Thursday, 27 January 2011

LOL Scamaments

Well I've had a wonderful month getting scammed so far. 3 times in fact.

1. I'm channel surfing this evening during a commercial while watching Storage Wars and the headline on CNN AC360 shows 9/11 Coin Scam. This is of course the last scam of the month (so far) and I'm thinking here we go again. A few years back my mother in-law bought each of us one of those  9/11 commemorative coins that apparently had real gold and silver from ground zero.

Sure enough, Anderson has the NYPD officer in charge of recovering the silver and gold in the basement and he says there is absolutely no way that these specific coins are in any way real. Lawmakers are currently trying to get the FTC to shut down this company. I don't feel so bad now about being such a klutz and insta-dropping mine on the floor when it was handed to me which in turn caused the case to crack open and the contents to spill everywhere which caused the hinge on the piece that stands up off the coin to break. It all makes sense now.

2. I bring my car in to repair a coolant leak and get my sparkplugs and wires replaced. Yes how could you guess that a car repair scam would be in this list? I was not entirely shocked when the first option on the Better Business Bureau website complaint form was Car Repair. I'm quoted $350. I drive my car to the shop at 11am and I'm told it should be ready in a couple hours. 5pm I give them a see what's up since they close at 5:30pm. They had some unexpected issues (thanks for calling to let me know), and I can stop by at 6pm to pick it up. So I show up and oh guess what, they tell me there was a gaping hole in the coolant manifold and that the attached pulley system was broken. +$550 and an extra $100 tax for an easy $1k total. I sense bullshit and want to check this out and say "No problem, I'll pay it with my online bills at the end of the month." I'm told they don't do online bill payments and I need to pay now before my car leaves. Now alarm bells are going off because I distinctly remember paying the last 4 oil changes and a wheel alignment online. My car has become a hostage for ransom.

$1k debited from my account and I immediately check this out with someone that knows better than me what's going on. Turns out my car is incapable of physically driving if the pulley system was in fact broken. Don't know how I got it there in the first place. I also get to hear a story about how this person's friend had his interior door panel broken, crazy glued back together, and then told it was like that when it was brought in. $650 lesson going to the scam artists that are officially licensed dealers that are charging 2x for parts and labour and then scamming you on top of that. Should have waited for my regular small shop guy to have the time to look at it.

3. I get home from work just before Christmas and my wife says there was a guy there canvasing the area for donations. He's from a local church and his kid is going on a trip to the Caribbean to help build a school or something. I don't know why the kid isn't doing the canvassing himself (or why he's canvassing at all as I later found out they live in a house 3x as big as mine and drive several vehicles per person). I instantly say "lol you got scammed," she says "lol that's what I joked with him about."

It wasn't a scam at all. The deal was he sells us gift certificates for the local grocery store and the grocery store gives them 10% of the sales. We shop there anyways so whatever, here's your $60 for my groceries this week. Yes after thinking about it we realized that was a measly $6 and why he was saying people down the street donated $500. So he takes down name and address for cash. My wife is standing there waiting for a receipt and he says "Sorry, no receipts." He says he'll be back by the end of the week once the store prints out the certificates and insta-leaves.

Two weeks later, nothing. We phone the church to see if this guy was for real. Indeed he is and the certificate is on the way. Two weeks later, nothing. Another call to the church and the guy shows up instantly at my door. Not with my certificate, but with his address chart and a check mark beside our address indicating that in fact, we do have our certificate. Gee I must have just totally forgotten about receiving it, that kind of thing happens every day. You'd think they'd at least get people to initial it, but no. They distinctly remember dropping it off at my house and handing it to a 40-50-ish year old woman. lolwut we're late 20s? "Well it must have been your babysitter." Babysitter lolwut? (we're looking for a 40-ish year old babysitter but they do not exist btw) And he takes off after a thinly veiled comment indicating that he thinks we're lying.

Another call to the church asking wtf is going on and they say "Oh that sucks, we'll fix it up and buy you some gift certificates as our blessing." Our response was "Seriously? You think we're scamming you and that we already have them and need another $60?" The guy is back at my door in a half hour with $60 in certificates which he or the church obviously bought just now. We basically tell him to gtfo with his blessing at which point he says "Well can I at least give you half?" He honestly thinks we're scamming him and he's doing us a favour. Sigh, gtfo. I'm just thankful we didn't give him $500 cash.

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