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He Sure Madoff with a Lot of Cash...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    Ancient Egypt Week here at TiB continues!

    The ancient Egyptians are famous for, among other things, their gigantic pyramids. From king Zoser's Stepped Pyramid at Saqqara to Khufu's Great Pyramid at Giza, they are big and angular.

    Ancient Egyptians had pyramids, and modern cultures have pyramid schemes. They have a few things in common: they both require a lot of labor who are willing to give up a tremendous amount in order to make one guy at the top successful.

    Pyramid schemes are just one type of scam that people continue to fall for. There are many others: Ponzi schemes, Nigerian 419 scams, selling knives, student painting companies, you name it. I had an uncle who fell hard for the Nigerian 419 scam before it became popular. They changed some of the details a little bit: it was secret Vatican gold from the Philippines, but basically the same deal. He was, and is to this day, an idiot, so I don't feel too bad.

    FOCUS: What scammy enterprises have you or your acquaintances been involved with? Ever been snookered into something? Ever unsuccessfully tried to warn a friend away from one?
     
  2. BL1Y

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    Without going into the details of how electronic doc review works. The firm I used to work created about an extra million dollars worth of billable hours by being inefficient fuckwads in the Lehman bankruptcy. And that was just at the lowest level of doc review, who knows how much more crap we piled on top of that.

    Not really on focus, but maybe? (I won't be offended if this gets edited.)

    I've seen the Ancient Aliens special on the History Channel, and there's some South American mountains with these huge images carved on them that are only visible from the air, so they theorize that they were intended to be viewed by the aliens that had visited, or even created by the aliens.

    I have an alternate theory. Perhaps some prior civilization had their own Andy Kaufman, and he had a good sense of history and how civilizations develop and die out, and so just to fuck with future civilizations, he had these giant carvings made that had no meaning, but would baffle whoever discovered them. (I have the same theory about the Jonas Brothers.)
     
  3. Aetius

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    I once, while hammered, tried to warn John Francis Daley's girlfriend away from Scientology. I'm guessing I didn't put together the most coherent argument of all time.
     
  4. Disgustipated

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    Pyramid selling here used to be huge, and occasionally you still get someone dress it up and try and make cash before the cops come calling. I've had clients in the past come to me with polished prospectuses they'd got from some rogue, but it all boiled down to the same thing. They're always good to argue with.

    But in terms of scammy enterprises here's three letters most martial artists will probably have heard: GKR.

    Often called the "Amway of Martial Arts" they're a karate style started in Australia. They door knock and pressure sell people into joining, and will then often throw higher belts at people who think of leaving in order to get them to stay.

    They will also give students an "instructor's belt" which is black with a white stripe through it. This means that they're entitled to teach a class, but they may only be a rank beginner in terms of their own grading. They can, and do, have yellow belts teaching classes and people thinking they're a black belt.

    I've heard more than one occurrence of something similar to this:

    Three new students turn up at a martial arts class saying they're from GKR and are sick of what they're doing. The next week only one comes. When asked where the other two are, the reply is "GKR gave them higher belts if they stayed".

    Individual instructors may be good, but as an organisation they're dodgy.
     
  5. ghettoastronaut

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    Does buying items from Chinatown that turn out to be broken with a non-itemized receipt that reads "All sale are final - no refund" count as a scam? Because I'm pretty sure it does. Fucking dirty Chinamen.
     
  6. Decatur Dave

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    I've covered my experience with CutCo a couple times. I've had a fat fuck I work with keep trying to turn me on to Purex. Basically, it's an energy drink you sell to your friends, one of them is supposed to give you a hard dick, another cures cancer or something. If you google it, the ENTIRE first results page is their BS rhetoric. He keeps telling me his 'adviser' is telling him Florida is their great untapped area, which apparently I'd just clean up in.
     
  7. Juice

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    My grandma fell victim to the Nigerian Prince scam. If you dont know what that is, its a scam where you get a frantic email from a Nigerian prince proclaiming that he has a large amount money stowed away. However since hes in exile, he cant access it directly unless you wire him $1000 and then he will share all his riches with you. Theres tons of variations of the scam, but of course my grandma being the retarded old lady that she is, happily wired the money. She told my dad (who works in computer security) about her "deal" and he went ape shit. Shes been going through the fraud reporting process with the FTC for the last year.

    Whatever, I hope I still get a dollar on my birthday.
     
  8. Frebis

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    I have a facebook friend that posts daily about the "Body By Vi" challenge. And how we could all be rich if we sold it. I didn't know what this shit was, so I googled it. Apparently it is some kind of microwave meal that costs $2 a piece and makes you lose weight. The marketing team for this thing is impressive, because I searched for roughly ten minutes and couldnt find anything negative about it. Just things like "Greatest company ever to work for and it only costs $500 to start." and "We give away a new BMW a day to a random associate".

    I've worked several places, and none of them made me buy my way in.

    I would love to tell you how this ended, but I had to defriend him. He went to the company conference in Orlando and updated his facebook feed once every ten minutes about how amazing it was. He was either lying, or retarded. I'm not sure which, but either way he had to be cut, I couldn't take updates on it anymore.

    Also, I am no longer friends with a guy I went to college with because I refused to by my toiletries from his Amway catalogue.
     
  9. Frank

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    My girlfriend's cousin keeps sending out seemingly personal e-mails (one's that start out asking about recent events that happened to us) and then segways into some sort of 'opportunity' for us to make money. I honestly don't even know how to respond to these things, even if we are able to convince her that it's stupid she'd get suckered out of her money anyway.

    I'm surprised anyone still talks to her, that shit wouldn't be tolerated in my family.

    I got suckered into this thing called Social Security, they take money out of my paycheck every month and give it to the old people that created the scheme. Apparently there isn't enough money coming in for me to collect when I'm of age. I'm an idiot for being born in the 80's.
     
  10. Misanthropic

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    I sat through the first 30 minutes of a Cutco recruitment before deciding that the cheesy guy with a " There's Something About Mary" blob of hair gel on his cowlick was full of crap, and I left.

    I've also been courted by Amway - creepy doesn't even begin to describe their "pitch". They target people with families, and proceed to tell you that you are lazy, a coward, a bad husband, bad father and on the outs with Jesus H. Christ himself if you don't join their organization. And no, I'm not exaggerating.

    This also seems like an opportune moment to bring up that time I paid $37.50 for a 5th Avenue candy bar, except that some of you have threatened me with death if I post that one more time.
     
  11. whathasbeenseen

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    I like BeachBody products like P90x and Insanity. Good, hard workouts that work and give me some awesome cardio that isn't running as well as a new appreciation for the strength gains of yoga. But then you have BeachBody coaches who try to sell you this crap called Shakeology. Also when you're laying in a heap of your own DNA after a workout, struggling to breathe there are these short little infomercials at the end of the DVDs that try to appeal to you when your willpower has all but evaporated and your resistance to programming is at its absolute minimum. What they don't tell you is that if you buy this Shakeology crap or any of their other items, they eventually segue into wanting you to peddle this 'breakthrough in nutrition' to everyone you know. Look. I paid $120 for your workout DVDs. Thats all I want. Go sell crap some place else, we're all stocked up here.
     
  12. Omegaham

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    They have these assholes on base who pop up every month or so. They're some sort of "family heritage" company that sells ridiculously overpriced crap to stupid Marines. Basically, they sit right outside the PX and get people to look at their stand. Just for fun, I went and listened to the spiel, to find out that their services consist of the following:

    1. Looking on Google with your last name and finding famous people with that name.
    2. Printing a certificate with those famous people on it on fancy Office Max paper.
    3. Making a ring with your "family crest" on it, which is actually based on your ethnicity. They have one for each country.
    4. Making a "tapestry" (about a foot by a foot) straight from the Chinese coolie to your hands.
    5. Making a sword and shield, also from China, with your country's emblem on it.

    All of these cost at least 300 bucks, each, with the exception of the first two, which cost a low, low 80 dollars.

    I still had a lot of my boot camp politeness in me, (three months of saying "Yes sir this recruit's pussy hurts" will do that to you) so I said, "Sorry sir, not interested." Nowadays I tell them to go fuck themselves. The thing that pisses me off is that sadly, those guys make a killing every time they come around. There are just so many dumbasses here that have too much money and not enough sense. Hilariously, regardless of what you actually buy, they bill you for all their "services," so you're out around a thousand bucks. I was laughing about their stand one day, and one of my classmates said "That isn't funny, I got scammed by those guys." I started making fun of him, until my class leader said that he isn't alone; it seems like out of every indoc class that comes in, a quarter of them end up buying something from them. Awesome.

    According to my friends on the West Coast, the stretch of road from the spot the taxi drops you off from MCT to the airport is filled with scam artists, (19-20-year-old attractive females who want your Social Security number so they can log into Mypay and transfer your pay to their account) taxi drivers who want to drive you to the strip club, and dodgy electronics stores. My roommate had an Asus laptop that he got for "only 80 bucks a month..." for two years. The thing was barely worth 500 bucks, and he got it for $2000. But it was only 80 dollars a month!

    According to several staff sergeants I've talked to, walking into a car dealership with a high and tight will make the salesman do three things:

    1. Act really friendly, thank you for your service.
    2. Say he has a son in the military.
    3. Try to sell you a car for way above sticker price.

    I'm guessing that this happens wherever there are young people away from home, but I have never seen so many con men in my life. It was sobering after coming from suburbia, where my parents had taught me that honesty is one of the greatest virtues you can have, that liars always get caught, and so on to find out that there are people who actually make a living (and a good one at that) by suckering kids out of their money. Oh well, that's the real world for you.
     
  13. dixiebandit69

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    Cutco was my first job out of highschool. I lasted a couple of weeks. NO ONE would give me any references/leads. The only person who agreed to buy anything from me was my dad, but while I was filling out his paperwork, I realized that the two knives that he was going to buy were in my demo bag (which I had to pay about $150 for), and I just decided to give him those and keep the others, and I quit.
    The knives ARE very good though, and I still use them to this day.
     
  14. shegirl

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    I hear clients, hell even my friends bitch and moan about having to pay for insurance.

    "I've been paying you people (you don't make your checks payable to "shegirls vacation fund" you doucheface) and have gotten nothing in return because I'm claim free."

    Ya know what doucheface? Join the club and gripe to the lawmakers.

    I have a few friends that are going for "loan modification" with their mortgage. From what I've been told, you apply for it and are given an initial lower payment option to make during the application process, which can take as long as they want and in many cases up to a year.

    Who wouldn't opt to make the lower payment during the process right? They simply cannot afford not to.

    Apparently the bank can come back declining the modification and then want the difference between the two payment amounts back with fees and interest. It's nuts.

    Also noted was that as a result of making the short payments you basically go into default during the process. This, in turn, causes havoc with other creditors resulting in the lowering of credit limits and higher interest rates. It's a complete clusterfuck if you're declined and opted to make the lower payments and/or not put the money away just in case.

    I don't know how this is legal, let alone fair, but often times that is the case in matters such as this.
     
  15. Muley05

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    I know a guy that fell for a scam on Craig's List. He was selling a couch or something, and was paid with a "cashier's check". It cashed at the bank just fine, but then a couple of weeks later it was discovered that the check was fake, so he was out the couple hundred bucks that the check was written for. And of course the scammers were long gone. I did feel a little bad because it did look like a legit cashier's check, but he also should have known that cash is king with Craig's List.

    I was selling a dining room table on CL and got the same email from different addresses multiple times. The buyer was basically going to wire me the price of the table plus extra money to hold the table and for shipping fees, and wanted my bank info. I don't know how people fall for shit like that, but they clearly do.
     
  16. zyron

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    My roommate in college got suckered into the Amway (later also known as Quickstar) organization. He would tell us about the meetings he would go to and how the guy that recruited him had a mansion, a boat and his own plane. There even was a picture of him on a stage with a banner that read "Thank you for following your dreams."

    We finally got sick of hearing about it so a few of us asked to hear the pitch. Pathetic is the only way to describe it. It got so bad that we started laughing and couldn't stop. This pissed off my roommate who finally got up and left. He flunked out a couple semesters later.

    Amway has commercials that come on and it says in the commercial that 1 million business owners sell for Amway and post sales of nearly 1 billion dollars. Lets see, 1 billion dollars divided by 1 million sellers equals $1000 a year in average sales. Take out the cost of goods and you got about an average profit of what $200 a year? Where do I sign up?
     
  17. zyron

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    Couldn't edit last one.

    My numbers were a little off, they have over 6 Billion in annual sales and have over 3 million people selling their crap. So the average person sells about $2,000 annually and then you take out the cost of goods. Still making 1850's wages in 2010.





    I also remembered that my roommate showed us a Quixstar website that had a FAQ on why they were not a cult. Yeah most companies have that.


     
    #17 zyron, Sep 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  18. microcuts

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    I was really hard up for a job last summer, and was getting pretty desperate. I answered a craigslist ad that had a title describing the job as a "fun way to spend your summer with friends". There was no other details, and I don't even think there was a company name in there.

    It took me a good ten minutes to find the unmarked building, which was located in a shady industrial area. About 3 minutes into the "interview", I found out the job was selling an overpriced vacuum known as the Kirby. She never came out and said it was selling, only demonstrating their superior product. She threw out claims of getting promoted to a manager in only two weeks, and other nonsense. She got a few of us interviewees into a room together to let us know about our opportunity to make $6,000 a month, get a free vacation a year, and a free BBQ at the lake next weekend. She was trying to force us to sell them to our family and friends on the first day. I left and never looked back. Fuck Kirby.
     
  19. thatone

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    My folks received a "you have won €2.500.000 in the Italian lottery" letter and were legitimately excited to the point of calling the number on the letter numerous times.

    It look about an hour for me to convince them it was a scam; by the end of the conversation I was shouting that they deserved to lose their money if they were stupid enough to call them back one more time.
     
  20. Saint

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    You want a good deal on a Kirby? (a great vacuum by the way) go to a pawn shop, they usually have a ton for next to nada after suckers get buyers remorse on a nonreturnable 2k vacuum. My brother tried to pawn his when he moved and the pawn shop owner told him to pound sand, he already had plenty of the fuckers.