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mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Birb Katter posted:

The meat scam is the one I can't wrap my head around the most. I get cheap "hot" speakers or whatever but meat just seems like one of those things you'd want a trusted source of. poo poo speakers may not sound that great, poo poo meat can gently caress you up.

The meat scam is hilarious. I had a couple of dudes roll up at my house while I was doing yard work in a clearly stolen van with the old logo badly spray painted over. It appeared to be a construction van. They had a household fridge inside plugged into an inverter that was sitting loose on top of the dog house with an extension cable. The first guy leaped out of the van and ran up to me like his hair was on fire and his rear end was catching. He yelled to his friend in the car to "show me the good steaks!"

His rap was great and he was very convincing but the fact that I make it a point to not buy stuff out of a running rape van made me decide not to buy. I told him and his buddy to keep up the good work and head out. He whipped a lovely with tires squealing and headed back down the hill from my house. All in all, it was a fun experience.

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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".

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


In honor of my dearly departed Grandmother, here's a good one. She died a few years ago at the age of 100. She was awesome. She partied with Trotsky at Frida Kahlo's house and that's possibly the most normal thing she did. There's some Joe Kennedy Jr. things from a cruise ship and it just get's more weird from there. I wish I could list all the stories but there are too many.

She used to run a con in Mexico with a friend of hers. This wouldn't work now, but did in the 30's. She would hang out on a bench on the street looking prim and proper but available. A man would ask her out for dinner and she would demurely accept after having flirted with him for a time. She would suggest a local restaurant and they would go. Once they were there, a friend of hers would "happen" to walk in. Of course, the gentleman would have to invite the friend to the table for dinner. He would then pay for the dinner. At this point, this guy figures he's in like Flynn as my Grandma would continue to flirt in an absurdly raunchy manner. At the end of the evening, my Grandma would say "I've had a lovely time, thank you." She'd hand him a calling card with a non-existent address and phone number and leave.

She ran that game the whole time she was in Mexico. Never paid for a meal. The calling card was actually an address for a brothel. Quite amusing.

She also once smuggled a parrot from South America into Mexico in an empty flashlight. Again, there are way to many stories to tell.

I miss her every day.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


House Louse posted:

This one's not cool, though.

The bird was unharmed and happy afterwards. No damage, just issues with the border. It was only in the flashlight for a few minutes as they crossed. It was a last minute thing when they found that they couldn't cross the border with the bird.

She also smuggled a Coatimundi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_American_coati in a suitcase. It peed all over everything but made a fine pet for someone later. Not cool of course, but this was the '30's. She only smuggled a few things back from communist China in the early '80s under her dress for gifts.

Now that I think of it, she may have been a smuggler as well as a grifter. Again, too many stories.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


many johnnys posted:

I used to use those guys. Taxes are scary, until you actually do them. They've been built up as this huge complicated thing that you'd better not gently caress up or else you'll go to prison for tax evasion!!

Then you find a website that walks you through it for free.

That is a huge scam. Most people I know are terrified of doing their own taxes because they think they'll go to jail. I hate seeing the ads at tax time.

Most people can file an EZ in 5 minutes and they're done. If you actively lie on your taxes, that's criminal. If you made a mistake, all you need to do is file an amended return and pay any interest and penalty. Interest and Penalty is nothing; they are tiny amounts. Those ads are targeting people who don't have complicated finances. The provider knows that they can do their taxes for them in just a few minutes and rake in the coin with no real work.

Also, "I goofed" is considered an acceptable response to the IRS. They don't want to make a fuss. They only want to fix it and move on. If you get weird with them, then they bring down the hammer. I've been through many audits with companies I worked for, and they are basically a non-issue. All you need to do is shut-up, and provide your backup data.

mostlygray fucked around with this message at 19:16 on May 28, 2016

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


BiggerBoat posted:

What's the deal with those dudes who go around steaks door to door? Omaha I think they're called? Is it pretty common for people to buy meat like they do girl scout cookies? Are they any good? What's their angle?

Omaha steaks are actually pretty good. My brother-in-law works there as a QC manager for sanitation. He spends 12 hour days making sure everything on the packing line is clean. I had no idea that meat processing places were so careful.

The "Steak scam" is a whole different thing. It involves hustlers and re-branded meat. Like, take an Omaha Steaks box and fill it full of whatever dog food you can find. I love those guys, they're hilarious. I always enjoy them when they try to sell me a box of steaks with a starting price of $400.00 that get's all the way down to $40.00 before they get that "Cheese it! It's the fuzz!" look on their face and high-tail it before they even shut the tailgate.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Captain Bravo posted:

"Fell off a truck" is not in-of-itself a scam. It's a codeword for "This merchandise is stolen". Now, the venn diagram of "scams customers" and "sells stolen goods" may have a lot of overlap, but it's not exactly a scam. More a chance for someone to use a scam and get away with it, since you can't exactly go to the police and say "This piece of poo poo the guy in a van sold me isn't the stolen merchandise I was attempting to buy!"

"Fell from back of truck" said in a ridiculous fake Russian accent is pretty standard in the electronics industry. The term is "Graymarket." You didn't steal it, the guy you bought it from didn't steal it, but he bought it from the guy who did.

Almost all CPU's used in full builds, like you'd get from any big box store, are graymarket. They come in large trays and are super sketchy. They're half the price and they "fell from back of truck" said by a man smoking an unfiltered cigarette and wearing a stained wife-beater tank top whose only other English vocabulary is "You buy". Their English is perfect, but it's easier to negotiate when they pretend that they can't speak the language.

I've never seen a single system builder use a retail CPU or even whitebox CPUs. They're all tray in every facility and have no origin documented.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


drunk asian neighbor posted:

No I mean I kind of get what he was saying; the no-name pre-build computers are sourced from sketchy parts, but a) no-name pre-built computers kind of don't exist anymore now that you can buy an HP or Dell or whatever at Target or Walmart or Costco for under $300 and b) even expensive components like CPUs or whatnot, are almost always shipped in cheap plastic antistatic trays in mostly-unmarked cardboard boxes.

HP and Dell don't make anything anymore. I've been to the manufacturing facilities. I've seen an HP sitting next to a Dell that's next to a Compaq in same facility in Mexico. Don't get me wrong, it's really nice to be able to buy cheap desktops for the office, but it's all a grift.

For example, we used to buy laptops from a company whose parent company did huge amounts of business with Walmart. So they made a laptop just for Walmart that retailed for $300 (at the time that was about $100 under their manufacturing cost). Walmart couldn't get the thing to sell so we bought them up at $200 to sell on a TV shopping channel at $400. This was back when laptops were normally over a grand.

They were so bad we had a 100% return rate. They had a "W" SKU. Since then, I always look at SKUs to see if there's a "W" at the end. Companies actually make crappy products just for Walmart.

All electronics are a scam. These are commodity items that float around and around the industry. Sometimes you crack open a device and you find a competitors pcb inside. I've seen guys that hot glue lead sinkers into a camera body so it feels heavy and expensive.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


drunk asian neighbor posted:

Not sure how you equate "a few companies use the same manufacturing facility because they make functionally identical products" with "these companies don't make anything anymore." Having a factory to produce your product doesn't count as making things?

I think you meant IC and not PCB. Yeah, sometimes you open a product and there's a TI chip where a Samsung chip should be, which doesn't matter because again, they are functionally identical components and are designed as such. Also you might think that 16-pin chip does something important but odds are much higher that it's a 10-cent resistor network and not an actual programmed IC so it doesn't matter which of the dozen companies producing that component are supplying it.

I'm also really unsure how you can extrapolate "all computers are a cheap scam" from your work story, because your work story makes your company seem dumb as hell. You're literally saying "Walmart, king of cheap poo poo, couldn't sell these lovely laptops at $300 so our company had the bright idea to try to sell them at $400! I'm not sure why they didn't sell..."

I'm very sure why the W sku'd laptops didn't sell. It was a stupid idea. Wasn't mine, I take no ownership and I fought it kicking and screaming. The point is: "Nothing is made by who you think it is, for who you think it is."

Enjoy your Quanta laptop, or Compal, or Alpha Top, or Sceptre, or ECS product. If it sounds like I don't know the industry, I apologize. No-one makes anything anymore. This is the point. ICs are made by the big names, but the end user product is shoveled together garbage. It works pretty well, I love my ASRock mainboard on my computer, but nothing is as it seems.

I once had some assholes sell me grey market Windows Product keys that were marked for a different manufacturer that was only pseudo-connected to them. I had a TV manufacturer ship empty TVs (chassis only, no guts) to our clients via drop-ship because they were having trouble importing TV tuners. Oops! This TV that normally weighs 50 lbs weighs 10lbs. No worries. I'm sure it's fine.

I had a company tell me that they couldn't ship out of Hong Kong due to a warehouse fire that burned the whole place down. I called a different company that used the same warehouse (3PL). All was well.

Every year, we always had to deal with the RAM cartel meeting in the fall where all the manufacturers would double the price of RAM for a few months and then back down. It's all a scam. Life is terrible. There's no hope for mankind. There's always an earthquake, typhoon, or warehouse fire. None of it is real.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


drunk asian neighbor posted:

So you admit that the Walmart laptop thing was just a story about someone in your company making an idiotic decision, and not actually providing any evidence towards your argument.

Sorry you keep dealing with lovely companies but you're still wrong and "no one makes anything anymore" is inherently a stupid statement. "This company sold me bad Windows keys" or "this company hosed up and shipped empty TV boxes" has absolutely nothing to do with the argument you're trying to make. Those are bad companies making either intentional or unintentional mistakes, and has zero to do with "oh companies don't make anything anymore." "This supplier told us their warehouse burned down" isn't a sign of some weird global manufacturing conspiracy, it's a sign that either your supplier thinks you're a loving moron, or they don't care enough about your business to make an effort to keep you as a customer.

Not sure where you're going with naming off those companies. Sceptre is an American brand that is known for making low-end TVs and CRT monitors, they barely touch actual systems. ECS is one of the largest motherboard manufacturers in the world. Alphatop is owned by ECS. Quanta makes laptops for virtually all the biggest tech companies in the world, same with Compal.

Are you trying to say that because IBM uses ECS motherboards in their systems, that's some sort of scam or bad business practice? Or that since multiple companies use the same few manufacturers and designers, that this is some sort of scam? I'm really not getting your point here. Do you expect every single company in the world to discretely manufacture the entirety of their product lines? Do you have any idea how inefficient and problematic that would be?

Try to imagine applying this logic to literally any other field in the world. Supermarkets across the US all buy their frozen peas from the same 3 companies. Do you expect every supermarket in the country to individually source their own frozen peas?

It's not that nobody makes anything anymore, it's that there are usually a relatively small number of companies who are really good at 1 specific thing, and so they can reasonably supply multiple other companies who are trying to offer a wide range of product. I'm not sure why you think the fact that a Motorola phone is actually made by Lenovo, and the guts are almost identical to those of a Samsung or LG phone, is some kind of conspiracy, because that sort of thing is pretty common knowledge.

Also the last part of your post makes me think you should probably seek therapy because you went from an argument about laptop manufacturers to a rant about how the whole world is terrible and hosed

Point being, you agree with me. You clearly do understand, and have in-depth insight, as to how the consumer electronics world works and I commend you for it. Most other people though, don't get that nothing that you see is reality. My point is simple: Nothing is as it seems in the electronics industry. This is about scams and cons. I've got no beef with IBM using ECS parts. Frankly, they make awesome boards and I've been using them myself since the early 2000's. They just are not ever clear as to component origin.

My mother thinks that if she buys a Motorola phone, some person in the States is making it. People think that Steve Jobs makes iPhones from beyond the grave. My wife bought a laptop that, I poo poo you not, was branded Bang and Olufson. It's theoretically an HP product (though it's not labeled as such externally), but it has really lovely speakers and I bet, if I cracked the case, it would clearly be a re-branded pile of poo poo with a "W" SKU :-)

That Bang and Olufson laptop has the worst speakers of any laptop, but hey! They're a name right? Thus, the con/scam.

I shall now retire for the evening. I worked in that industry for a decade and hated it so... Once, though, I loved it. I wish I was back in the poo poo... It was magical. Now, all I have are memories of absurd inside deals and missed attempts to get free poo poo from reps.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Counterfeit Rolex's are hilarious. My boss was given a Rolex to "examine" under the auspices of the seller having received it in lieu of payment because blah, blah, blah and would be willing to sell it for $2,500 instead of it's "real" value of $10,000 . I handled it and immediately recognized it as BS because it happened to be the same kind of fake "Rolex" that my grandfather had. It was hilariously bad, weighed nothing, and had a scratched crystal.

Remember, if it's a Rolex, it's heavy. The second hand sweeps, the crystal is sapphire, and the date magnifier should actually magnify the date. Also, it shouldn't turn your wrist green.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


stringball posted:

Isn't Yelp known to "extort" businesses by calling and asking them to setup some system to get the bsuiness noticed, and if they don't their "highly secret reccomendaton software" hide good reviews?

Yes. They sign you up and then magically the good reviews start showing up. If you're not signed up, only negative reviews show. They got sued, but Yelp won. All our positive reviews would disappear until we signed. Now they stick.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Both my wife and I got got hit with the Primerica thing. At least my scammer was honest. He straight up told me it was a scam and you'd hate your life. But if you bust rear end and don't care about others, you can get rich fast and then get out of the game. That was his actual sales pitch.

My wife's experience was creepier. She was approached by a dude at her job at Target who talked her into interviewing with him at a local cafe. He got super creepy about it and, as soon as she heard Primerica, she bailed.

We had a friend that did the Primerica thing. He treated it like a real job as a financial adviser. He never made a penny. Just spent everything on trips and training and classes and nothing.

Another former co-worker of mine burnt his entire life savings on HerbaLife. I don't know if he ever made a legit sale.

Stay away from all MLM. No good can come from it. Even if you're successful, it's at the expense of others.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Proteus Jones posted:

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come, but I've had two voicemails with no corresponding phone call. The voicemail says it's from "+45 2"

The meat of the message:

"This is an urgent message intended for <<Not My First Name>> <<Real Last Name>>. My name is Stephanie I'm contacting you to discuss the matter than has been forwarded to my office for consideration of the legal action including these pending actions which may be filed a lawsuit and complete with the court to discuss an action to be filed against you. You will need to contact the firm directly handling your file."

There's more bullshit, about how if I don't contact them scary, scary things are going to happen.

My question is, how the gently caress are sending a direct VM on my mobile carrier? Is this a case of T-Mobile blocking the call but letting the VM through? Because if that's the case, I'll turn it off and go back to blocking on the phone since that nukes voicemails as well.

Just disregard it. I get legit VMs all the time with no missed calls. Sometimes cell service is unreliable.

As it relates to actual legal matters, you will never receive a proper legal notice via phone or email. It will be sent via certified mail or by a process server.

Suing for nonsense is also a huge scam in and of itself. I've been through several lawsuits at companies that I've worked for that were completely frivolous. Example: a person who sued us for a Slip-and-Fall in the winter, in Minnesota, in the parking lot, while in the middle of a heavy mixture of snow and rain, while carrying a bunch of packages after refusing help to carry said packages with 3 witnesses who recalled the incident.

The dude sued for $250,000. We spent good money with our attorney, and he did the same with his. In the end, he withdrew the lawsuit after 6 months of wasting everyone's time except for the attorneys. They made hella bank. The funny thing is, we knew the dude very well. He was a manufacturers rep that I talked to every day. We even knew that he needed shoulder surgery for several years but couldn't afford it. We knew that he was suing to pay for his shoulder that he already needed work on and to sweeten his income as we had stopped using his company. Bastard.

Yay lawyers.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


BiggerBoat posted:

Far as I know Avon is legit and Mary Kay isn't. Basically, if you're encouraged to recruit people to work under you, it's bullshit.

My uncle's ex-girlfriend drove a Mary Kay pink Cadillac. She made hella bank by defrauding people. Mary Kay products aren't bad, but no-one ever made money selling them. It's all about the game.

The Caddy was really pretty though. Pearlescent pink is absolutely beautiful.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


I can't remember if I posted this before but I used to run the following loan scheme in 7th grade. If I already mentioned it, my apologies.

This is back around '90. My friend and I would offer small loans. $5 bucks at the absolute most, usually $1-2. They were easy loans. They sound harmless.

The loan had no interest as long as it was paid by the following Wednesday. If you took the loan on a Monday, it wasn't due until Wed next week. If you took the loan on a Friday, it was due the coming Wed. Those were the cut-offs.

If you couldn't pay when the loan was due, no big deal. Just pay double the next Wed. If you couldn't pay then, it would double a second time. There was no 3rd forbearance.

I only realized a few years ago that we were loan sharking. It didn't take much roughing up to get payment and negotiations did occur. Work in trade, etc.

We were 12 years old. WTF! We had no training, but we owned the game at the bus stop. We split the proceeds 50/50. It didn't matter if I made the loan or my buddy made the loan. We always split it. It was a good relationship.

Moral: Don't trust a kid. They can run a game better than you can. In retrospect, we could have been on "The Sopranos."

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Pharmaskittle posted:

I would 100% buy van meat

I know I've mentioned it before, but van meat is the best. I've never seen two shadier guys in my life when they came to my house. White shag carpet rape van, home freezer plugged into an inverter running up to the cigarette lighter. The driver kept the van running while he was trying to get me to buy 10 lbs of meat for $75, $55, $35 depending on his rap.

I told him not interested, but he had a great rap so keep up the good work. I shook his hand, and he peeled out before his buddy even got the door shut all the way, made a U turn, and hauled rear end down the hill again.

5 stars, would not buy again but would like to say hi.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


BiggerBoat posted:

Have we discussed mechanics and repair men in this thread?
...
Anyone got any shady auto repair stories?

I had a worn left rear brake pad that needed replacing. I went to Tires Plus because they were close and I'd been there before. The dude told me that I needed 4 pads, 4 rotors, and both rear calipers replaced. He "proved this to me" by showing me that the calipers were "frozen" by trying to press the piston in with his hands and it wouldn't move. He even had me try. He then explained that they are supposed to move freely. He quoted me ~$800 for the repair.

It didn't pass the smell test to me, so I took a trip up north to my home town mechanic. He replaced the rear pads and turned one of the rotors. He explained how the calipers work and how to measure run-out. I think he charged me $80. It was definitely less than $100. I've never paid for brake repairs since. It's not hard, I can do it myself.

When in doubt, you don't need new calipers. They'll just leave the old ones on and charge you the price for new.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


goatsestretchgoals posted:

We have a scam in the USA called the Better Business Bureau that claims to do similar, but in reality just shakes down small businesses for 'memberships' at which point their rating goes from F to A for no apparent reason.

What's it like living in a country that actually looks out for the little guy.

Not quite right. The shakedown is true, but you don't go to an A+ without making sure you are a good business. By being a member, you get much better support from the BBB so that you can resolve issues more easily. You have to make sure that you have almost no complaints and that all complaints are resolved as best as possible. For our company to keep our A+ rating we have be very careful and keep up excellent dialog with our clients. Just one unresolved would take away the plus.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Krotera posted:

Don't take this personally but I seriously doubt you on this: I have heard a lot of people present mlm stuff to me as "yeah they're totally shady about X and Y but not about Z, where the thing I happen to be doing is Z."

I don't think the characterization of "shaky liars when it comes to dudes who don't pay them, but actually diligent and consumer-focused otherwise" makes sense, and their B+ rating for Herbalife, A+ rating for Amway, and A+ rating for the Church of Scientology strongly confirm my suspicion that they're actually just total shitbags who are lying to you.

You make a fair point about the A+ ratings for places that in no way have time to respond to every complaint. Perhaps my experience is only representative on the small business side.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Had a weird one the other day. A couple guys in an expensive SUV were pulled of on a ramp with their hazards on. I stopped and the guy claimed to be a Canadian tourist who had run out of gas. He asked me for cash to buy gas. I said, "No, but I'll give you $10 bucks worth if you follow me to the gas station (about 2 miles away).

I expected him to do the usual. Curse me and tell me to gently caress off, but instead, he said "OK" and followed me. I had him pull up to the pump and I asked, "If I have you turn your key to the on position, it'll be on E right?" He did and it was. I bought him $10 worth and he said "Thank you very much" and took off.

Is the whole scam to get a small amount of gas for free? I checked the ramp half an hour later and he didn't go back to that spot. I can't figure out how it's not a scam, but I wanted to see how it played out. He didn't lift my wallet. He didn't try to roll me. He didn't offer to pay me back with a postdated check for twice the amount. He didn't try to get me to take cash out of an ATM.

If the scam is just to get small amounts of gas for free, good for him I guess.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Proteus Jones posted:

I think it was more he was running out of gas and had no money.

Yeah, he was pegged on E but not out all the way. He did speak French with a Quebecois accent, vehicle was clearly a rental. An expensive one at that. Everything added up to a true story, that's why I stuck through to the end to find the grift. No dice.

I'm starting to think that maybe he just was out of gas and left his wallet at his hotel. In which case, I feel good about helping someone.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Blackchamber posted:

I got hit this week. Someone got my debit card info and started making charges. I caught it pretty early and called my bank but there was already a bunch of other charges pending. They put the money back into my account (about $700) but its going to be 10 days or so until I get my new card.

Pretty interesting stuff they were able to tell me just from looking at the charges. Two were done at a walmart for less than 20 a piece, but all the rest were done using 1) a Square reader 2) my information was entered manually so they didn't have a cloned or stolen card or anything like that 3) all the charges were to the same three locations; health spas (reputable ones in a rich area, not the rub and tug type).

My immediate thought was that whoever was working at these locations was buddies with whoever was using my card info. Maybe they went in and said they lost their card or that someone was treating them and gave them the card info but the nature of the charges: 75 dollars x3 then 150 all at one place and the rest of the charges on my card at other spas and a hair salon. How does that not seem fishy to the cashier if they weren't in on it? One of those times they ran the card at almost 2am (not what time it was processed, charged at 2am.)

Nothing on my other accounts and I went ahead and put a lock on my credit stuff through as a free service given to me last year when I was told my info might have been stolen in a data breach. Hmm...

There's not a lot of logic behind credit card scammers. Odds are, the spa had nothing to do with anything. My company had someone get a hold of one of our cards. They used it to buy a bunch of domains on Godaddy.com using a new account, but using our email credentials. That means that they were not able to do anything with the domains. They didn't have email login information, so they could never activate the service. They even bought a payment system service that they could never activate because, again, no login info. They created their own account, but used email credentials that they had no access to. Not sure what their end-game was. They could have used their own email address, but they chose to use one of ours. One that they could not check. Ever.

We got the money back from the bank. Godaddy refused to refund, because they wanted to be jackasses,so we had to go the fraud route. Now we own a bunch of domains like youtakepayemanteck.com (I don't recall the real names, but they were that stupid), until they expire.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Depressio111117 posted:

Local one today - Colorado Springs had a horrific hail storm last week, with baseball-sized hail. I haven't lived in Colorado in about six years, but I still have a Colorado Springs number. I got a voicemail saying that houses in my neighborhood were severely damaged, with probable roof damage we couldn't even see! This company would be happy to come out and take a look and give me an estimate. The temptation to call them back and string them along by asking where, specifically, they think I live is strong.

I wouldn't call that a scam. It's pretty standard after a big storm. I've actually responded to one of these cold calls. They did get my insurance company out and went over the whole roof with them. They ended up doing a full tear off and replaced some decking.

Insurance paid for the roof in full and the roofers did a great job. I didn't find a single nail on the lawn when they were done. I've never seen a job done so cleanly. They even came back a week later to make sure that we were happy.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Midjack posted:

That surprises the hell out of me. I expect anyone who offers home repairs or improvement unsolicited is a scam.

I was surprised too. I played it very close and took my time. They were pros at every step. They didn't ask for any sort of down payment. They just verified that insurance would pay out and started work. One of the checks was written direct to them from insurance, the other was written to me and I wrote a personal check for that one. I actually ended up $100 to the good on the claim.

One of their marketing guys did try to shake me down a month later. He claimed he had a lien on the property and wanted $200 to go away. I called the owner of the company and he straightened him out.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


hellotoothpaste posted:

MY GIRLFRIEND almost got popped by an "I'm in trouble" scam...

PS: This thread not needs derailed

My very social media savvy friend experienced a similar thing. He should have known better. The scammer got lucky and found out that his cousin was a missionary in central Africa (I forget which country, it was years ago) and did the "send money via Western Union or he'll be murdered" deal. He was freaking out about it.

Fortunately, he had me look at it and I found the origin of the scam and the IP. I told him to email his cousin before panicking. All was well, of course. Sometimes we get blind sided and we freak out. It happens to the best of us. Heck, I bought a coupon book over the phone once when I was broke in college. I still regret that one.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Business tend to pay via check. I write 40 or 50 checks per month. It's really easy and allows you to mail the payment details with the check or any other notes you might have.

Check protections are very strong. Credit card is pretty good but, if someone messes with a check, it becomes criminal and the bank has to reverse it.

A few months ago, someone stole a check from a mailbox that we had written and used white out to change the pay to. After it cleared, I went to the bank and just said "Look at this". They had even cashed it at the same bank we use and there was a thumb print on it indicated that it was cashed without an account.

We had the money back within a day. The hilarious thing is that I looked up the pay-to name to see if he had a criminal record. He had actually just been released from prison a few days before he stole the check from us. By the time the check had cleared, and I'd reported it, he was already back in jail for something unrelated. The dude just couldn't stay out of jail. The bank did report him for check fraud so that, I suppose, would have been tacked on.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Fruits of the sea posted:

The difference in treatment you get at a bank as a rep for an established business and as a private costumer is pretty astonishing, just speaking from personal experience.

I think it's more about how long you've been with your particular bank. Our bank was really embarrassed that they cleared the check, even though it was cleared at a different branch.

You do have to make sure that you run through the correct processes. Key is to make a police report. It doesn't take long. Once you've done that, it becomes criminal and the bank will back you up. Without the police report, they might just shift it under the rug and hide.

mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


Sanford posted:

Ask them if they are still letting abuse victims be closely questioned by their abusers before going to the police.

Ask them what happens to members of their church who want to leave.

Ask them how their church works to integrate gay or trans members.

If they have a young person with them, ask if they're having fun and tell them there are far better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.


Nothing to do with scams, I just strongly dislike JWs and seem to get picked on a lot so I've had the opportunity to refine my responses.

My best friend in HS was a Witness. I know how they work. My friends family wasn't pushy. Religion never came up unless it was regarding holidays, birthdays, or participating in organized activities with non-Witnesses. My friend never tried to convert me, he just told me about the religion. His mom always wanted to limit him in how many non-Witness friends he had but she let him do what he wanted in the end.

When Witnesses show up at my house, I always take the time to talk their ear off. I always say "I know and respect your religion but you will never see me in a Kingdom Hall." Then I'll talk non-stop with questions and opinions. I talk until they question their faith. I'll usually grab a few different Bibles that I have so we can reference scripture and then really get into it.

They don't come back.

I'm not even religious, I just like to collect Bibles and study the Bible so I have reference in religious discussions. Once you start to explain numerology to them they get anxious (144,000 will be saved). Oddly specific number. They start scratching their feet on the porch and then remember that they had a pie in the oven and have to get home.

The Baptists are worse but all you have to do is say that you have accepted Jesus into your heart and have been saved. Then start proselytizing, like they are doing, and they run away too. Know the Bible and you'll win any argument.

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mostlygray
Nov 1, 2012

BURY ME AS I LIVED, A FREE MAN ON THE CLUTCH


ToxicSlurpee posted:

I won't lie though; when I saw a helmet-haired televangelist demand that his followers send him money because God told him he was holy enough that he deserved a fourth private jet I wanted to hit the man with an axe. I highly doubt I'd ever actually do it but boy howdy did that ever fill me with rage...

I went to an evangelical church with my boss once because she wanted me to go with her. She wanted my take on it as her understanding of Christianity was wanting.

They left a copy of their full financial report for everyone to see. That's how confident they were. It's a small church with a congregation of less than 500. They were sitting $17 million to the good from all from rich worshiper's donations. Their budget was under $100,000 for what they gave to charity.

The whole service was about giving money to their church. He even worked in Moses's sermon on the mount as the reason that everyone should give all their money to the church. You see, having money is like having a false idols so you need to give it to the church for safe keeping. Also, there's an electric fence around Mount Sinai so don't look at the man behind the curtain (that's literally what he said. I didn't make that poo poo up).

I gave my boss an annotated Bible after that so she could read up on it. It was a "New Student" edition so it's pretty middle of the road.

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