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Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Josef K. Sourdust posted:

Here's one for Britgoons: I see around on the street (and have seen on trains) some ex-meth addicts collecting for charities to help addicts. They have the tabards (those day-glo tunics - is that what they are called?) and ID cards. I feel conflicted. If they are genuine I don't mind giving a 1 or 2. If they aren't then I wouldn't give. The thing is if you engage in conversation and check the ID you have pretty much committed to donating. Also, how am I supposed to check the ID? Write the name and number and check it by i-net later? The men themselves seem straight while collecting but are clearly ex-addicts (often they tell you this). The charities are all for recovery and rehabilitation of addicts - pretty worthy - but I don't want my money actually going towards drugs.

Suggestions/responses?

Do you get this in the US?
I don't understand why you are so hellbent on donating to people like this. It's simple: If you're the slightest bit in doubt, don't donate, save your money for something else. I am certain you can find 100 other causes that are more likely to be legit that crackheads on the street. I never donate to anything or anyone, because you never know when your money is going into a scam organization, being spent frivously on employee benefits within the org, or ending up in the hands of corrupt officials in a third world country.

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Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



1000 Brown M and Ms posted:

Anyway, scams. I ran into a few when I visited Hong Kong, but at least I only really fell for one.

I was down at the waterfront and an Indian dude started talking to me. Seemed legit at first, but then he did a routing about being a yogi and giving him money for luck. I gave him $10HKD (~$1USD) so he would shut up, but he kept pressuring me so I walked away. I also went across the border to Shenzhen and while I was there bought a MicroSD card from a dude on the street, but it didn't work. Looked real legit though. Only cost about $10 so I wasn't too miffed.

Worst was when I went to Wan Chai with a dude I met at the hostel I was staying at. We were walking past a bar and some girls literally dragged us inside. They really wanted us to spend money on a strip show or to gently caress them, but all we did was buy them a drink. Sounds fine, until they gave us the bill when we left. Our drinks were about $40HKD each, but theirs were $400HKD each. That pissed us off, but we thought it would be a good idea to pay in case there were some dudes out the back that would gently caress us up if we bailed. Honestly, it could have been much worse but we really shouldn't have stayed in the first place.

I also remember a ton of Indian or Arab guys offering me drugs, and people collecting donations for some disaster in the Philippines. I have no idea if they were legit or not, but I wasn't interested in finding out. There's also all the markets with tons of knockoff merchandise, but I'm not sure I'd consider that a scam because of how open they are.
Fundamentally, a foreigner on the street of any country pushingly offering you some item or service is most likely a scammer or involved in something illegal, such as prostitution or drugs. That's just the fact, wether you're in Europe or Asia.

Not all the indians in Hong Kong are bad, most are just tailors, but I remember walking down a busy street and one guy openly, with dozens of locals within earshot, yelled "Hello Sir! You need suit, you need shirt, you need marijuana, something....?" from outside his suit shop.

Locals never scammed me in Hong Kong, just be fresh with haggling, even if a store (small store, not in a big mall) has price labels on the items.

Regarding the hooker bars, they're poor copies of the girly bars in Thailand and Philippines (where you don't get scammed), and prey on rich / new / naive foreigners. In any country such bars will be overpriced and rife with bill inflation.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



goatsestretchgoals posted:

HK tailors are way better than in the States.
Hong Kong'ers set up tailor shops in the USA? Funny, in Asia it's Indians/Pakistanis and similar that perform tailor work.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



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
Why are you so angry about cable/sat TV and hope that the market crashes, when it's a completely voluntary service? Just don't subscribe to it if you don't like it. Calling it a "major scam" is flat out incorrect.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



ToxicSlurpee posted:

It's something people have been complaining about for decades; you have to pay monthly to get 300 channels when you only want like 2 of them. If you want special things (sports, HBO, premium movie channels, etc.) you probably end up buying a package. Chances are you just plain can't subscribe to only one channel even though that's all you want. Chances are you also only want to watch a few specific things on that channel. This is why people have been switching to DVDs or NetFlix; why bother with a cable subscription when it's cheaper to just buy that poo poo on DVD or on the interblag when it comes out instead?

Sports is probably the nastiest for that but that was touched on; if you only want to watch one team in one sport you end up paying for a bunch of poo poo you will never, ever watch on top of 300 other channels you will never, ever watch. It's a major scam because it's ultimately a huge monopoly. There are agreements that only one channel will be allowed to show some flavor of sporty thing so you just have to eat poo poo if that's what the cable company decides to make you do. Good loving luck getting only the channel that has what you want to watch; they're going to force you to pay for basic cable to get it in the first place then probably package it with a bunch of other crap you don't need just to watch your favorite team throw a ball around. It's bullshit.

Then again so is sports these days; the prices of tickets are bug gently caress crazy and the people that own the leagues and teams are doing whatever they can to squeeze every last dime out of it.
I'm just contesting that you call it a "scam". It's completely transparent what you get, you pay the price advertised, and cable TV / sports is an absolutely non-essential thing in life; it's not like they're forcing you to pay for cable if you also want water and electricity in your home.

You're describing precisely why it's not a scam; people like you are saying gently caress it, it's too expensive, and switching to streaming, Netflix or whatever, because you don't want to pay for it. Are you also calling Mercedes a scam because their cars are more expensive than what you want to pay for a car?

Basically, stop whining and stop paying. The more people do the same, the more open the market will/might get.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Just think for two minutes about MLM's selling juice, berries, pills or whatever, and it makes no sense. If a company made a product so great, why would they farm out the distribution, sales and profits to random people, instead of just selling it themselves? That's why the products are always overpriced bullshit.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Proteus Jones posted:

Herbalife is notorious for preying on the Hispanic community. People have lost their life-savings to them.

John Oliver's episode on MLMs is the one I send people who want to know "what's wrong with MLMs?" This is really worth a watch, and he really, really hates Herbalife.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI

Going to do something I very, very rarely do. Quote a good youtube comment:

quote:

It's not a pyramid scheme. It's just an upside-down funnel scheme!

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Just buy a car used car from a regular person, and pay in cash. Problem solved. Don't trade-in your old car, sell it via classifieds, you'll get more money that way.

My theory is that car dealerships are professional liars, and while a private person can also lie about the mechanical state of the car, I think you will on average get more honest answers out of people, and thus a better and cheaper car.

If you can't be without a car for a period of time, buy the new (used) car first, then immediately start trying to sell the old one (if you have one).

It's what I've always done, and it's also naturally better for your economy, since you aren't taking up a loan. If you must buy some more expensive car, perhaps you can borrow from your parents at 0% or low interest (and pay them back of course). I myself have always been satisfied with what I could buy used, in cash over the past 12 years.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



BiggerBoat posted:

You do realize that many people simply don't have $5,000 in cash laying around, right? Also, to your second point about getting cash for your car: yes, that's a great idea but a LOT of people NEED the car they have to get to work to pay for the car you're talking about them buying.

Meaning, if I needed to sell my car for $2500 in order to have enough cash to buy the $5000 one, there's a whole lot of logistical issues there and saying "just buy a car" is not always helpful advice.
But does it have to be $5000? My last car, a 2004 VW Polo, cost the equivalent of $4500, but I live in the country with the most expensive cars in the entire world (Denmark). I can't imagine you can't find a decent daily driver from the mid-2000's in the USA for $2000 or less. Am I wrong?

$2000 is not a lot of money in my opinion. If you can't save up $2k over the span of a few months, why borrow money to buy a new car at horrendous rates? The money will quickly be burnt in interest and fees.

Buying brand new cars is just a frivolous waste of money in my opinion, but to each their own. I always advise people to buy a 5-10 year old car, instead of new. You pay out the nose in depreciation, even if you have the cash in hand.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



maskenfreiheit posted:

you live in a country with universal health care, it's a bit dumb to tell an american "oh just save the money up!", ok buddy ill schedule my broken leg for next fiscal year
If you can't save up like $400 a month for 12 months (to buy a perfectly drivable $5k car), what business do you even have owning a car? Insurance, fuel, repairs, tires, taxes, and so on. This is basic economics. Owning a new car is not a human right. You could just as well argue that buying a new car that costs you, for example, $500 per month in payments, will shatter the savings you need for future medical emergencies.

Mustached Demon posted:

57% of American households have less than $1000 in savings. 39% have el zilcho.

Guess I'll link source
If someone has less than $1000 in savings, how exactly are they putting down money on a new car from a dealership then? I'm talking against walking into a dealership and buying a car on a downpayment/loan "deal" here, and recommending buying used for cash instead.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Blue Footed Booby posted:

You're a loving moron.
Great argumentation skills you have, did you learn to post like that in the "Debate" & "Discussion" forum?

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



mostlygray posted:

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.

Seems like the car isn't even really gifted for free to them either:

http://www.pinktruth.com/2016/11/28/the-truth-about-the-mary-kay-pink-cadillac/

http://mentalfloss.com/article/80034/story-behind-mary-kay-pink-cadillac

According to one source, it's just a two-year, partially paid lease. Effectively costing the MK representative even more money.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



mostlygray posted:

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."

That's like drug dealer style interest rates, except the 3rd missed payment would incur a chopped off finger or worse. Funny.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



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.

MLM.

I've been reading the subreddit https://www.reddit.com/r/antiMLM/ for a while, and this is textbox MLM - won't mention the company name, pressuring for a meeting, and advertises "being your own boss" and "making extra income" on the side.

MLM's these days target women, often stay at home moms, and it's all done via Facebook and other social media. Ever heard of the concept of a "Facebook party"? It's when people interested in selling/buying poo poo from an MLM distributor have a live group chat, sometimes with video, on Facebook, where a distributor desperately tries to unload their overpriced junk makeup/leggings/essential oils.

Distributors/consultants are fed a constant stream of copypasta by their uplink/mentor to post on their Facebook feed. It is typically filled with emojis, hinting at conspiracy theories against doctors and actual pharmaceutical science, claiming that their oil/pills/juice can cure anything that ails ya. They are pushed by their uplink/mentor to constantly spam their Facebook with this, and encouraged to message their Facebook friends asking them if they want to meet and/or buy their products. If you ever receive a message from an ancient friend, say 10-20 years ago school friend, that starts with "Hey Girl! I read your Facebook profile and it's so awesome!....", then you are more likely about to read MLM spam, rather than a genuine reunion. What's even worse is when you get conned into meeting an old friend for what you think is genuine coffee and talk, but it ends up being a sales pitch.

MLM is hugely popular amongst mormon circles, naturally mostly in Utah. This lady explains some very good points about why: https://religionnews.com/2017/06/20/10-reasons-mormons-dominate-multi-level-marketing-companies/

As a clever person on Reddit said recently, the customers of an MLM company are not the people buying poo poo from distributors - the distributors are the customers of the MLM. They pour in thousands of dollars, under "guidance" from "mentors" closely related to the company, buying piles of overpriced stock, in order to keep meeting their minimum order quotas, and going up in levels (gold, diamond, etc.) within the MLM. For that, they get pitiful benefits - cheap Made in China makeup kits, bags, clothing, or if you're really lucky, the "gift" of being able to co-lease a company branded car that ends up being on your dime if you fall back below the required quota.

Are MLM's a scam? In part, but people are voluntarily joining them and keeping them afloat. Get wise, read up, and advise your friends and family to do the same. Many friendships are cut short because one part dives into MLM and refuses to accept the facts, and they will end up with a much lighter wallet and hopefully enlightenment many years later.

Pilsner fucked around with this message at 21:42 on Feb 2, 2018

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



fizzymercy posted:

I work at an auto body and frame shop and I would just love to hear a single substantiated story about someone getting actually scammed at a legitimate auto shop. The thing is, everyone on earth thinks they're being suckered by their mechanic. Everyone isn't being scammed, that's stupid. Everyone thinks they're being scammed because cars are mysterious magic boxes that only break because all auto industry workers are dicks that want more money. We're not, we just took a lot of classes and also shoved our heads up the asses of so many cars we've earned your Ignorance Tax.

Being a mechanic is a bullshit job but goddamn I get paid so well I honestly can't imagine having to scam someone for money. shame on IGA is right, buy Audels 5th edition and feel like a genius every time you smell burnt oil. It's amazing.

Since when does earning good money reduce the lust for a scammer to earn even more money? Assuming a mechanic is employed by a shop, he's not the one leading the potential scams; the owner of the shop is.

I don't have first hand experience getting scammed, since I repair my cars myself, but the internet and the real world is filled to the brim with mechanic scam stories. They are in a position of power, since most people cannot argue with them whether or not their brakes need replacement or if something is broken, and need their car fixed quickly, either to drive or pass inspection.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



mostlygray posted:

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.
That is indeed bullshit. Brake caliper pistons have a thread in them (like a big screw), and to "push" back the pistons, necessary when installing brand new brake pads, you need to use a special tool to actually wind the pistons back into the caliper. This requires a LOT of force, and cannot be done by just squeezing them.

It is possible for calipers to be too worn, so the brakes "hang" (or are "frozen"), which wears brake pads and increases gasoline consumption, but this isn't somethign you can just demonstrate by trying to push them by hand.

Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



Class Warcraft posted:

If there was a latin phrase for "cutting corners and then regretting it" it would be on my family's coat of arms.
Tell more stories!

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Pilsner
Nov 23, 2002



shame on an IGA posted:

Brake pistons: It's both, sometimes on the same car. My 98 Accord has press-return pistons in the front but you have to turn the back ones bc they are threaded as described.

You're right, they're not always threaded. My car's rear pistons are threaded because of the handbrake self-adjust mechanism, I believe. Can be a bitch and a half to wind them back.

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