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Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

PT6A posted:

Lucky you for only having charity muggers that target tourists.

I suppose it's not quite a scam if they're actually associated with a charity, but they can still all go gently caress themselves for bothering me as I'm trying to go about my business all the time.
If you're talking about the dudes with the binders: they're mostly desperate college students who get sucked into a "job helping progressive causes." The company they're working for contracts with the charity, and takes a huge loving cut of whatever they collect. They then hire the desperate people--at rates that have been known to dip below minimum wage--and employ them doing some really terrible poo poo.

You should never give those people money, because there is zero accountability for any of the money they collect (like, they could literally be donating it to a cause the opposite of what you're supporting), but also realize that the people holding the binders are victims, too.

Grassroots Campaigns is probably the largest offender in this industry.

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Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

greazeball posted:

You can always just start a cancer charity, spin it off into four branches, fill it with family members, raise more than $180 million over four years and then spend 97% of the money on salaries and personal expenses: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/19/us/scam-charity-investigation/ In what the FTC is calling an "historic decision", these people will pay the huge penalty of having their businesses shut down and they'll have to do a lot of paperwork and the government could maybe, in the end, collect about a million in fine money out of them.

There are small-time sympathy-scammers as well, who create fake online identities and exploit the trust and generosity of other people living with or supporting people with various diseases: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/18/cancer-cons-phoney-accidents-fake-deaths-internet-hoax-buster-taryn-wright

Even a lot of the "legit" charities end up paying their CEOs a ton and/or spending a ton on administration. Komen for the Cure is a great example.

Our outsourcing of government responsibilities to the private sector has gone about as well as expected.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

DrBouvenstein posted:

Hell, wasn't Microsoft (and I think Nintendo?) pulling that sort of "scam" back in the day with the X-Box "points" or whatever they called them?

Sony just priced things in their store in actual dollar amounts, and you paid what it cost at checkout. But MS priced everything in "points" that were like a 10 to 1 or 100 to 1 ratio of points to dollars or some poo poo like that. But you could only buy points in "blocks" of, say, 1,000 points each or something, and games, avatars, X-Box Live subscriptions, etc... were all priced in an odd amount of points, so you'd always end up with leftover points that you couldn't use until you finally bought enough other things that your "leftovers" were enough for a small game that would cost like $5 or $10.

There are legit reasons to do this. It allows you to give out "points" instead of cash as freebies, and allows you to have sales on points (which XBox did relatively frequently).

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Xander77 posted:

Someone's running a shell game in front of a crowd. You play, loudly announce that the shell is in the middle (or whatever, doesn't actually matter) and flip the other two cups yourself before conman can. Both cups are empty, so obviously the ball must be in the middle one. Do people try that? What happens if/when they do?
Probably getting beat up on the way to their car. I've definitely seen that done on TV or in a movie before (only instance I could find was Growing Pains season 7 episode 15, but I think I saw it somewhere else).

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

ExcessBLarg! posted:

Last week I was going through airport security when a middle-aged woman stopped the guy behind me in the X-ray line with some story that her daughter was going off to college for the first time and she forgot her carry-on and she's just on the other side of security and, could you take this suitcase through and give it to her? Honestly I didn't stick around long enough to find out what happened.

I don't know if it was a scam or not. Probably not, it's a strange enough circumstance that it's a plausible story, although frankly I'm not sure how she got past the TSA boarding-pass check to begin hassling people in the X-ray line. Either way, if she had asked me I would've turned her down--I'm not taking responsibility for whatever crap is in that bag. I know that for international travel they actively warn you about not accepting luggage from others, but this was a relatively-small domestic terminal.

Am I the only one who would report her to security?

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Peztopiary posted:

I was in NYC near Penn Station and had a guy dressed as a monk (saffron robe, shaved head) slip a Buddha card with a bit of gold on it into my hand. I looked puzzled as hell, and he whips out a book with people's names and money written next to them jabs at it a couple of times. I tried to ask him what it was, and he feigned having no English. He actually handed me the book and a pencil so I wrote my name and 25 cents and gave him a quarter. He jabbed the $20 dollars other people had written down, but since he was pretending not to understand English I pretended not to understand his (probably fake, in retrospect) Chinese. I mean, he still got a quarter out of me.

Those twenty dollar entries were written by him, I guarantee.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_cyberattack_on_United_States

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

I'm sure these conferences don't care about accepting bullshit, because plenty of people are probably happy to pay them for the resume padding, because academia is full of bullshit hurdles like that.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

ToxicSlurpee posted:

Housing anywhere that people actually want to live is an absolute poo poo show right now. The demand in too many places exceeds the actual supply and AirBnB is just loving things up even worse. Anything involving money at all is going to end up with scammers in it but good god drat is housing a wreck right now.

Craigslist is...not a place I would go for renting. Ever. I tried that when I moved here and got really, really tired of wading through pages and pages of blatantly obvious scams, listings in bad neighborhoods that said they were in good neighborhoods, and the rampant housing discrimination.

I would love to hear an alternative that you could actually find housing from.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

tinytort posted:

The schadenfreude sets in once you find out that most of the attendees were rich white dudebros, who were expecting something like Coachella but more exclusive. (Also, no one actually got hurt or anything, just scammed and disappointed. The nearest town was actually a reasonably short walk away.)
The tickets to the Fyre Festival were twelve thousand dollars apiece. For a music festival. No one is starving to death because they got conned there, that's for sure. Also, their refund offer for it is amazing:

http://imgur.com/NRPad0x

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Avvo (which bills themselves as "Yelp for lawyers") explicitly has their (highly aggressive) sales staff do that.

This isn't second-hand, I've received the calls myself.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

stringball posted:

holy poo poo I didn't realize this until you mentioned this just now, the first 3 digits of mine are shared with the other 4 on my family's plan making it even more fun

Also cable/satellite is a major scam and almost everyone my age doesn't even bother with it. I legit wonder if when it's going to crash hard, either when even the moms/dads realize its loving dumb or when their main customer base dies
The cable companies are already moving into content creation and internet streaming, so pretty much never.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

CannonFodder posted:

Are you also in North Carolina? Or is that bullshit widespread?

Definitely happened in Seattle, too.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

I answer numbers I don't recognize because I like to answer political polling, so local politicians think my far-left opinions are representative of their constituents.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

SEKCobra posted:

Yay finally caught up.

Funny enough, I got 'scammed' yesterday while reading this thread. It's more of a technical exploit, but still. I was downloading some free apps from the google play store through referral links to get points in a stupid app I was just messing around with. You know, the typical 'watch a video for 50 points, download this app for 100 points...'. Through some API, either one of the downloaded apps or one of the referral links someone grabbed my phone number and charged a subscription for a completely unrelated service to it (We have phone bill subscription services here for some reason). So now I got a 4,99 per week subscription on my phone bill without ever agreeing to anything or registering anywhere. They even sent me a fairly well written contract, it even contains a spiel about how I agreed to waive my 14 day cancellation rights.
Anyway, cancelled the subscription via my provider, locked any future subscriptions and asked them to remove the charge. By the sound of their support that doesn't really work out and I was told to make a claim with them after I get the bill.

All in all, it's a scam I was fairly familiar with, I didn't know the charge could be placed so easily tho. Obviously they bank on users eating the first charge even if they cancel immediately.

I guess I'm just paranoid in that I'm very careful about what apps I put on my phone, and can't imagine randomly downloading apps for referral points. My phone has financial information, location information, and my phone number isn't something that's easy to change, either in a technical sense or a practical sense (it's been my phone number for ten years), so if it gets onto a bunch of telemarketing lists, I'm fairly hosed.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Teriyaki Hairpiece posted:

If you're extremely paranoid, even nice hotels will let you use a debit card at check-in. They don't want to do it, they'll put a big hold on your bank account which could last for weeks after you check out, and you won't be able to charge anything to your room, but, hey, nobody else will either.

I don't understand how that would protect you from anything.

Generally speaking, if your credit card has a bunch of fraudulent charges on it, your credit card company has a problem. If your debit card has a bunch of fraudulent charges on it, YOU have a problem.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

JnnyThndrs posted:

That used to be true back in the day, but nowadays debit and credit card protections are virtually the same:

https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2009/08/18/fraud-protection-debit-versus-credit-cards

The only real difference is that fraud pulls YOUR money out so you're broke, while CC fraud charges usually get taken care of by the time you get your bill, so it's no big deal. That said, I had a couple fraudulent debit charges a few months ago and the bank had my $$$ back within 48 hrs. Of course, each bank is different.

Yes, this would be exactly what I'm referring to.

Again, how does using a debit card for your hotel room make you "paranoid," and not just "really, really dumb?"

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

I hate the "charities" that call, ask for a random common name, and then when told they have the wrong number, say "oh, well maybe you can help me..". They inevitably have hella generic names, usually involving veterans or firefighters.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

I have a cousin who is apparently telling everyone on Facebook that she's making tons of money through an MLM (I don't have Facebook, so am hearing about this second-hand through my mother). I am enormously skeptical.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Zodijackylite posted:

Car dealers are sketchy on their own, but the lenders behind the credit-4-everyone thing are conmen of the highest level. Mother Jones had a good long read (~20m) on subprime auto loans. Not only are they tremendously unfavorable on the terms of the loan, but they are often literally a scam in addition to that.

Some choice quotes:


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/04/car-subprime-bubble-auto-loans-credit-acceptance-don-foss/
I don't understand how judges who do this poo poo get away with it. Jesus loving Christ.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

But the CFPB is an example of government overreach and overregulation run amok.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Vinny the Shark posted:

A friend of mine was into Amway/Team for a time. They sold XS brand energy drinks that were more expensive, and he would buy a case or two per month. Basically, the company convinces its' distributors that other energy drinks are terrible, don't work and are bad for your health, while XS brand is a "natural" energy booster without all the harmful caffeine, chemicals, or whatever else is in Red Bull, Monster, etc. Also, they sell some BS about how you should buy your products from Amway, since it's money you're going to spend anyway, so why not spend it with your own company instead of Wal-Mart? There was other stuff for sale, like paper products, cleaning supplies and personal care products like mouthwash, hair gel, etc. The real money maker for Amway/Team was selling training materials and having its' distributors attend local seminars and meetings.

I tried a few of the XS drinks that he gave me. To be fair, they did taste pretty good, better than most energy drinks do. I didn't really notice any better boost of energy that I couldn't have gotten from a Red Bull, or really a cup of coffee.

My friend thankfully came to his senses and left Team back in 2011.

They sell the "all natural" energy drinks because a shitload of the people who get sucked into Amway are Mormon, and think they're not supposed to drink caffeine.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

BiggerBoat posted:

I seriously suspect that within the next 5-10 years all of our SS #'s will be compromised and the government will scramble to fix it, if they're not already. That genie is out of the bottle and it's only a matter of loving time to my eyes. Only thing keeping people secure at this stage of the game is that hardly anyone has any loving money or net worth that would make someone even bother to go through the trouble of stealing it.

I'm not even kidding.
Dude, the Equifax leak essentially had the SS# of every adult who isn't off the grid.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Don Gato posted:

I've already had all my information compromised twice in two massive data leaks over the past couple of years (OPM leak and the Experian leak), I'm just hoping there is some new, more secure ID system before the next leak inevitably hits.

Equifax is going to make a shitload of money off of this breach. They literally have a disincentive from preventing future breaches. Hell, you could probably make an argument that they're legally compelled not to secure themselves from future breaches, because it's not in the best interests of their shareholders, which are the only interests they're supposed to take into consideration.

Thanatosian fucked around with this message at 21:41 on Jan 17, 2018

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Yuran M. Bazil posted:

I tried to buy weed with a fake note once (i didn't print it out myself or some poo poo, someone paid at my parents business with it, we didn't realise it was fake until i tried to use it somewhere else). Can confirm that my dealer called me back about ten minutes later all "Yeah man I can tell this is fake you know". TBF he didnt stab me and he even gave me the fake note back for a real one so it went quite well considering

While there may be some overlap, "weed dealer" and "drug dealer" are generally two very different things.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Jyrraeth posted:

Got hit by a recruiter for some shady ... something? Something about advertising?? Gave out my VoIP number to see if it was someone legitimate (however unlikely) or something that I could warn people about.

Kind of funny how I asked her to text me the company name so I could check my calendar when I'm home and she kept trying to schedule and interview. She said the company name so fast and said "we don't really have much of a web presence" every time I asked for more details. Wanted to "give me the opportunity to have a powerful secondary income stream".

Def a scam but who knows what flavor.

Sounds like MLM.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

I keep seeing advertisements for diabetic dinners, hearing aids (usually "heavily discounted trials"), and stem cell treatments in the newspaper; they all look hella shady, what's the deal?

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

JacquelineDempsey posted:

Not quite a scam in the traditional sense, but some thread here (I forget which) posted this article about Kirby vacuum salesmen.

http://www.citypages.com/news/minnesotans-tortured-by-the-vacuum-salesmen-who-just-wont-leave/475781863

The guy who sold a vacuum to a woman for $130 while neglecting to mention it was the down payment on a $2300 vacuum seems pretty scammy. Or at least scummy.

I think this is probably the same poo poo that Kirby has been doing for decades, it just doesn't fly in this day and age.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

ToxicSlurpee posted:

Incidentally the "I heard this 500 times a day for years" is why I absolutely loathe all Christmas music. It started in like early October and didn't quit until early January. The same ten songs that were all a minute long. Over. And. loving. Over. All day. The worst thing was when random pop stars tried to make newer, cooler versions of them and it's like...it's loving Jingle Bells. You can't do much creative with Jingle Bells. Extending it to six minutes just makes it exponentially more annoying.

https://xkcd.com/988/

"An 'American Tradition' is anything that happened to a Baby Boomer twice" is maybe one of the truest things ever written.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Tunicate posted:

yeah, the freecreditreport dot com scam

guess who owned them

equifax

The fact that Equifax is almost certainly going to make a shitload of money off of that leak is about the biggest loving scam ever.

I really wish the CFPB hadn't been completely neutered by this administration.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

ToxicSlurpee posted:

It's also possible that the stack isn't even legit tickets. Or any of the tickets at all, really. I always got told to never, ever buy a ticket from a scalper because there's a real possibility that it won't even be a real ticket. Then you take it to the counter and they're like "sorry you gots to pay full price this ticket isn't legit/from a previous game." If you go back to confront the scalper he won't be there anymore.

I have heard this mostly from the people selling the tickets at retail. I'm in Washington, it's legal to scalp tickets here, and have bought tickets to Sounders games several times, and PAX passes for the last 5 years without ever pulling a forgery. A lot of the guys out there are out there every game/event, so while they can maybe make a quick buck doing that, that burns that option for them going forward.

Of course, I'm talking about sub-$30 tickets. Don't know if I would trust it for something more expensive.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Reality television is a scam? Who knew!

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Eric the Mauve posted:



Years old now so update 2005 to 2010, but still accurate.
2004 is actually probably more accurate, but really, the relevance here isn't length of time, but when cell number portability became a legal requirement.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

https://gizmodo.com/35-states-tell-the-fcc-to-get-off-its-rear end-and-do-someth-1829637040

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Leverage was pretty good.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

baquerd posted:

Taking advantage of people who are, perhaps, predisposed to racism based on political alignment but who are obviously willing to see past that? What do you see as the positive outcome here? Because I see this as likely to create more racists.
It's a party whose primary election strategy is "take away as many black people's votes as possible." I'm not really sure what non-racists are voting for that.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

ToxicSlurpee posted:

Sometimes a check can just legitimately be a better option because is going to

I pay my rent with a check as it only became possible to pay online rather recently. It costs something like $50 extra to pay online because gently caress you. I of course still pay with a check. I pay my electric bill with a check as well as their website is horrible and tends to not work.

I suck up the fact that I'm paying, like, $5 a month extra for utilities to not have to deal with mailing a check. Until a few months ago, I was having to write checks to pay rent, too. Thankfully, they started taking ACH without a fee recently; @ToxicSlurpee, are you sure that fee applies if you're using direct debit from your bank account, and not just if you pay with a credit card?

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Khizan posted:

I get these all the time, and they always start off the same way:

Him: Hi, is Carolyn there?
Me: Sorry, you have the wrong number.
Him: Well, maybe you can help me, I'm with Some Bullshit Police Organization and...

It's always the same name, and I always remember what it is about 0.1 seconds after I autopilot my way through the "Sorry, wrong number" bit.
Yeah, I get these constantly. They've largely stopped since I've started hanging up right after I say "sorry, you have the wrong number" and not giving them a chance to say anything.

Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

Eric the Mauve posted:

But since he's usually busy on far more interesting things than oil changes, I'll usually go elsewhere for those. That's how I've found three different shops over the past few years whose business model is to rip off the ignorant. Same M.O. every time: I'll leave the car with them for a routine oil change/rotation/whatever, and they call later in the day and say "it's done, but, uh, I discovered [part] that needs replaced or you're probably going to die before you get the car home (paraphrased), I can do it for $600, is that OK?"
I got hit by this multiple times before I wizened up.

Car ownership is a scam.

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Thanatosian
Apr 16, 2013

Angrier, Bitterer Man


Grimey Drawer

stringball posted:

Is a chain/franchise going to be more or less likely to scam than a local guy? I have 4-5 chains I could probably push my car to by my apartment (unrelated, why is this a common business thing? You can see the others they're so close if you were at one location, and two auto part stores across the street from each other) but always drive 30 minutes for someone my dad/family has trusted for years
I don't know about more or less likely, but many of them definitely have no problem scamming the poo poo out of people.

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