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A Scammer Darkly

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Superfantastic, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. Superfantastic

    Superfantastic
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    Just wrote this in the 'Believe the opposite' thread. Might could work as its own.

    Had a salesman come to my door a few weeks ago pitching some tech that syncs your phone to your heater/security system and includes a peephole camera, essentially turning your place into a smart home. He technically wasn't lying -- he wanted to install it for free so that I would tell my neighbours about it and they would, ideally, want to purchase it.

    Fucking everything about this kid -- from the unheard of (likely recently changed) company name on his shirt, to his hair cut, to his rehearsed lines and "jokes" (after I answered that I have an iPhone, not a Samsung: "Was there a groupon for iPhones in this neighbourhood? Seems like everyone I've talked to has one!") -- absolutely SCREAMED 'total scam'. And he repeated many times that he wasn't there to sell anything. It got to the point where I started thinking he wasn't just a scammer, but was actually scoping out the area to look for houses to break into. JUST as I had that thought he started asking about my security system and what kind of brand of thermostat I have. I gave yet another emotionless, one-word answer of, "Dunno," at which point he asked to come in and see for himself. I raised an eyebrow and told him we're done here, and he seemed genuinely shocked that I wouldn't even give my name.

    Soon as I closed the door I Googled the company name. It's real, and they do in fact install it for free. Problem is, that's all they do, and all the systems break down, and they'll never come fix them, or they will but they wont work the same, and they have 60-month contracts you can't get out of, and they pick on the elderly, and on and on. I actually can't wait till it happens again, whatever the scam is. My plan is to whip out my phone and search the company name immediately. Then I'll tell the scammer that I'm going to type 'S' after it and see if 'scam' is the first thing that comes up, or give them a chance to fuck off on their own.

    FOCUS: Encounters with scammers, door-to-door or otherwise. Anything funny happen? Tell them to fuck off in a funny or entertaining way? Did you lead them on only to bail at the last minute, just before you sign, and call them a pig fucker? Ever get sucked in? Funny stories of dumb people you know who got sucked in and ruined their lives (lol)?

    ALT-FOCUS: Were/are any of you pig fuckers a scammer? Do you think of suicide everyday, or just a couple times a week? Please explain how you sleep at night or live with yourself.
     
    CanisDirus and Revengeofthenerds like this.
  2. Juice

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    Since college, a guy in my fraternity has jumped from one pyramid scheme to another. He started at Cutco, then Amway, now he works at Power Home Remodeling Group. Every post on Facebook is him posting about how great of a company it is, how much money he makes, and all the great stuff the company does. The work breaks down to selling old ladies roofing and vinyl siding door-to-door. Glassdoor and Yelp are obviously flooded with corporate reviews, but every now and then you get a review that just states the company is a mega scam.

    Another guy from college called me up out of the blue once just to chat. I was immediately suspicious, but figured it was nice to catch up. Not two minutes in he starts going on about some great life insurance plan he wants to sell me. Scumbag.
     
  3. Misanthropic

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    I've posted before about attending a seminar/meeting when a "friend" tried to get me into Amway, and what a shit show that was. I also responded to a roadside ad that turned out to be Cutco. Six of us sat in a room and listened to some frat boy, who had one tuft sticking up at right angles from his overly-gelled hair ala Something about Mary, try to rope us into that scam. At about 45 minutes in he paused, and said something along the lines of "If you don't want to make lots of money selling this great product you may as well leave now". I took that as my cue, got up, and left.

    There is a kitchen remodeling company in our area whose angle is that they re-surface your cabinets rather than replace them entirely, supposedly saving money. We were thinking of having the kitchen remodeled and I had seen their ad in a flyer we got in the mail, so I called them up. We had been pricing cabinets, countertop, etc. so I had a basis for price comparison. This guy shows up, looks at the cabinets, ran some numbers, we talked, and he gave me price I thought was way higher than what we had anticipated.

    I told him we needed to think about it, at which point he told me that his cost included a 20% discount, but only if I signed the contract right then and there. If I took the time to think it over they would charge me even more. When I said again that I needed to consider it, he continued to try to strong arm me into signing an agreement, refusing to leave and eventually saying "Hey, I came all the way over here and gave you my time and advice and now you're going to send me away empty handed? "

    When I stood up and told him to get the hell out of my house, I think he finally got the hint. I think the Mrsanthropic thought I was going to hit the guy, and I came close.
     
    #3 Misanthropic, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  4. toytoy88

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  5. Angel_1756

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    My brother-in-law's grandmother is big into pyramid schemes and keeps trying to recruit my sister to join her various organizations. From hawking jeans with "cancer curing buttons" to "all natural organic non-GMO chemical free products", this old biddy wants to sell you every buzz word under the sun. It got so bad that she once asked my nephew (her great grandchild, who is 4) to go up to my sister and say "mommy, if I got cancer, THEN would you help Gi-Gi make me better?"

    Said old biddy has not been seen in my sister's presence since that day.
     
  6. JWags

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    Oh, where to begin. Before I get to what I think of when I think of scams, my Mom had a door to door book salesman jam his foot in the door and say "why? do you have a problem with the way I look?" as she repeatedly told him she wasn't interested. It was before cell phones and my Mom was more than a little freaked out.

    The guy who lived next door to me Freshman year of college got involved in a company called Southwestern. They sell encyclopedia style books door to door. But wait, it gets worse. So when they place you in whatever shitty locale they've selected for you, you need to find your own housing...also going door to door asking if people have a room for you to stay in. Part of the plan/program is that you don't pay for housing and need to seek out charity essentially. Then you hoof it door to door every day and then wait at your designated roadside spot to be picked up. He did well, and basically became sort of a student manager/recruiter and tried to pull me in the next year. His boss was a creepy cultish dude who would come to intramural games and stand on the sidelines in a suit with a weird smile. I took one meeting, was told I was a "fantastic fit", looked it up online, and promptly said I wasn't interested. His persistence in trying to tell me I was wrong and missing out on "fantastic experience and earning potential" told me all I needed to know. It was Cutco but with less control and more awkwardness. Mind you they were also recruiting 19-20 year olds at a very good school with a top 20 business program for something they should have been targeting desperate hucksters. He's still with the company as far as I know. Door to door asking for a room to stay in while you sell overpriced magazines...FOH.

    The funniest was MonaVie, which was a MLM pitch for juices and powders with spurious health claims. My last year of college, one of my roommates was introduced to it by the gf of one of his HS friends and got into it. Mind you, he had little interest in doing the MLM work himself, but he was a natural born sheisty individual. Despite growing up affluent, he did stuff like buy red Starbucks cups online and practice the initials on the bottom to get free coffees for months when they used to give singular free cups away as a promotion during the holidays. Or bring multiple colored sharpies out on a weekend night to see what color bars were using for their markings to avoid paying a $2-3 cover. Anyways, he was president of our business organization that was about 100 kids strong. We did various sales and marketing projects throughout the year, usually bringing in around $50K in revenue. It was serious. He tried to propose a sales project selling MonaVie through the chapter, essentially employing all 100 members as sales reps, under his umbrella. Our other roommate and I, who were both VPs of the organization, cracked up and immediately called bullshit. He backed down but tried halfheartedly to get us to sell before shutting up. The company had plenty of controversies about claims and just defaulted on a big loan last year.
     
  7. CharlesJohnson

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    You will never find a more wretched hive of villainy than the contractors circle. Had two guys come out to give me quotes. I know what needs to be done, and how. I just don't have the talent to do it *well*. One gave me a very reasonable price. He ticked off everything that was supposed to be done and with the correct method, without me mentioning squat. The other asshole went through the house, found shit that wasn't broken, wanted to rip out my ceiling to scrim it, flat out lied about how to edge a counter top, then came back with a price 4 times the amount the other guy quoted. I'm honestly surprised he sent the quote, he knew I wasn't having any of his shit.

    My friend got me a 1000 sq ft power washing coupon off Groupon for $100. It'll take care of my driveway and patio. The fat fuck white trash comes out with this doofus who looks exactly like one of the retard sons from Dog The Bounty Hunter. He flat out refuses to honor the Groupon, but will do it for $300 because "I have to use chemicals." Chemicals. Like bleach, which virtually every other provider uses? Looks like I'm buying my own power washer.
     
  8. CanisDirus

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    As an electrical apprentice, I concur. There's three people you should be able to trust; your lawyer, your butcher and your contractor.
     
  9. CanisDirus

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    Recently I made the memorable mistake of calling in on a "$1,000 scratch ticket from 'Valley Health'. Cue the two-months-later showing of two poor dudes trying to sell me an air purifier and some over-blown shop vac. I listen to their pitch at my kitchen table, mentally kicking myself and going, "They're nice, I guess." while nodding along with all the minutiae and things I know are lies about dust mites and pollen and air fresheners. It's a bad sign when a dude who is a door-to-door salesman says, "I'm not a salesmen." Thankfully, roomie arrived home and lost his fucking mind at them, and I got to play "good cop" to his "bad cop" and helped them pack their shit up. Goddammit, never falling for that pile of shit again.

    Another thing that happens is for some reason there's a lot of Christian pamphlets and miscellany in Northern Idaho, for various Christian flavors from Baptists to Mormons. I got really pissed one time because they have some sort of sneaky currency-look-alike pamphlet and you pick it up off the ground in the park, happily, thinking it is money. Then it just says something about heaven and hell and your soul, and you get disappointed and throw that piece of shit into the garbage with vehemence. Then I had some college-aged petite Asian girl who tried to sell me a DVD, and I bought it to give later to my brother across town. [He's a big Christian conspiracy nut, so he'd love crap like this, it was some sort of prophecy end times predicted by Daniel or some such] Then there was the CD salesman, who also turned out to be another 'church pitcher'... it goes on and on.

    Honestly, I feel bad for the people who get in on this shit, because I know most of them must know on some level their job is bullshit with a capital 'B'. Once when I was eighteen, I went with my friend to a job opportunity at a local Cut-Co distribution center. The fucking mind games they play on you there is astonishing. You're sat in a room of like thirty to forty people, and most of them look like living war crimes or why you shouldn't do meth, in the flesh, with a scattered helping of naive or trying to think-the-best-of-the-times young people, like my friend. Then this douchebag, who I swear to god was named Chad and looked like Ryan Reynolds but with face-destroying horrible acne scars, comes out with a clearly-rehearsed sad story about how his father left his family when he was three and how his mother committed suicide when he was ten and the inevitable, "Now look at me, I am a valued employee and yada yadee yada." My friend, who at the time really just needed a job to help layover eating and living expenses while going to college, had a sinking look on his face, like a man about to be drawn and quartered. So it goes on, and it's day two of their "interview process" and this time, I refuse to go back, as I know it's a heap of shit and encouraged my friend to get the fuck out before it was too late. Friend does take my advice but goes anyway back to the second day of Cut-Co's nonsense, kinda going, "Might as well." He told me about how there's a bunch of uncomfortable chairs, and one nice chair that you can actually sit in without feeling like a broom was shoved up your ass. The goal was to sell enough to sit in the "Seller's Chair". Then they go on about how if you sell enough in a year, you win prizes... like a limousine and a night on the town[!]... with the fucking low-rent Ryan Reynolds asshole Chad. Literally, on the third day, my friend went back and they were asking for some kind of commission or some such, he made up a lie about going to the bathroom and bailed. He felt ashamed and really pissed off he even went in on this horseshit.
     
    #9 CanisDirus, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  10. dewercs

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    I have been doing mortgages with the same guy since 1998 about 5 years ago he decided he was going to get involved in some scheme where all your utilities, phone and internet were all lumped into one bill and were administered by a third party and you would save 20-30% on the total bill, he paid $500 to join the scheme and then went for training in California for 3 days with his wife and the Realtor that told him about it. The whole thing made no sense to me and smelled like a scam.
    A few weeks after the training that fucker has his wife call my wife, because he knows I will say no, and invite us over for dinner to discuss a "business opportunity", which my wife happily agrees to. The happiness that we were going to dinner faded quickly after I told (fucking screamed at) my wife that I would not be attending said soiree. She called to cancel and my partners wife yells at my wife for not wanting to learn about this exciting business opportunity and my wife ends up in tears.
    The next few days in the office were very awkward and the scam was never discussed again, even though I still bring it up in a condescending way.

    I don't get many door knockers to sell me shit, it could be the 4 dogs that go apeshit when someone knocks on the door. Last week I was watching TV and had my front door open, my dogs were lounging on the couch when up the driveway walks a boyscout and right as he walked up to the screen door the dogs saw him and all ran to the door and tried to run through the door while barking, he screamed and ran. I laughed, not at him but about him so it makes it ok.
     
  11. justinarelost

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    I think my favorite interactions have been scammers calling trying to get money via "tech support" from telling you that you have viruses. My favorite time was getting a call on my Google Voice number and keeping them on the line for 20 minutes or so. I let them remote into a virtual machine and letting them look around and find nothing. Here is a hilarious video that took it way further than I ever did:

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-04/11/malwarebytes
     
  12. Revengeofthenerds

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    About a week ago I gave out some basic info for a sweepstakes thing for a $50k Bass Pro gift card. Because sure, why the fuck not. I knew I was in for a wealth of spam calls and E-mails but never hurts.

    Got a call today that I'm "one of the finalists" (probably of like three thousand), and I can get a $100 gift card to a bunch of restaurants as well as two free round trip tickets for my wife and I all I need to do to pick them up is attend a time share presentation and they happen to have an appointment tonight.

    Yeah, sorry, no. Good for some entertainment though.
     
  13. Fiveslide

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    Wife and I went to the RV show back in January. She signed up for all the drawings for free camping and giftcards and shit. Well, her name was "drawn", along with dozens of other people, and we get a call informing us we won, we just need to select a time to pick up our stuff. We drive two hours to the camping "resort" and have to watch their sales pitch about their $13,000 membership and $500 annual maintenance fees. Their nightly rate was still $10. It was a nice place, but, $13,000 for a place to park my camper, a little patch of dirt for my son to play in? And I'll only save $15-$30 a night compared to what I pay now. Fuck, I hope I don't look stupid enough to fall for that. We decline, get our gift cards and leave. The same people call a few days later and say we can buy someone's defaulted membership for $1,895. A week or so go by, defaulted membership is down to $1,395. I think it is under a grand now.

    Years ago, I had someone stop by my house in the middle of winter, and after dark, trying to sell gutters. I told him to wait a minute, went and bundled up, came back outside and made him pitch his gutters on my front porch in sub-freezing temperatures while I drank beer. I did let him sit in a chair. He kept shivering and asking if we could go inside and talk. No, we may not.
     
  14. Frebis

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    I feel like starting a Pyramid scheme is the only way to get rich now. At least half of the girls I'm friends with on facebook distribute advocare, juice plus, or some other pyramid scheme. For whatever reason they don't understand it is a pyramid scheme until 3 months later when they are $1k in the hole, and only their family will buy their shakes out of pity. "Does anyone want to start a 24 days challenge with me?!?!?!?!?"
     
  15. Juice

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    My favorite are whatever the hell Jamberry Nails are supposed to be.
     
  16. Frebis

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    Did you know essential oils can do everything from making your wang stiffer all the way up to less important things like curing cancer? I have seriously seen both of these things listed.

    The only one I find not to be a scam is pampered chef. I find a lot of their gadgets to be awesome.
     
  17. Rush-O-Matic

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    Several years ago, I was moving out of one house, and into another one about 20 minutes away, in the next County. I was outside the old house, repairing a shutter or something, and the guy in the frozen meat truck pulls up. He starts going on and on about how his freezer just quit, and he's got to unload all this steak before it goes bad, and he's just slashed prices to get rid of it. I told him I wasn't interested and didn't really have the extra freezer space. He persisted, so I said, look it's the end of the day. If you drive around the rest of the neighborhood with no luck, and you've still got steaks left, I'll buy a couple that I can cook tonight. He was all, oh, no these'll be gone by then, and I can't just sell you two steaks, my boss is gonna kill me, etc. I said, well, they're going to go bad, and you won't have a total loss. He drove off.

    About 2 weeks later, I'm outside unloading furniture into the new house. Same guy, same truck drives up. He starts into the same story about the freezing not working. I said, dude, just stop. You came by my old house 2 weeks ago, and if you're freezer hasn't worked this whole time, I don't want your nasty, rotten meat. He didn't even say anything and got back in his truck and drove off.
    - - -
    A bunch of months ago, Nett posted a link to get a free coat hook. I was like, huh, that's cool . . . what's the catch? I just assume everything is a scam. (There was no catch, beyond the fact that I'm sure my email and mailing addresses are added to databases that they were probably already in.) So, I Google "free stuff" for fun. Much of that was having to answer surveys or sign up for mailers or some crap I had no interest in doing. But, one was "enter your address, get free Red Bull" or something.. Seriously, this was like almost a year ago. My 4-pak of Sugar Free Red Bull came in the mail yesterday.
     
  18. Flat_Rate

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    Ah yes, my cousins are big into this. 125 for the diffuser and twenty bucks per bottle of oil, how much oil you ask? 15ml. For twenty bucks. For shit that does absolutely nothing.
     
  19. AFHokie

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    Growing up we'd get everything from Jehovah Witnesses to the random vacuum cleaner salesman and everything in between knocking on the door. The best salesman deterrent ever was our Newfoundland dog looking them eye to eye through their car door window.

    Not the best photo, but you get an idea of her size. That's me with her when I was about 7 or 8 Me & Nana.jpg
     
  20. Revengeofthenerds

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    And I just got another call saying that I can now decide between that and a royal carribean cruise if I just attend an hour long "no obligation no purchase necessary time share presentation." Thinking about doing it just for the entertainment value.

    And hey, if I get a cruise outta it, even better. There's worse ways to spend an hour than laughing at some shitty sales dude trying to sell me something I have no desire or financial means to purchase.

    My wife makes custom t-shirts, debating whether I should have her make me one for the event that says "I'm just here for the free cruise."