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Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


ToxicSlurpee posted:

The main thing scammers rely on is lizard brain responses. It's why they try to fast talk you into starting the process before you have a chance to logically think it through.

months ago my wife signed up for a 'free child safety kit!' and forgot about it. a few weeks ago some lady knocked on our door, and asked if we were still interested. i said sure, not knowing what was going on. she came inside and gave us our free kit - a brochure you could fill out with all your child's information, fingerprints, place to tape hair samples to, etc. the idea being that you could just give this to the cops in case your kid was abducted. she was sure to tell us that our city is a leading hub for child sex trafficking. thanks strange lady who is sitting at my table, i appreciate that

anyway she then started pitching us on life insurance. that's when it hit me, this was a saleswoman and my wife had signed us up on a leads list. so i'm thinking, how do i get this woman out of my house without being rude and just telling her to leave. she asks if i have life insurance, i say through my job. she says, "you understand if you dont have your job, you don't have that insurance?" yeah. no poo poo. i hadn't ever considered that my work benefits go away if i change jobs. thanks

so she starts in on the hard sell, "if you were to die who would take care of your family?" at this point i'm fed up with her so i just say "not my problem, i'm dead. we aren't interested in anything you want to sell us" and it was awkward for a minute as she collected her things to leave

yeah scammers and shady salespeople will try to terrify you to move product. fuckers

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Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Absurd Alhazred posted:

Maybe the scam was to play pretend big idea video game developers for a few years without having any reason to believe they could deliver an actual product?

nah, the guy behind the game, chris roberts, made the beloved wing commander series. he's a legit game developer with name recognition, and he practically invented the space fighter sim genre. for people who nerd out about those kind of games he's a rock star

his problem is this:

Wicked Them Beats posted:

The scam was Christ Roberts promising a video game when what he really wanted was to pretend to be a Hollywood bigshot.

he really is is a game developer with dreams of being a hollywood bigshot. he directed a movie based on his game series that was released in 1999. it was bad

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR26_xbXIQ4

star citizen is an attempt to make the biggest, bestest space game ever. he promised everything under the sun would be in his omnigame and because of his reputation, people believed him. the project didn't start as a scam, but it arguably is one now because roberts let his fantasies dictate the scale of his project to the point that it is completely unbuildable as promised

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


movax posted:

It’s a little hosed if everyone’s MO for calls becomes “not a contact, not expecting a call, not picking up”, isn’t it?

i'm a holdout using a dumb phone and this is what i do. if anyone i care about wants to get in touch with me they send me a text, otherwise i leave my phone ignored with the ringer off 90% of the time. honestly i forget to take it with me a couple times a month, i mostly just leave it in my car in case i break down or something

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Eric the Mauve posted:

True, but germophobes like myself can carry our own stylus pens and never have to directly touch them

I actually read recently that at a modern fast food joint or gas station, you’re more likely to get sick from using the touchscreens to order food than from using the disgusting bathrooms. You can read anything, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that were true.

oh yeah, those things are likely to go uncleaned. it was like when i worked in restaurants and i would yell at people who i saw in the kitchen playing with their phones. i'd tell them to wash their hands and put their loving phones in their car or something. i'd ask them when the last time they washed their phone. and given how many people play with them on the toilet... phones get nasty unless you're one of the like 1% of people who wipes their phone down every few days

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


ChocNitty posted:

A lot of city kids are going to the suburbs to scam people with these coupon cards that supposedly give big discounts on local businesses, like unlimited two for ones. Asking $20 for these plastic cards, claiming its a school fundraiser. I overheard one reasonable person asking to see the kids student ID, and of course he gave a BS excuse.

"city kids"

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


iajanus posted:

Wait, there's a charge to pay direct from a bank account? Just some more great work by the US failing at basic first world banking practices...

many smaller rental companies will partner with a payment processor that charges fees because that's how they get their cut, and also kickbacks to the rental company probably

i recently broke my lease and had a stack of fines to pay related to that. i didn't have enough to pay with my checking account so i put it on credit, for which they charged me $25 as a processing fee. i paid it, because the rental company ended up charging me a third of all the fees they were supposed to charge me, because of organizational confusion, so i gladly paid an expedited processing fee to settle the account before they realized i owed them an additional few hundred dollars on top of the stated charge. but the problem isn't banking pratices but rather predatory capitalism

https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/the-high-cost-for-the-poor-of-using-a-bank

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


at one of my last restaurant jobs the owner was trying to convince everyone that his plan to shift to a prepaid debit card system to handle payroll was cool and good

the cards had a weekly maintenance fee of 4.95, only permitted like three free withdrawls a month, and could only be used without additional fees at a handful of some weird atm network terminals, the nearest of which to the restaurant was three miles away

the younger employees didn't know any better but the adult front house staff and the entire mexican kitchen staff threatened to quit en masse if this plan was implemented and the owner backed down. like yeah i realize ADP charges you a lot more to handle big boy payroll and cut paychecks like a big boy company but partnering with some startup bullshit to save your own personal time and money at the expense of your employees is a terribly dumb assed decision

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


DizzyBum posted:

Wow, what was Walmart's response to that? I feel like they're the kind of company that would just fire everyone and replace them in a week.

in this economy the problem that wal mart and other companies who hire huge amounts of semiskilled/unskilled labor for minwage is that there is a very small pool of competent, unemployed, non-disabled workers who will show up on time and sober without trying to steal poo poo. everyone who would be an ideal fit to stock shelves or whatever already has a job or two. everyone else who walks through the door is going to have chronic back trouble, an opiate problem, multiple felonies, or some other combination of factors. so you can't really fire everyone and expect to be able to just check the next few hundred resumes on file like you could back in 2009

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


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

it's a wash, the chains theoretically have management you can complain to in order to hold an individual location's owner accountable, but on the other hand they also have quotas and sales targets to hit

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Domus posted:

Wow, my friend just got hit with the “There’s a warrant out for your arrest” scam. The guy claimed to be a sheriff’s deputy, wanting to talk to her about missing a summons for federal jury duty. The interesting part is that he had her previous address, which happened to be on the same street, making it seem quite possible that a piece of mail was sent to the wrong place.

in the united states, any time you legally change your address it becomes a matter of public record and goes into a public searchable database. open a new incognito window sometime and search "your name" + "city you live in" and look at all the websites which list your phone number and past addresses. any place you've signed a lease or otherwise put your name on paper should be accessible to anyone who can google you

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


MrNemo posted:

Wow people in the US still get paid with an annual cheque you need to take to the bank? Employers don't just take your bank details and do an electronic transfer? Why?

pretty much all employers except the very shittiest do direct deposit

the new hot scam is to sign up with a company that does payroll on prepaid cards, which have idiotic fees attached - like only two free withdrawls per month, and a $5 monthly maintenance fee just for the privilege of collecting your pay

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Mister Kingdom posted:

I've been seeing ads for Chime which claims to not charge you any fees (other than a $2.50 for using an out-of-network ATM). How do they make any money?

chime, which i have never heard of, seems to be some kind of online bank. they make their money the same as other banks, you deposit money with them as savings and they invest it and make money using your money on the expectation that not all of their customers will need to withdraw all of their money quickly. pretty normal banking stuff

what i'm talking about is scammy payroll processors. normally a company might pay some company like ADP a fee to process and cut payroll checks. this provides an opportunity for other companies to swoop in and say "get this... what if your employees pay the overhead for payroll processing, instead of you, the employer" and it's crooked as hell

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Dumb Lowtax posted:

Just Googled my own name, and right after the first page the top result is a site with my personal cell number as the title, hosted on usphonebook.com. Not sure how they got it, guess I've had this phone number for too long.

there's a bunch of sites that collect public or semi-public info and you can use it to very effectively stalk people unless they stay as far away from the internet as possible

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


MightyJoe36 posted:

Yes and the biggest scam is "lottery money pays for education." So we have a ton of lotteries, casinos, and still we have a school levy every other year and my property tax keeps going up.

your state may suck for some reason but lotteries often do pay for supplemental education on the state level beyond local control of school funding

the basic idea of lotteries is that people are going to gamble anyway, so you may as well bring it into the open and tax it for public good rather than leaving it up to organized crime to take their profits. this is why alcohol and tobacco are legal and taxed, and is one of the big arguments in favor of legalizing marijuana. even in the mid 20th century illegal lotteries were popular, and one of the things that police vice squads would suppress along with drugs and prostitution was underground gambling

the way that schools are funded in the united states takes place on a different level of government from the regulation of gambling and the distribution of proceeds. but states, assuming they are trying to reallocate the government's take of gambling earnings for public benefit, can often fund state-level programs. i live in a state where the lottery paid for my undergraduate degree, and currently pays for my child's pre-k schooling. i buy scratch off tickets every once in a while because as far as i'm concerned i've already won over $20k, which is what the state gave me to cover my tuition at a state university

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Tunicate posted:

money is fungible, it just reduces the amount the state provides through other sources,

not really. pigovian taxes are a distinct funding source from bond issuance or sales tax or property tax or whatever

Dumb Lowtax posted:

Wasn't there some post recently about how states were freely able to take from this fund,

there's fifty states so you're going to have to be more specific

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Tunicate posted:

In actual fact, the amount of money going to education from the general fund was slashed, and - I stress this actually happened, and isn't a hypothetical - the percentage of the total state budget going to education has been reduced since the lottery was established. To cover their asses, the legislators made sure to strip out the 'lottery funds will only be used to supplement education, rather than substitute for other education funding sources' from the final version of the bill, so they sure as hell knew they were doing that.


So yeah, you're regurgitating propaganda from a corrupt industry. Stop doing that.

your state government

you seem to be blaming the concept of the lottery here when describing how elected officials in your state behaved dishonestly. there are many states, each works differently

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


did you google a bunch of paywalled academic articles without reading them? anyway here's the tldr of a more recent article

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brow...gher-education/

i get that you may be invested in winning this argument but i'm not quite sure you know what you're talking about so go ahead and take the last word if you want it

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


hyperhazard posted:

I can't for the life of me find it now, but I read a blog post by a slot machine programmer who explained that they're not just random number generators, they're actually programmed to give you "almost" jackpots at regular intervals to keep you playing. That blew my mind.

scratch off cards do stuff like this also. if your numbers are like 7, 15 you will very likely see the numbers 6, 8, 14, 16 on the card. this is to make you think you were so close to winning. usually there's a giant prize on there too

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Absurd Alhazred posted:

I don't give a poo poo if you do or do not ban casinos, just don't pretend that there's a moral failing involved in losing house and home to these vultures, because that's how they get away with it.

i dont think anyone is doing this itt

it's easy to hold forth on the evils of organized gambling but it's a bit like a baptist preacher holding forth on the evils of drinking and casual sex. yes, people make bad decisions, you made An Observation About Humanity, congrats etc.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


BiggerBoat posted:

None of those posit that "people can't get addicted to gambling" which was what you asserted.

there's a lot of capitalism-noticers itt

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


if you make gambling illegal then it just drives the market and the addicts underground, and it's one more vice to police

it's really not great for people to be throwing away hundreds of dollars they don't have on scratch off tickets, but we also don't want people throwing away money on alcohol, tobacco, sex, narcotics, etc. better for all these addictions and habits to be out in the open where some of that money can be turned to public good rather than the profits being returned to private, possibly criminal actors. and in the best case, we would be able to provide support to people with unhealthy habits rather than letting be crushed by capitalism into expensive and harmful coping mechanisms

e: florida distributes some (could be more, imo) money to local and college education in the form of grants and scholarships

http://www.flalottery.com/site/education

Mr. Fall Down Terror fucked around with this message at 00:16 on Nov 13, 2019

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


MisterOblivious posted:

States that use lottery proceeds to fund education often take as much, or more, of the lottery money out of the education budget and spend it elsewhere.


"We actually were better off, in operating dollars, before the lottery," said Charlotte County District Spokesperson Mike Riley.

"The lottery money isn't enhancement money," Riley said. "It's replacement money, and not as much money is being replaced."

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/38107458/how-much-money-goes-to-schools-from-the-florida-lottery-jackpot

that's a problem with lovely lawmakers, not the lottery

lottery paid for my first college degree and is paying for my kid's daycare, so, thanks gamblers

e: that article is pretty shoddy reporting though, this is an excellent point

quote:

"When the state of Florida was paying 64 percent [in 1986], the total education budget was $7.5 billion, Today, we're paying 56 percent, but it's a $20 billion budget. So that's a much more significant amount of money," said Rodrigues. "[Lottery money] was always supposed to supplant education, and that's what it does."

'number go down' is not a useful argument out of context when, other number go up

Mr. Fall Down Terror fucked around with this message at 14:19 on Nov 13, 2019

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


tight aspirations posted:

Is it possible to turn on a turned off phone?

mostly no. it is possible, but only sometimes, and it is too difficult to bother with

https://blog.erratasec.com/2014/05/no-you-cant-remotely-turn-on-phones.html

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


i like to get telemarketers on the line and then play mary had a little lamb with the key tones, to make their day a little brighter

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


i joined our nextdoor mostly for lost pets and to sell off old furniture but i stopped checking it months ago because even though i live in a pretty hippy liberal place, it's still nothing but wall to wall retirees whining about noise and non-white people

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


BiggerBoat posted:

Uh...doesn't the owner of the apartment complex pay property taxes? Or was that your point?

in my experience, most people who complain about property or sales tax doesn't understand how those taxes are collected, who pays them, or what they pay for

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


i got a series of texts for a dope dealer over a few days. not sure if this is a sincere wrong number or some really weird scam. not replying in either case

quote:

Hey it's Ben this is my number

quote:

Hey Craig, what's good man, this is Ben, I met you at Kristin N Brads apartment the other night. Hey I was wondering if you would be interested in trading anything for Foodstamps, I've got like several hundred dollars worth of foodstamps on the card and I didn't know if you might be interested, hit me back and let me know, either way man, I appreciate ya, later bro

quote:

Hey Craig, this is kassie. Look, we are about to be sick as gently caress and Tim's not doing nothing right now. I finally got word from my school that they sent my check out and I was really hoping you could help us out until Thursday when it gets here. I know your up at the cabin but isn't your buddy still here? I promise you I will get you back on Thursday when my check comes and will pay you an extra $50 for the trouble .....

quote:

We are here is there any way we can talk when you get here about how much? If you could just hop in the car and holla at me, because it's probably gonna be more than last time if it's good, i appreciate it buddy

i can't figure out the scam angle here. i hope ben and kassie were able to exchange their foodstamps for craig's heroin eventually

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Fruits of the sea posted:

What a coincidence! Do you also like "girls in leather pants or wet look"?

I have no loving clue what "wet look" is but the dude wanted it

it's just when someone is wet, like they were swimming or got out of the shower or something. it barely registers on the kink scale

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Proteus Jones posted:

What's up with the "property review" texts I've gotten (2 in the last 2 months)? Mortgage scam/scummy advertising?

if it's about property taxes, then they're offering to file for a re-assessment of your property. this is something you can easily do yourself for free. they're hoping you don't know how re-assessment works and they can charge you a fee to file free paperwork with the county or whoever

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Absurd Alhazred posted:

Retail's been dying for a while. I remember walking around a big local mall last summer and being shocked at how few people there were. I guess it could have also been a dead season for it, but still, made me wonder how they actually stay above water.

not all malls are equally dying. you can split it roughly into quintiles - the top 20% are thriving, the next 20% are doing ok, then hanging in there, then visibly struggling, then "why is this place still even open to the public" if not utterly dead

while a large portion of it is the hammering that brick and mortar retail got from internet retail, the other side of it is that in the 1970s-1990s there were just way too many malls built and so any sort of shift in the market is going to cause swift and savage competition. definitely though there's still a mall doing pretty ok within 25 miles of where you live

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Eric the Mauve posted:

I'd rather the opposite direction--make it strictly for government use.

We've lost the thread here though, all I'm trying to assert is that there is no reason the USPS has to be a cheap vehicle for spammers.

it's fine if a bunch of businesses i dont care about mail me things that i throw away and it keeps the post office open. lots of people make a living off that crap. inefficiency is good, it's what puts food on the table

the only reason spammers can do this is because there is a cheap mail option available to all. making everything cost $3 to mail is about as silly as trying to stop spam email by forcing a dollar per email

Mr. Fall Down Terror fucked around with this message at 04:49 on Nov 10, 2020

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Tubgoat posted:

When they first touched down in media, there seemed to be a consistent narrative of paranoid oppression experienced by the user of bathsalts, across many cases. Of course, it might've just been the only ones they wrote about.

bath salts are a random mix of whatever the gently caress, typically low grade hallucinogens and things that get you high like weed but angrier and a bit delusional

in one state a legislator's son dosed on bath salts in a hot tub, passed out, and drowned. aside from violating a cardinal drug rule "don't dose in water" this lead to an attempt to ban bath salts as well as "spice", which is just synthetic weed crystals sprayed onto inert plant matter

both bath salts and spice have some popularity because they're quasi legal and you can get them for cheap from shady corner stores and gas stations. this means they tend to be consumed by teens and street people with no money, and if you're absuing something like this out of boredom or to escape your lovely life then the odds are pretty good you're going to have a big freak out because the downside to this cheap bag of random intoxicants is that you're really rolling the dice on how your body will react, as the drug bag can vary widely on strength and composition

last year in new hampshire there was an incident where a bunch of local users overdosed at the same time in different locations, meaning probably whatever came in through the local shady corner store was way stronger than usual or had something weird in the mix

https://manchesterinklink.com/multiple-spice-overdose-calls-at-new-horizons-keep-first-responders-busy/

but yeah for every example of someone going nuts and eating someone's face, there's a hundred cases of a bunch of teens in a basement somewhere hard up because the weed man isn't answering his phone and so it's time to have a crappy buzz gotten from a cheap drug mystery box

Mr. Fall Down Terror fucked around with this message at 16:39 on Nov 17, 2020

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


i used to drive a beat up old jeep comanche and the amount of attention i'd get from car/jeep guys was insane. i couldn't take it to the mechanic without some dude coming out and asking me if i'd like to sell it. i had a dude ask me one time if i would sell him the tail lights off the thing. eventually it got hosed up in an accident and then the radiator fell out and it wasn't worth fixing. even in the undrivable, rusty and ragged state it was in, some car guy still gave me my full asking price, cash, and showed up to haul it away that day. he was practically drooling over his lucky find

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


Jeep Guys are a thing (when i had this truck, if i made eye contact with another guy in a jeep, i'd get at least a knowing nod if not a full on 'jeep wave') and this particular model is rare - they stopped selling them in 1992. imagine a jeep cherokee but a small compact pickup, which are hard to find because all pickups sold in america have to be loving enormous i guess

seriously though it was like this every loving time i went to the shop and dudes would start asking me questions about my truck and how much it cost and if i had any plans for it and if i'd like to sell it and what the displacement is or the foot torque and i'm like i dont know! i bought it off my uncle and it sat behind his barn for years!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW6bPOIqwKc

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Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


BiggerBoat posted:

I get those from time to time too and it kind of creeps me out. I'm not listing my house currently, have no idea who this person or what.

since property ownership is a matter of public record, its easy to compile big old lists of homeowners and hit them up with cheap inquiries about selling. 99.9% of people are going to tell you to gently caress off but getting a head start on the one person actually looking to sell makes the effort worthwhile. its not a scam really as much as it is just really aggressive questioning in a tight housing market. i get about one of these a week

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