a whiteboard . These people love whiteboards.
Haha. Searching for "solo ads" from my earlier example (particularly with the name of the company added) will get you a bunch of those. Just the guy sitting at our local mall / pub and explaining just how much money your MLM bullshit will generate with solo ads.

thrakkorzog
Nov 16, 2007
For what it's worth, I do occasionally buy some Skin-So-Soft from Avon ladies. It is both a moisturizer, and a rather potent insect repellent. I don't go hiking without some Skin-So-Soft, it prevents both chigger and mosquito bites.

Carnival of Shrews
Mar 27, 2013

You're not David Attenborough

JohnCompany posted:

I'm pretty sure that, at least in CT, they're gone after and jailed the women at the top of these under Ponzi scheme-esque laws. Since there's no actual prodcut being sold, which is what separates MLM from Madoff, etc. this is actually illegal.

Yeah, the plod have done this in the UK as well...for about 15 years now. And still the thing keeps popping up, always with the same 8:4:2:1 recruitment pattern. Presumably every adult of normal intelligence has heard the phrase 'pyramid scheme' at least a few times, yet the good old 8-ball scam marches on.

The UK was rather slack about anti-pyramid laws until the Women Empowering Women fiasco of 2001, which is when I got interested in the psychology of pyramid scams, and how on earth they can get such traction in a community:

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/aug/05/tracymcveigh.theobserver

The collapse usually comes when the founders begin mysteriously powering through the pyramids much faster than the average member, or several upper-level members turn out to be family members/friends who formed a ready-assembled top three tiers without paying the buy-in fee (I know of no case that ended in prosecution, in which the founders had failed to pull at least one of these moves). That's obviously 'cheating', and gets reported to the police by a disgruntled bottom-tier recruit who doesn't see any progress for themselves. Because only big and obviously dishonest founders ever get prosecuted, relatively few people, even today, are aware that it's illegal to join or recruit for such a scheme -- not just to be the organiser of one.

As described in the Guardian article on the women-only scams, there's a substantial proportion of citizens who are self-admittedly OK with pyramid schemes only paying out to a maximum of 12% of members, as long as they're in that 12%, they get out before the music stops, and they're never asked to do something that they explicitly know is illegal. I think it's these somewhat morally flexible folk who form the vital recruitment interface between the premeditated con-artists who found such schemes, and the large number of people who eventually really do get suckered in with talk of 'abundance', or are just plain desperate.

Carnival of Shrews
Mar 27, 2013

You're not David Attenborough

BeigeJacket posted:

These MLM things seem uniquely American. I've never seen them in the UK, and always have been left confused by Amway jokes in movies and TV.

Hey, Kleeneze is British born and bred! Founded in 1923, not like these American upstarts :britain:

Like you I was totally unaware of MLM schemes in the UK and although I'd vaguely heard of Kleeneze, I knew so little of it that one day I took the catalogue of overpriced household goods that had been shoved through my door and automatically dropped it into the recycler.

Only later did I find the handwritten note that had fallen out of it, asking me politely to leave the catalogue outside my door in a plastic bag if I didn't want to buy anything. Turns out that Kleeneze representatives have to buy their own catalogues at about 60p a pop :( .

The bizarre thing is that Kleeneze has a deadly (and almost as old) rival in the field of badgering Brits into buying stuff they can get in Wilko's at half the price. Bettaware still sells tat but is purely door-to-door selling, with free catalogues and no MLM or joining cost. They also warn prospective sellers if their suggested catchment area already has a Bettaware agent in it, which Kleeneze notoriously never do with their new sign-ups.

It's amazing that even when a MLM company has a direct rival that is actually doing everything the MLM company does, minus the MLM poo poo, the former still gets recruits. These things really are financial cults.

Carnival of Shrews fucked around with this message at 19:16 on Apr 14, 2016

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.



Carnival of Shrews posted:

The collapse usually comes when the founders begin mysteriously powering through the pyramids much faster than the average member, or several upper-level members turn out to be family members/friends who formed a ready-assembled top three tiers without paying the buy-in fee (I know of no case that ended in prosecution, in which the founders had failed to pull at least one of these moves). That's obviously 'cheating', and gets reported to the police by a disgruntled bottom-tier recruit who doesn't see any progress for themselves. Because only big and obviously dishonest founders ever get prosecuted, relatively few people, even today, are aware that it's illegal to join or recruit for such a scheme -- not just to be the organiser of one.

As described in the Guardian article on the women-only scams, there's a substantial proportion of citizens who are self-admittedly OK with pyramid schemes only paying out to a maximum of 12% of members, as long as they're in that 12%, they get out before the music stops, and they're never asked to do something that they explicitly know is illegal. I think it's these somewhat morally flexible folk who form the vital recruitment interface between the premeditated con-artists who found such schemes, and the large number of people who eventually really do get suckered in with talk of 'abundance', or are just plain desperate.
People will join pyramid schemes with full knowledge of what they are, if they have some excuse for fooling themselves into thinking they're not at the very bottom.

There was some sort of an economics experiment I remember too vaguely to google accurately: the students got to trade "stocks" among themselves, at an ever lowering cost, with each sale generating a profit. Even though they had a clock ticking down to the exact moment when trading will stop and the "stocks" they bought will become unsellable cost sinks, students kept buying till the last 30 seconds or so. Why? "I thought I'd find some sucker who would buy with 20 seconds to go".

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

Don't you tell me my business again.
I read this book a while back after one of my friends started getting into the Amway poo poo. He changed almost overnight, and not for the better.

http://www.transgallaxys.com/~emerald/

It's a free download and was fascinating to read. All about one dude's experience in Amway/Quixtar.

Is there a dedicated MLM thread?

Marenghi
Oct 16, 2008

Don't trust the liberals,
they will betray you

thrakkorzog posted:

For what it's worth, I do occasionally buy some Skin-So-Soft from Avon ladies. It is both a moisturizer, and a rather potent insect repellent. I don't go hiking without some Skin-So-Soft, it prevents both chigger and mosquito bites.

I mentioned Avon but I had it confused with a similarly sounding cosmetics MLM. Arbonne was the one, along with Herbalife, that I see way too many women getting involved with here.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

Your brokebrain sin is absolved...go and shitpost no more!

Hello, Burger King? We are with the building safety commission and our information suggests that your store has become dangerously pressurized. Don't worry, you can fix this! All you need to do is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRJBs3pjF90

(stolen from the minneapolis thread)

blackguy32
Oct 1, 2005

Say, do you know how to do the walk?
I never ran into any MLM stuff until my friend got suckered into it. She was kind of messed up mentally but I didn't hang out with her much so I sat through one of her meetings for herbalife. Those people were downright cult like in their dedication to herbalife. They didn't try too hard to recruit me, but I was trying to tell my friend how much of a scam it was but she didn't listen. Ultimately, I think she gave up with it after about a month, thank goodness.

greazeball
Feb 4, 2003



I have friends who worked for Google ad support and they tell me that every time they changed their algorithm hundreds of Herbalife zombies would call up screaming about how they were ruining their life and going to cost them their house and poo poo like that. Fortunately there was lots of upward mobility at that time or it would have been unbearably grim.

Original_Z
Jun 14, 2005
Z so good

BiggerBoat posted:

I read this book a while back after one of my friends started getting into the Amway poo poo. He changed almost overnight, and not for the better.

http://www.transgallaxys.com/~emerald/

It's a free download and was fascinating to read. All about one dude's experience in Amway/Quixtar.

Is there a dedicated MLM thread?

I think there was an MLM thread in the old GBS but for some reason it got locked when MLM shills started complaining and it caused a lot of arguments. It might fare better in the new GBS, it is a tread that's worth bringing back as it was quite fascinating.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

by Athanatos
I ran into an NPR piece about cons in the 19th Century. Here's a nice list:

quote:

Today we are familiar with some of the larger ripoffs, such as three-card monte and the Brooklyn Bridge sales. But here are some lesser-known scams of the 1800s:
  • Disappearing Act: Two women, often assisted by a man, were notorious for pulling off a clever ploy, as reported in the Cincinnati Enquirer of July 9, 1881. The three would show up in a town. The man would rent rooms for the ladies at a boarding house. The two women would then go on a lavish shopping spree at a chosen store, and select "a quantity of goods, invariably laces or such light valuable materials as could easily be disposed of." The women would instruct the merchant to send the goods around to the boarding house so they could try them on. When the store representative arrived, one of the ladies would be in the parlor to say that she was taking all of the merchandise to show her sister and husband. "The swindlers would disappear from the house with the booty," the paper reported, "leaving the messenger patiently waiting for his cash."

  • Man of the Cloth: One day in May of 1888, the New Castle, Pa., Daily City News reported, a man who introduced himself as Father McCarthy of Montreal showed up at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. McCarthy presented appropriate documentation to the head priest, E.A. McGurk Jr. "Father McGurk, very much please with the suave visitor, graciously tendered him the hospitalities of the parochial residence," the reporter noted. On a Monday, McCarthy visited a jewelry store on Pennsylvania Avenue. He said he was looking for a gift for a cardinal, and he picked out some choice diamonds to be brought over to McGurk's residence. When the jeweler arrived, McCarthy met him at the door, dressed as a priest. He took the diamonds into another room ostensibly to show them to other holy men and he slipped out a back way. Never to be seen again.

  • Horse Trading: "Swindlers have struck a new scheme for beating the unhappy granger who is inclined to make money more rapidly than by the paths of strict rectitude," the Parsons Daily Sun in Kansas pointed out in July of 1889. Dapperly dressed Man No. 1 shows up at a farmhouse and offers to buy a good horse. He gives the horse owner $10 and promises to return in a week to pay the difference and collect his horse. The next day, well-dressed Man No. 2 appears at the same farm and expresses keen interest in the same horse a horse that, in fact, he must own. He offers $10, $15, $25 more than the price that Man No. 1 offered. The farmer says he cannot sell the horse, so Man No. 2 says he will come back in a week and if the horse is still available, he will pay the extra $25 for it. When Man No. 1 returns, the farmer wants to keep the horse and make the extra money so he gives Man No. 1 his $10 back and an extra $10 for his troubles. "No. 1 takes his money," the reporter explains, "is ten dollars ahead, half of which he gives to No. 2, and the farmer still owns the horse."

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!
🥷🐢😬



grack posted:

Walking out of a dollar store today, some guy pulls up in a minivan and asks me if I want to buy a flat screen TV.

I really hope this is a resurgence of my all time favourite scam... http://www.tomsguide.com/us/man-sells-oven-door-hdtv,news-4443.html

It's probably the usual 'garbage electronics being sold as if its high end' one, but one can dream.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.



The horse trading one was still used as "an original Stradivarius violin" well into the 20th century.

Where's your avatar from, anyways? Looks like "Hark, a Vagrant", but I can't find that particular comic.

peanut
Sep 9, 2007


From the suburban mom thread...

SEX BURRITO posted:

I know someone who fell in love with a Tunisian guy and was taken in by promises of marriage. She sent him money, and he'd send love notes and Skype with her kids, telling them he was going to be their new stepdad. One day she Googled him and there was a whole forum of women who'd been ripped off by Tunisian dudes, with a whole thread dedicated to her future husband.

I think my friend got targeted by this :/

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

by Athanatos

Xander77 posted:

Where's your avatar from, anyways? Looks like "Hark, a Vagrant", but I can't find that particular comic.

Click on it... :ssh:

Swingline
Jul 20, 2008
A common scam at least here in NYC is free teeth whitening cold calls to office worker phone lines. Sketchy dental practices figure out a company's phone # and has a call center dial every single extension. They say something along the lines of "Congratulations, we've partnered up with [your company] to offer a free teeth whitening session to employees!!!". Turns out that either 1) the teeth whitening isn't really free and is actually hundreds of dollars, or 2) its a "free teeth whitening" that is actually bundled with 4 very expensive additional sessions that you unwittingly agree to in the small print of something they have you sign. And of course in reality they have no affiliation with your company at all. This scam preys on naive 20-somethings who think that now that they have a real job that they're some big shot who will get free perks thrown at them.

grack
Jan 10, 2012

COACH TOTORO SAY REFEREE CAN BANISH WHISTLE TO LAND OF WIND AND GHOSTS!

EL BROMANCE posted:

I really hope this is a resurgence of my all time favourite scam... http://www.tomsguide.com/us/man-sells-oven-door-hdtv,news-4443.html

It's probably the usual 'garbage electronics being sold as if its high end' one, but one can dream.

Nah, that scam definitely still happens. This was something different though, it was just one dude in a minivan, not a couple of guys in a 1 ton or cube van.

thrakkorzog
Nov 16, 2007

Swingline posted:

A common scam at least here in NYC is free teeth whitening cold calls to office worker phone lines. Sketchy dental practices figure out a company's phone # and has a call center dial every single extension. They say something along the lines of "Congratulations, we've partnered up with [your company] to offer a free teeth whitening session to employees!!!". Turns out that either 1) the teeth whitening isn't really free and is actually hundreds of dollars, or 2) its a "free teeth whitening" that is actually bundled with 4 very expensive additional sessions that you unwittingly agree to in the small print of something they have you sign. And of course in reality they have no affiliation with your company at all. This scam preys on naive 20-somethings who think that now that they have a real job that they're some big shot who will get free perks thrown at them.

Sounds like the basic 'As seen as TV' ads. Sell a knife that cuts through a can and then cut through a tomato, and it only costs $9.95. (Plus S&H). Order one now and get a second one free. (Plus additional S&H charges.)

What they tend not to advertise is that they usually charge about $20 to ship every item. So those $10 knifes will cost you $50.

Avalanche
Feb 2, 2007
Way back in the day during the cold war, my father played the fake gold bar scam on Soviet soldiers. He and his friend had diplomatic immunity to travel between East-West Germany on special assignments to deliver documents or messages or whatever in person to Russian diplomats. "Fraternzing" with the enemy is a huge deal that can land someone jailtime, but there wasn't exactly a lot of US oversight in East Berlin to catch them, no one really gave a poo poo, and all his immediate superiors he teased the idea to thought it was loving hilarious, so they got away with this for a while.

What he and his buddy would do is go to some local metal depot in West Berlin, buy some brass bars for next to nothing, , and then take the bars with them on the "U-Bahn" or whatever it was called in East Berlin. Since my dad and his buddy were both officers, they were automatically deemed to be very trustworthy by enlisted Russian soldiers and also very wealthy capitalists or whatever Russian propaganda at the time had them believe.

They would target a group of young enlisted Russians sitting together, ask in broken Russian if anyone wanted to trade, and bust out "genuine 100% American gold mined directly from the heartland of Chicago!". These poor soldiers would dish out fistfulls of rubles from their pockets, some rare military medals, watches, necklaces, rings, etc. for cheap worthless brass.

They even ran it once on a Soviet colonel and got the guy to rip a few medals off his uniform that were pretty rare combat medals of some kind and a really nice watch. They also found some dude in West Berlin that was willing to press poo poo like "99.999% Pure Gold 20 grams United States of America" and expanded the scam to target mostly junior officers that could speak English and would not be as completely gullible-hosed as the enlisted guys.


It all came to an end when the Soviet government complained directly to the US Ambassador in the region at the time about a band of US officers ripping off enlisted grunts and how this could severely strain diplomatic relationships. That made it down the chain of command and my dad and his buddy were quickly told to cut that poo poo out. (They also got brazen enough to run the scam way too often and tried to scam a bunch of Russians they scammed before and that almost ended badly.)

jase1
Aug 11, 2004

Flankensttein: A name given to a FPS gamer who constantly flanks to get kills.

"So I was playing COD yesterday, and some flankenstein came up from behind and shot me."
I don't know how relevant these would be to the thread but I have a couple of pool hustling cons that I have done and been apart of if you guys are interested.

Swingline
Jul 20, 2008

jase1 posted:

I don't know how relevant these would be to the thread but I have a couple of pool hustling cons that I have done and been apart of if you guys are interested.

Yes please! I love your old thread (bring it back!)

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Slime
Jan 3, 2007

jase1 posted:

I don't know how relevant these would be to the thread but I have a couple of pool hustling cons that I have done and been apart of if you guys are interested.

:justpost:

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