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goatsestretchgoals
Jun 4, 2011

in soviet russia, you shove robot

ToxicSlurpee posted:

American Christianity itself also has scammers baked right into it. The prosperity gospel is a gigantic scam from top to bottom but that doesn't stop people from sending $80 to Reverand Money McRichpants when he literally says on TV "God wants me to have a private jet. He will reward you for helping me achieve that! Tithe generously. Plant a seed and it will grow!"

The "seed" being a series of donations that will totally pay off some day, promise!

And they wonder why Christianity is on the decline in America.

Anyone who donates to a man named Creflo Dollar deserves everything they get for their donation. (Letters asking them to donate more.)

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Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



I guess another aspect of pushing the Christian angle is that you are playing on the mark's sense of being a Christian and having a generous benign outlook on life. If you've established a connection where scammer and mark are both Christian, the mark looks suspicious and cynical if he questions the honesty of the scammer.

I think the Nigerian Christian angle is less cynical calculation, more cultural. I think that Christianity is so embedded in life there that it is a natural part of social/business interactions so it would naturally come up. I think that the ethical and legal (Sharia etc) dimension is probably an important consideration when you do serious business deals, so knowing that your partner has a similar frame of reference to you is probably normal for life in Nigeria.

Robot Cuttlefish
Apr 6, 2016


goatsestretchgoals posted:

Anyone who donates to a man named Creflo Dollar deserves everything they get for their donation. (Letters asking them to donate more.)

That and the whole having less money thing

The_Book_Of_Harry
Apr 30, 2013



Many Americans who aren't Christian but have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the culture and beliefs of Christianity hold the cynical belief that Christians are simple prey for scammers.

What is it about legends like Credo Dollar, Marjoe Gortner and Benny Hinn that allow them to reap such economic benefit from psychopathy?

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

The_Book_Of_Harry posted:

Many Americans who aren't Christian but have been thoroughly indoctrinated in the culture and beliefs of Christianity hold the cynical belief that Christians are simple prey for scammers.

What is it about legends like Credo Dollar, Marjoe Gortner and Benny Hinn that allow them to reap such economic benefit from psychopathy?

Basically they figured out that if you tell people God will love them and reward them if you TITHE GENEROUSLY TO THIS MINISTRY people will shower you with cash. Most Christians won't but enough will that you can be a millionaire if you're willing to live completely without morals.

Samuel Clemens
Oct 4, 2013

I think we should call the Avengers.



Christians in the US also skew older than the population average, and as this thread has shown, preying on old people is a fairly common tactic for scammers.

many johnnys
May 17, 2015



The wisdom of age is making GBS threads your diaper and giving all your money to a traveling salesman in exchange for magic beans

spacetoaster
Feb 10, 2014




If you're curious about how to help homeless people donate to your city's shelters/programs. This will have the added benefit of making you aware of them so when you aren't too sure about a dude telling you he's homeless you can ask him if he knows about the local shelter/program.

If they're a scammer at that point they'll probably leave you alone. If they aren't a scammer you just helped them out way more than 5 bucks or whatever.

Of course there could be a reason they can't go to the local shelter too (all bad).

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

many johnnys posted:

The wisdom of age is making GBS threads your diaper and giving all your money to a traveling salesman in exchange for magic beans

In other cases it's just dying old people that medicine can't help hoping they can buy a miracle. Granted there are also far too many heartbreaking stories about a person that medicine could have helped giving all their money to a scam artist instead because God can totally cure you better than a doctor! Then they don't get better, are out a ton of money, finally go to the doctor anyway, and be told it's too late to do anything and you should have come sooner.

baquerd
Jul 2, 2007

by FactsAreUseless


ToxicSlurpee posted:

In other cases it's just dying old people that medicine can't help hoping they can buy a miracle. Granted there are also far too many heartbreaking stories about a person that medicine could have helped giving all their money to a scam artist instead because God can totally cure you better than a doctor! Then they don't get better, are out a ton of money, finally go to the doctor anyway, and be told it's too late to do anything and you should have come sooner.

I hope when my time comes, I still have enough of my faculties and there's a service I can irrevocably sign up for that automatically puts my decisions through some sort of basic sanity check for scams and miracle cures. Who the gently caress needs to speculate after 70 unless it's effectively just play money? I'll probably lose my poo poo and violently disagree when the time comes though I've not actually had to go through anyone doing that myself because my family tends to die suddenly.

RenegadeStyle1
Jun 7, 2005

Baby Come Back

I've always wondered if the reason older people are more susceptible to scams is because they can't reason as well when they get older or are the scams to different and more complex then when they were younger. I mean scams have been around since humans started talking so I can't believe they haven't seen scams before.

WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010





RenegadeStyle1 posted:

I've always wondered if the reason older people are more susceptible to scams is because they can't reason as well when they get older or are the scams to different and more complex then when they were younger. I mean scams have been around since humans started talking so I can't believe they haven't seen scams before.

Mostly they're just lonely and salespeople are the only ones willing to talk to them.

bird with big dick
Oct 21, 2015




My dad got scammed by the phone call where when you answer some crying kid is on the line saying "Grandpa help I'm in Mexico and in trouble." and then someone yanks the phone away and says they're a lawyer or a cop and you need to WU money or your grandkid is rotting in Mexican prison.

You wouldn't think it'd work very often (and it probably doesn't) but from googling it seems like they do a pretty convincing job and the sobbing/crying makes it harder to recognize that the voice isn't right.

He sent them somewhere between $1000 and $2500 I think. Luckily he's financially comfortable so it isn't a big deal, but something like this could really gently caress some senior living on social security or whatever. Hopefully he learned his lesson but I'm constantly in fear that one of my parents is going to somehow give someone control of their entire 401k or something. I think they both have an actual money manager guy/company that they've been using for 20+ years so as long as it's not him ripping them off I guess they're probably safe.

Things that probably contributed to him falling for the scam:
1. He doesn't have a cell phone so he's not super in touch with the rest of the family.
2. I definitely think he's experienced some cognitive decline. I don't think he would have fallen for this 10 years ago.
3. He probably hasn't talked to this grandkid on the phone since the kid was 9 or something. They live in the same city and see each other occasionally but he's definitely not the doting/involved grandpa type.

Why he shouldn't have fallen for the scam:
1. The grandkid was kind of a wiener and probably had never left the city without one of his parents, let alone the state or the country.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

WampaLord posted:

Mostly they're just lonely and salespeople are the only ones willing to talk to them.

That's one possibility but generally the ones most likely to fall for it are in the early stages of some form of dementia and don't know it yet. Your cognitive stuff goes first; your emotions are generally in your lizard brain so if you lose them you're dead anyway. Brains decaying away in a way that keeps you alive makes you regress into a more child-like state where you're less able to overrule your emotions. Given that the parts that let you regulate that stuff also tend to go away the part of your brain that says "if it sounds too good to be true then it is" just isn't overriding the emotions of "hey this friendly sounding person says this is a good deal! I should sign right the gently caress up." This is also why scammers try to fast talk you and get you to sign before you can think about it in depth. This is why basically anybody can be scammed if the scammer does it right. This is also why a lot of internet scams are YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED WITH EVERY VIRUS EVER!!!! PAY US TO CLEAN IT!!! and the like. Your lizard brain goes OH poo poo!!! DO IT!!! :siren: VIRUS IS BAD!!! :siren: but your higher functions go "wait no this is an internet bullshit advertisement and I have an antivirus program installed." The first goal of basically any scam is to throw you off guard so your higher functions have a harder time overruling the lizard brain part of you. If you're a bit confused you're spending mental effort trying to get back on kilter so your lizard brain can go "well yeah that sounds OK where do I sign?" before everything else kicks in.

Granted the other side of it is that when it comes to things like cold calling or knocking on doors old people are just more likely to be home in the first place given how many old people are retired.

Nine of Eight
Apr 28, 2011


Dinosaur Gum

scrubs season six posted:

Crying grandson

My Grandfather got that one pulled on him by someone pretending to be my cousin; he told the scammer that he didn't give a gently caress and he should call his dad instead before hanging up.
:iceburn:

MightyJoe36
Dec 29, 2013

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:


Nine of Eight posted:

My Grandfather got that one pulled on him by someone pretending to be my cousin; he told the scammer that he didn't give a gently caress and he should call his dad instead before hanging up.
:iceburn:

Yeah, after my mom who's 84 got about 10 of the IRS scam calls, I told her about this one. I said if she ever gets the call to tell them just to let his rear end sit in jail.

Depressio111117
Oct 18, 2014

A whole world of imagination beyond the oompah band.

http://www.king5.com/mb/money/consumer/ebay-scam-costs-teen-her-college-savings/405358464

Paying for a car in iTunes gift cards. Makes all the sense in the world.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

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




i just noticed this was in the current rotation of goon ads. it looks like an e-commerce services company with an MLM bolted on to it

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Depressio111117 posted:

http://www.king5.com/mb/money/consumer/ebay-scam-costs-teen-her-college-savings/405358464

Paying for a car in iTunes gift cards. Makes all the sense in the world.

quote:

"It seemed strange, but I don't know how that all works, and it looked legitimate," Gibbons said, referencing the emails with official looking logos.

This is why there will always be scams. Greed makes people suspend otherwise good judgement.

peanut
Sep 9, 2007




Lol it's not a pyramid, it's a funnel! You're on the brim and need to recruit new team members to make the funnel deeper!

Gobbeldygook
May 13, 2009
Hates Native American people and tries to justify their genocides.

Put this racist on ignore immediately!


peanut posted:

Lol it's not a pyramid, it's a funnel! You're on the brim and need to recruit new team members to make the funnel deeper!
You see the funnels go into boats. You are a Captain and need crew to push your boat. Once you fill enough boats, you become an Admiral and your cut of the Booty goes up!

Pharmaskittle
Dec 17, 2007

arf arf put the money in the fuckin bag


Gobbeldygook posted:

You see the funnels go into boats. You are a Captain and need crew to push your boat. Once you fill enough boats, you become an Admiral and your cut of the Booty goes up!

I've seen too many pyramid schemes to buy into one, but tbh explaining it in a way that makes me feel like a privateer would probably come closest to selling me on it.

Collateral Damage
Jun 13, 2009



Oh hey, I got a fake invoice today for 1280 euro for "document services".

Addressed from "365 Office Docs" which is apparently registered in Montenegro. Reading the extremely fine print on the back of the invoice stated "This is not an invoice. It is an offer of services. Payment implies acceptance of contract."

stringball
Mar 17, 2009



This is some very meta spam I got, it is incredibly hard to imagine that someone fell for an email scam, and then fall for this scam right after it, of course it's loving happened. I wonder what was going on in their heads this time around after being conned once. The police station address is real if someone were to google it but I'm sure they used some random one

quote:

UN COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS UNIT
Berks County Sheriff 633 Court Street #3
Reading, PA 19601 United States


Hours of Operation
Monday to Sunday's
Telephone: +1 (redacted some random PA number)
Attention: Beneficiary

Without mincing words, I am convinced 100% that you have had bitter experiences with various 'scam artists' claiming to be high government officials and thereby defrauding you of your 'hard-earned money. The activities of these 'scam artists' has changed your perspective about conducting business on the internet, and you now believed that there is no genuine business that can be conducted on the internet. I was informed of your dealing with several agencies who wanted to take actions on you. I have resolved the issues with them. You are saved from their troubles from henceforth. All you need to do now is to kindly follow this single step I am asking you to take, and see this whole issue come to an end within few-days.

An official meeting was held here in Pennsylvania , PA. with the (IMF) International Monetary Fund, the new President of Nigeria and Minister of Finance and also the (EFCC) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission concerning unpaid and unclaimed Compensations Funds to foreign beneficiaries for been a scam victim, just like you I was very much annoyed when I found out that you have been through much and yet you never received your Compensation Funds. Now in conclusion that the UNITED NATIONS COMPENSATION UNIT will pay out your COMPENSATION to you without any further delay.

Please kindly reconfirm the listed details to enable verify with the names and informationís we have on our payment system to avoid any mistake and enable us release your compensation Fund to you through your preferred mode of Payment.

1. Your Full Name
2. Cell Phone Number
3. Country/state
4. Your home Address.

You can call or text me with : +1 (redacted some random PA number)

Respectfully yours,
Mr. Reginald Lovette.
Email; mr.reginald1l@yahoo.com
UN COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS UNIT
Berks County Sheriff 633 Court Street #3
Reading, PA 19601 United States.

DizzyBum
Apr 16, 2007




My friend got an email yesterday and was really worried because she told me there was "personal information" in it. Turned out to be a scam attempt where some lady was saying the police were asking her for information on her whereabouts; the scammer copied in her address from 5 years ago to try to make it look convincing. There was a Word doc attachment of some kind. I told her to report it as spam and delete it immediately, and under no circumstances should she do anything else like reply to it and definitely do not open the attachment.

I had to convince her that addresses like that are not really private information; anyone can search for addresses online or get them from public records like courts and such, and cross-reference with email addresses (or just get lucky with guessing things like lastname-firstinitial@gmail.com). Luckily there wasn't any other info in the email or she might have been tempted to respond to it immediately.

Kuiperdolin
Sep 5, 2011


A few weeks ago I had the surprise to get a very standard Nigerian treasure scam... by snail mail.

Very surprised those still exist. It's got to be much more expensive than a bulk email.

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006

Behind every great engineer is someone just hoping the "genius" doesn't bankrupt everyone.



Did an elderly person live at your house?

My wife's 95 year old grandmother gets a LOT of snail mail scams. She used to be really bad about giving the odd $20 to whatever save the children type charity hit her up, which I imagine got her on a list. Most of them now aren't even legit charities (even lovely ones) but just straight up scams. It got bad enough with the phone calls that we blew up her land line and got her a new number on a cell.

bulletsponge13
Apr 28, 2010


Why is it always Nigeria? Why don't they change countries for better results?
I feel like they are really phoning it in.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



bulletsponge13 posted:

Why is it always Nigeria? Why don't they change countries for better results?
I feel like they are really phoning it in.

They want to filter for the most gullible 0.1% of the population since they're the only ones they have a chance of carrying the full scam through with. If you're cluey they'd prefer you dismiss it immediately rather than advance to a stage requiring actual effort from them then realise it's a scam and ball.

The Lone Badger fucked around with this message at 06:05 on Mar 30, 2017

many johnnys
May 17, 2015



Here's a paper about it: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/why-do-nigerian-scammers-say-they-are-from-nigeria/

The abstract posted there answers the question well enough, but there's a whole paper about it if you want to give it a read.

Choice quote: "the goal of the email is not so much to attract viable users as to repel non-viable ones, who greatly outnumber them." "Those who are fooled for a while, but then figure it out, or who balk at the last hurdle are precisely the expensive false positives that the scammer must deter."

many johnnys fucked around with this message at 14:12 on Mar 30, 2017

Kuiperdolin
Sep 5, 2011


Cyrano4747 posted:

Did an elderly person live at your house?

The previous tenant was old-ish but also a lawyer so...

Anyways it was my name on the envelope (but not on the letter). They bought it from some online merchant I suppose.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

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


bulletsponge13 posted:

Why is it always Nigeria? Why don't they change countries for better results?
I feel like they are really phoning it in.

A lot of the scammers actually are from there. Nigeria is an emerging economy and IIRC one of the problems they face is having lots of educated people compared to the overall availability of economic opportunity. So if you have some skills with computers and writing, but you're stuck making a few dollars a day, maybe you start looking for alternative sources of income.

Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



DizzyBum posted:

just get lucky with guessing things like lastname-firstinitial@gmail.com
Dear Mr DizzyBum
Please do not doxx me.
Yours sincerely
Lastname Firstinitial

BTW any of you guys getting the old your-email-account-has-been-suspended emails? You get an email addressing you as myname@yahoo.com and the notification that your account has been suspended (due to suspicious activity) and click on this definitely legit link to reactivate your account. Phishing I presume?

Josef K. Sourdust
Jul 16, 2014

"To be quite frank, Platinum sucks at making games. Vanquish was terrible and Metal Gear Rising: Revengance was so boring it put me to sleep."



Cyrano4747 posted:

Did an elderly person live at your house?

My wife's 95 year old grandmother gets a LOT of snail mail scams. She used to be really bad about giving the odd $20 to whatever save the children type charity hit her up, which I imagine got her on a list. Most of them now aren't even legit charities (even lovely ones) but just straight up scams. It got bad enough with the phone calls that we blew up her land line and got her a new number on a cell.

There was a recent case of a 90+ y.o. British woman who was so bombarded by phonecalls and mail from legit charities that she gave over all her savings and all her time to the charities. (She volunteered time working for charities, raising money for them.) Financially ruined and guilted-out, she committed suicide. Made a news splash in the UK.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ng-letters.html

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your mother!



Josef K. Sourdust posted:

BTW any of you guys getting the old your-email-account-has-been-suspended emails? You get an email addressing you as myname@yahoo.com and the notification that your account has been suspended (due to suspicious activity) and click on this definitely legit link to reactivate your account. Phishing I presume?

Yahoo actually experienced some pain with this back in the summer of 2013, when it announced that on July 15, any email account that had not had a login in the past 12 months would be deactivated, and the usernames recycled for anyone to use. They sent the notification to the actual @yahoo.com addresses as well as recovery addresses on file, but most people dismissed it as a hoax. Then Yahoo spent a few months dealing with cranky old people yelling, "WHERE'S MY EMAIL?! WHY CAN'T I PLAY CANASTA?!"

goatsestretchgoals
Jun 4, 2011

in soviet russia, you shove robot

Timby posted:

Yahoo actually experienced some pain with this back in the summer of 2013, when it announced that on July 15, any email account that had not had a login in the past 12 months would be deactivated, and the usernames recycled for anyone to use. They sent the notification to the actual @yahoo.com addresses as well as recovery addresses on file, but most people dismissed it as a hoax. Then Yahoo spent a few months dealing with cranky old people yelling, "WHERE'S MY EMAIL?! WHY CAN'T I PLAY CANASTA?!"

I can't tell if this is fake because logging in to play canasta is a login or if its real because Yahoo is stupid enough to only check logins on their mail server.

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your mother!



goatsestretchgoals posted:

I can't tell if this is fake because logging in to play canasta is a login or if its real because Yahoo is stupid enough to only check logins on their mail server.

It was the latter. I worked for an enterprise email service provider (same range as companies like Exact Target, MailChimp, etc.) at the time, and we had pretty good relations with all the major inbox providers like Yahoo. When we found out that they were only checking mail logins before deactivation, and I shared that with my office, every last person had the biggest :stare: on their face.

Jeb Bush 2012
Apr 4, 2007

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

the important thing to remember when evaluating plausibility here is that yahoo is the single dumbest tech company in the world

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Timby posted:

...any email account that had not had a login in the past 12 months would be deactivated,and the usernames recycled for anyone to use.

Hoiy poo poo.

It's almost like Yahoo was actively trying to be evil.

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ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

flosofl posted:

Hoiy poo poo.

It's almost like Yahoo was actively trying to be evil.

Yahoo! is actually not all that evil. They are, however, staggeringly and bafflingly incompetent.

Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity.

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