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doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Dumb Lowtax posted:

3. I just had my entire month's paycheck stolen. I called my work's payroll to ask when it was coming, and they replied that someone had already endorsed it so their bank can't reissue it. I never got a check this month, much less put my signature on one or deposited it. They sent me a fraud application to fill out and told me it could take many, many months for the pay to come through.
Depending on which state you live in and some other factors, they could be doing something pretty illegal by withholding your pay.

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doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Zereth posted:

Pretty sure this is penny wise and dollar stupid again, there's a lot of avenues for fraud that are open for checks that aren't for direct transfers. Some of which even hurt the bank rather than the consumers!

“We ran the numbers, and there are enough people who will be too busy working multiple minimum wage jobs to fight us on these fees that we impose at all times and for all things, that we stand to make a profit no matter what. Welp, same thing with check fraud.”

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Midjack posted:

Record speed.

The big print giveth and the small print taketh away.

everyone's a winner, bargains galore

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Commercial cults are like any other cult, using an enticing exterior to draw vulnerable people in, extract labor and money from them while programming them in techniques to entice further victims, and ensure their further compliance through ecstasy, threats, legal action, and wrapping itself in layers and layers of monetary protection they've managed to vacuum out of poor, hopeful, or desperate people. The really successful cults have retarded the laws that would otherwise send them to jail. As the post a few up say, "Betsy DeVos is the Secretary of Education." IMO her efforts to further undermine public schools further helps supply more desperate poor people for her kind to surf atop of.

Stitcher had a podcast on this that'll send your blood pressure through the roof: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/stitcher/the-dream

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Describing the mechanism of the religious scam and how it first deceives, extracts, then perpetuates the cycle of deception and extraction would probably qualify. Relating your personal experience and how you discovered it was a scam would qualify. I think that many religious, commercial, and political groups these days that actively recruit members will follow some of the same mental short-circuiting techniques that cults and religions have used forever.

Basically you target someone who feels kinda bad, and make them feel real good or ecstatic, then extract money or labor out of 'em. Give them something to be scared of to isolate them within the group and select an outgroup, gradually reveal that they are part of something special, or are themselves about to gain special powers, and that a great doom is just around the corner, followed by some kind of reward. But the main goal of these organizations is to just control a large number of people so that something can be extracted from them. It's all about control IMO.

Here's a primer on how to start a cult:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBK5aKOr2Fw

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



This is just me, but I'd welcome any analysis of the actual tricks or processes that anything from casinos to corporations to street-level conmen use to get people to do something that they otherwise wouldn't.

IMO, casinos and lotteries are scams. You need your mind clouded at least a little to part with your money for these things, even if you "know" you won't win and you just do it for a mild "thrill."

Great, now what? What are their mechanisms? How do they manage to avoid being popularly labeled as scams, or how do we as a culture offload the responsibility from them onto their victims? How do they leverage power structures to maintain their dominance, and how much are they like 'legitimate' businesses or religions? What's the truth of what's going on and how can we self-inoculate? I'm interested in stuff like that. I dunno, any good documentaries or anything?

Reminds me, I need to find a copy of Randi's Flim-Flam!

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



I saw this shortly after my request:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kj8rX_5qmc
It's basically about a social media celeb making a buck hawking trash to her fanbase. Nice little modern scam, kinda reminds me of one of those old west medicine shows. Build up an audience with a free show, sell crap, never admit fault until the last dollar is extracted, make a getaway, start a tax-free churchy business or whatever next.

I'll admit it's debatable calling casinos "scams" in the same way selling defective makeup is a straight up scam. But I think it's worth looking at them through a scammer's lens, especially since they've bought their legitimacy, aren't going anywhere, and make bank on peoples' vulnerabilities.

Part of the mechanism by which they escape scrutiny is that we tend to think of those who get taken advantage of as idiots, as in, "Thank god we're not idiots like they are, I have a system and never spend more than $100, you'd have to be an idiot otherwise." Sure, some of 'em are. And some are vulnerable, the same way a street-level mark might be vulnerable to the message of a cult, business, or hustler. I bet some of the tactics of short-circuiting our self-protections are similar.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Stick Insect posted:

not being comfortable with the idea is enough, it's your body.
also, if you feel very strongly about wanting to donate your organs, you can donate a kidney right now as a living person, to another living person.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Here's a broad facebook scam I wasn't aware of, and a little examination of the life of the scammer himself. And either facebook is incapable of controlling such a thing, or they don't care as long as the bucks roll in and user engagement is up. We're in a great age of grift, folks.
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/craigsilverman/facebook-subscription-trap-free-trial-scam-ads-inc

quote:

The Facebook account rental scheme run by Ads Inc. is by far the largest of its kind ever exposed, and, when compared to recent Federal Trade Commission cases, one of the largest-ever subscription trap operations in the United States. It’s also a reminder of how Facebook’s powerful ad tools have revolutionized scamming, putting average people in the crosshairs of sophisticated black hat marketers looking to rip them off.

“We’re the best in the world,” one Ads Inc. employee told BuzzFeed News. The employee said they believe it’s a risky and unlawful business, but said the money they’ve made has made them “numb” to the consequences.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



BiggerBoat posted:

I can't shake the feeling that almost the entirety of capitalism, and especially banking, is a scam.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



read that title enough times, and it becomes, "Just Wait 'til We're Doomed."

e: I've read a lot of children's books from the public library over the last five years, and a lot of them are as aimed at programming parents, not just kids. They often read something like, "Missy was upset. Dad didn't lose his temper or ask her to calm down. He just sat down next to her and gave her a hug and waited patiently for her to stop crying. And you know what? It worked!"

This book reads exactly like that, aimed at establishing a norm of behavior, and coloring the "old" family versus the "new" family, and it's aimed right at both the child and the adult reading the book to the child. It's cult literature.

doctorfrog fucked around with this message at 20:54 on Dec 8, 2019

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Sweet jesus, dude's illustrating an MLM pyramid on one of the pages:

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Midjack posted:

Yes.

The book is literally pyramid scheme propaganda.

Why is this a surprise.

My expression was mostly at the baldness of the expression, but also at my realization that this book's purpose includes inuring a child against things like seeing the pyramid as a pyramid, or neglect as neglect. (Say to any MLM dude, "That sounds like a pyramid scheme," and see what they say. They'll be ready for that, and maybe even believe their handling of your objection.)

Soften's 'em right up as the next generation of suckers. It's dismaying.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Eric the Mauve posted:

yyyyyyup.

The dialup internet model of the late 90s is going to come back: you'll get the option to either pay $20/month to use your PC (big companies will of course get bulk discounts) or use a "free" version that relentlessly bombards you with advertising and locks you out if it doesn't have a live internet connection to refresh its ads with.

I feel this depends a lot on whether the device/computer can continue to be used to mine data or obtain something else from the user while they are using. The current situation is that most people will happily give up quite a bit to stream a video or play a game, or have some other amusement. It's a Bonzi scheme.

Right now Windows 10 installs apps you didn't ask for automatically, serves ads, and conducts opt-somewhat-out user surveillance. They're not likely to kill the goose by hitting people with fees or lockouts, because people don't feel like their Hulu or whatever comes from Microsoft, and they'll start getting fussy: it'll look like MS is blocking their Hulu. They'll stop thinking of the Microsoft OS device as their feeding trough and next purchase cycle, avoid it. OTOH, Hulu can charge money AND make you watch ads because they serve the content drip feed, and the user knows it.

As soon as they think they can make one more dollar for charging a monthly fee than not, though...

doctorfrog fucked around with this message at 09:00 on Dec 27, 2019

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



PHIZ KALIFA posted:

oh absolutely not. Satan cheats.

God doesn’t play dice. Anymore.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



As long as I don't get placed in the Head On ward

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



This seems to be a golden age of completely legal scams.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



When I left the Jehovah's Witnesses, I got a little help by reading Combating Cult Mind Control by Steve Hassan. There's a section in there on commercial cults like MLM's and pyramid schemes. The overlap between high-control religions like the one I left (you can call it a cult if you like, and some ex-members scream it) and MLMs was shocking to me then.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



JnnyThndrs posted:

Has nothing to do with tinfoil-hat conspiring theories and CRAPPLE, AMIRITE. Part of the reason everybody whines about Apple poo poo is because all the older Android tablets and old phones don’t get updates at all(or maybe one), and were chucked out or given to toddlers years ago.

Edit: gently caress, beaten, utterly.

There's probably a better term for it, but I think of it as a "conspiracy of convenience." It's to Apple's (and others') advantage that web pages and such are overloaded garbage, because it makes devices feel "old." So they do and say nothing about it, even though they could.

I don't think Apple is directly responsible in a lawsuit sense, but there's at least some complicity. They have at least some influence over it, and they certainly benefit from it. It's a very convenient condition for them, in terms of pushing customers to newer devices. It also has a negative effect on consumers (costing money and satisfaction), and the environment to have costly devices "age" in this way.

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



there's the 40 minute supercut of Vic Berger's Jim Bakker's apocalypse show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw3_5AaWBlY

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



Since the pink ribbon blitz of the 90's/00's I haven't trusted feel-good-buy-me products. Cept maybe Newman's Own.

E:f

doctorfrog fucked around with this message at 20:09 on May 23, 2021

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



This is a time of just awful people

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



The poster conning itself

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



I don't answer my phone or check my email anymore

doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



About 15 years ago I wanted to buy a nice travel wood chess set, so I searched ebay. It turned into a grueling education in modern cheap drop-ship grift. Nearly everything I saw was some variation of UNIQUE HANDMADE WOOD WEIGHTED MAGNETIC CHESS SET LOOK!!! NEW!!!!. These listings clotted up every single category so they were completely unavoidable, and they all reused the same 5 photos, with a startlingly wide price range.

Now, that's every other store, too. Amazon is ebay is etsy is craigslist is whatever.

It sucks, but that's what you get when your culture mostly values getting the cheapest crap at the cheapest price as quickly as possible.

doctorfrog fucked around with this message at 17:55 on Jun 23, 2021

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doctorfrog
Mar 14, 2007

Great.



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