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Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


BiggerBoat posted:

Amway and MLM scams get my goat. They're like a cult the way they operate and brainwash people.

When I'm bored, I do a new thing with telephone scammers telling me I owe money or that my computer is infected with a virus or something and pretend to act really concerned and promise to send the money, etc. Then I pretend to get confused and not hear what they're saying or start telling them long drawn out stories just to waste their time and see how long they'll stay with it.

One of the fastest way of getting rid of one of those, I've found, is to ask them what the name of their company is. Or what your name is.

To contribute, I'm curious about this really weird kind of spam I've been getting in the past few months. Basically it's some cam girl asking me to sign up, and saying that while you have to give CC info, it's just to authenticate your age, they won't charge anything. Pretty straightforward scam so far, right?

The twist is that they will also provide credit card information for you to put in. So... why do they need you?

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Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


green chicken feet posted:

This is a wild guess, but maybe it is a stolen credit card and they use you to enter the transaction to avoid culpability.

That's weird, though; I mean, the money still gets put into their account, so it's easy to trace where it went. Yeah, you're implicated, but so are they.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


thrakkorzog posted:

Plausible deniability.

I have to assume that camsites have to deal with CC disputes as part of their business model. And BiRussianigirl17@gmail.com, never heard of her.

And if I was the type to steal some CC info, the best thing to do would be to put that CC info out there. After I buy a buy a big screen TV and a new X-box then there's a chance the cops might want to track me down. If 20 other other people are using the same credit card info, then that's like a 95% chance that the cops won't bother chasing me down.

That makes a lot of sense, actually. Thanks!

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


I once bagged some pre-made meal at a grocery store, just to make sure it doesn't leak, but did pass it through the register. The cashier just assumed I came in with it and didn't ring it in. I only realized this when I was halfway out of the store and thought that it was weird I had had to pay so little; then I looked at the receipt, saw the mistake, and came back in to pay for it.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


PT6A posted:

Especially little loving herb sprigs! Is that a uniquely Spanish scam, I wonder?

In Paris there's the stupid piece of string in the tricolor scam. It's probably a localized variant.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Fork of Unknown Origins posted:

My dad and I always parked in the same free lot before college football games. One day there was a homeless guy in a folding chair at the entrance offering to "watch our car" for $5. My dad paid him the $5 because A) It was cheaper than parking anywhere else and B) We were pretty sure he'd key it/smash a window/etc if we didn't. It was the only time he showed up.

Ah... the protection racket. A classic!

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Fruits of the sea posted:

Without going into unnecessary detail, the university's bureaucracy is notoriously impenetrable. Liaising is not something they do. As for accreditation of landlords, that falls under the tax ministry's purview, and they only care whether landlords are reporting the correct income in relation to the number of renters to rooms.

There are a bunch of resources, legal and otherwise,, but the university and government do a piss poor job of communicating them. I actually volunteer at a help desk for foreign students, and communicating that we even exist has been a struggle.

Edit: Part of the problem is that the lack of housing has created a large "black market" of landlords who don't report their renters. Scams are only one of the problems, I know people who have been subjected to harassment, sexual harassment, cockroach infestations, bizarre rules and evictions with little to no notice. So many evictions. The sad thing is there is legal support for these issues from non-profit orgs, but again, nobody knows they exist.

My recommendation: suggest to whomever's in charge of international students that the orientation pamphlet sent out include a very thorough explanation of their rights and common scams; but most importantly, that the university housing authority (I am assuming someone is in charge of running some kind of dorms, at least!) have its own database of rental properties, which they will make sure are credible. That's what my recent alma mater here in the US did, and it made finding an apartment much easier (it also helped that I got a cheap hotel room for the apartment-hunting phase; also something to recommend to students coming in as an alternative to renting sight unseen).

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


The real scam is paying real money to get fake in-game money. In-game money should be gotten by grinding low-level monsters, as God intended.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


The Lone Badger posted:

As a general rule, it is not possible to say "X is toxic / a toxin, Y is not." Everything is toxic, up to and including water. You need dose information to have a meaningful conversation.

Yeah. As I just found out, even bleach is actually beneficial in certain circumstances, at the right dosage (~0.02% of suspect drinking water by volume according to a CDC guide).

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


JiimyPopAli posted:

One scam I thought of the other day was a panhandler in downtown Toronto: "The Shaky Lady".

She would sit in a high traffic area and shake her whole body like she had horrible Parkinsons. People felt sorry for her and she made a lot of money doing it, until a reporter followed her and found that after she packed up at night she walked (slowly) to her car and drove to her $300k house in the suburbs where her symptoms mysteriously disappeared.

After she was outed in the paper she stopped showing up.

The documentary about her will be called The Shaky Lady Shakedown.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


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."

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Xander77 posted:

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

Click on it...

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL posted:

Not exactly a scam so much as consequence of scamming after the fact: I used to work for a utility and helped track usage theft. It was amusing what people would try and forge when we asked for legal documentation of new rental or ownership. Amazingly (but unsurprising) many owners who were renting out property didn't cover their rear end with appropriate paperwork. They were too lazy to write a formal lease, thus by the time they got non-paying renters evicted they were responsible for hundreds if not thousands of dollars in utilities because they had no legal way to show the property was rented.

Seems like they were basically scamming themselves. In my current place, utilities are covered through rent, but in my last place, the owners just had me (and the tenants before and after me) sign up with the provider under my own name and pay directly.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Got a live one. Someone called me while I was running. I listen to the message and it's "[cutoff]from the [somethingsomething], call me at [number]. Again, this is [somebody] from the Internal Revenue Service."

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Seems like the number I've been getting calls from is notorious.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


ATM's in cash-only bars are a scam in and of themselves.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Pryor on Fire posted:

You people who let random strangers engage with you on the street are quite confusing to me. Are you just super polite all the time or something?

I talk to strangers on the street all the time. You know the "don't talk to strangers" things only apply when you're a kid, right?

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


ToxicSlurpee posted:

I make sure to them spayed, neutered, and declawed. Can't be too careful with your gas station attendants, you know.

You've forgotten defanging - a beginner's mistake. Gas station attendants are at high risk of Vampirism and Garou Syndrome.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


JohnGalt posted:

Cat litter. It was cat litter. The entire environmental consulting/cleanup industry is scummy with pricing things super expensive and ripping off their employees.

Hey, now, very bad things can happen if you don't use the right type of cat litter.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


MightyJoe36 posted:

Unless its for the government. Then it sellsis billed for $100.

Corrected for government-speak.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Oh, no! I got a call from Microsoft about malware in my computer sending junk through the internet, which was detected by Silverlight Server!

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Lutha Mahtin posted:

do airlines not ask you several times about this exact circumstance when you check in anymore? i haven't flown in a few years but i remember even when i was a kid (90s) they would ask whether anyone had asked you to take anything on the plane for them

"This is a security announcement. Please do not accept luggage from anyone. If you are asked to carry any item for another person, please get in touch with airport personnel" is the common refrain at JFK.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


ExcessBLarg! posted:

Honestly I'd rather not draw any more attention to myself by merely reporting someone else. If she were an imminent threat or there was obvious evidence that a crime was taking place, sure, that wasn't really the case.

The "crime taking place" could be your plane exploding, by which time it would be too late to report it.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


drunk asian neighbor posted:

yeah man "stranger trying to get me to take a bag on an airplane" is a loving gigantic red flag and odds are pretty high that there were drugs or something else super-illegal in that bag

I'm not even one of those "if you see something say something" reactionaries, I've ignored plenty of bags people left on a subway platform or whatever (actually, the last time I decided to actually investigate an abandoned bag on an airport shuttle, there was a $200 bottle of whiskey from the Duty Free store )

That would have been a fun thing to explain to border control if they had tried to check the validity of your tax-exempt items.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


grack posted:

Stupid, irrational people do stupid, irrational things.

But what does it MEAAAAAAAAAANNN??!?!

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Checked my old university mailbox, and what do I find? (bold and italics in the original)

Subject: Follow up Invitation to be a Honorable Guest at Atomic Physics 2016

Dear Dr.AA ,

Greetings!

Thank you for your time and consideration.

As a program manager I am taking the immense pleasure to invite you to deliver a talk at the “International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics” which is going to be held during November 17-18, 2016 at Atlanta, USA.

Atomic Physics 2016 provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in the fields of Nuclear and Atomic Physics.

Our committee believe this might interest you and we wish to have your eminence presence at this prestigious meet, so as an initial step; we kindly request you to go through the scientific tracks, choose a track of your interest and submit your abstract as per the attached template.

Considering your prominence our committee would like to provide you certain privileges on your registration and accommodation prices.
• Speaker Registration $ 399
• Delegate Registration $ 199
• Student Registration $150 (Participation + Poster slot)

Group Registration for 5 students cost $800

We look forward for your presentation. Kindly drop us a mail regarding your participation.

Do not hesitate to contact me for any queries regarding the conference.

Kindest Regards,
Some name or another

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


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.

And they wonder why evangelicals think Trump's a good Christian, you mean.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Zamboni Apocalypse posted:

Chiming in for medical - which also overlaps into finance (for paying the bills, or disallowing) and legal (since I work in behavioral health and lawyers and judges are always contacting us).


150+ years of fax - must be an Illuminati plot.

Just the fax, Ma'am.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


chemosh6969 posted:

No, you did what they wanted. They made you think they wanted one thing but all they wanted was for you to buy drinks. Find a military base in Asia and then go the bars around the gates. That's what most of them are.

A couple of us went to meet a co-worker's fiance at the place she worked. So we walk out from the base and start going downtown. Then we start going in the direction where all the bars are. Yep, that's where she worked. Best part was when she was on stage, he got up, went to the stage, got down on one knee and pulled out a ring.

Aww, that's so romantic.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Teriyaki Hairpiece posted:

I'm always amazed by how many people think it's some kind of government organization.

That's because it stands to reason that there should be. Also it has "Bureau" in the name.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Teriyaki Hairpiece posted:

But it's just so incredibly easy to find out that it's a business/scam.

So are credit agencies, and politicians and business people all take those seriously.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


BiggerBoat posted:

To confirm that they canceled the service like I asked. Without it, I can't check.



The fact that you didn't return the box means you have not done your part, and the fact that you use the service means you're aware they haven't canceled it. So they're going to charge you, and you've no right to expect otherwise.

Meanwhile, if you'd returned everything and got a receipt, and they tried to charge you in future, you could show them the receipt, and it wouldn't matter if they'd "really" cut it off or not.

Honestly, you're conning yourself at this point.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


BiggerBoat posted:

No. It means I should only have to pay the $10 bucks/month or whatever it is for the loving box I didn't return yet, since that is itemized on my loving bill as a rental service, or pay for it in full if I fail to return it. They told me to "return the equipment at my convenience but by the next billing cycle to avoid being charged for those items ". What if I lost a remote or a modem or some poo poo during a move and it took me a few weeks to find it? Which has actually happened...

I moved my mother from Delaware to Florida last year and didn't return Verizon's poo poo for 3-4 weeks but we didn't get charged for her non existent "service" at another address. The loving TV was off the same day I called. Same when I moved my family. Took us a few weeks to get around to unpacking and returning the boxes/remotes but our "service" was immediately cancelled and not billed. "Holding up my end" has nothing to do with it. If I wanted, I could continue to "rent" the box without TV service in perpetuity as long as I pay that itemized rental charge, which has in fact always been the case in my experience.

Why is this difficult for you to grasp? Do you work for a telecom or something? I'll return the one remaining loving box tomorrow if it makes you feel any better and then report back.

You're using the cable service, though. I am usually on the consumer's side because cable companies are assholes, but you're literally keeping the box and using it, and wondering how you're going to get away without paying for this service you're using, because you asked them to shut it off.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


BiggerBoat posted:

I don't think you read anything I wrote, especially since you ignored half of it. See if you can spot the flaw in your sentence up there.

Just shut off the loving cable TV and itemize me for the equipment until I get around to returning it. I'm not "trying to get away with anything" beyond paying for what I asked for (internet only) and a willingness to pay for the box/remote I still have.

I don't even really watch TV. 3 or 4 days later after cancelling I was surprised it still worked and wondered if they'd hosed up, which, being Comcast and all, has happened a LOT and seemed within the realm of possibility. I've cancelled my phone service before and still had the phone they leased me. Phone was OFF quick. Same with internet and a modem.

I've dealt with several deceased relatives where service was shut off and equipment took me forever to find and return. I can't believe we're arguing about this.

I'm trying to read what you're saying, but nothing of what you're saying makes "I shouldn't pay for this service" consistent with "I am using equipment I have but have not returned, although I was supposed to, to 'check" whether the service I canceled is still working" unless you think cable companies are suckers.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Isn't this getting a little bit off-topic for this thread?

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


goatsestretchgoals posted:

I said it once and I will say it again: unhook all of your Comcast gear. In fact, to be safe, go and make sure nothing is attached to any coax outlet in your home. If they do try to pull the fake cancel poo poo again, you will at least have a leg to stand on.

Also call billing and ask about the status of your account. Don't ask if you're cancelled, ask for the status.

E: We need a Poe's Law emote but IDK how to draw it.

The Goon Down the Well. The Other Goons Peeing on Him.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


Oh, boy, what a totally legit email!

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


greazeball posted:

Is she still using her Yahoo account? Or is she using the University of Missouri again?

Neither: a .com.tr address, adding further legitimacy to an email ostensibly from a D.C.-housed organization.

Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


I just got a call earlier today about a "final warning" from the IRS and telling me to call some number.

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Absurd Alhazred
Mar 27, 2010

I'm the babyliberal, gotta love me!


That sounds like wire fraud to me. You knowingly misrepresented yourself to cancel a transaction you did not originate.

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