My Two Cents Is Free; Two Bucks Will Cost You

, , , , , , | Legal | September 2, 2020

I am a paramedic in the New York City 911 system. We deal with a lot of abuse towards us, but this course of events had everyone there baffled.

Depending on the night, we sometimes have to fuel up the ambulance at the gas station instead of our actual station, like when it’s really busy or we are out of our main response area. We carry credit cards that are assigned to the truck and can only be used for gas/diesel.

My partner and I are at the gas station at pump seven. I go inside the store for drinks, and when I come back out, a driver is screaming at my partner. I run over and ask what is going on. 

Apparently, the driver had gone inside and put $40 on pump seven — he was actually at pump eight on the other side — so when my partner swiped the card, it didn’t activate. He pumped around two dollars of the other guy’s forty before the driver started screaming and he realized there was a mistake. He hadn’t noticed because the pump had still asked for the odometer reading and truck PIN, even though it didn’t take the card; we’re not sure why.

My partner is trying to apologize and give the guy $2 from his wallet, but the guy isn’t giving him a chance to speak. He is just screaming, “You scammed me! You use your card to fill my tank all the way!” It’s a flatbed, so it has a big tank. We obviously can’t do that, but my partner says that since he didn’t notice and it was his mistake, he has no issue reimbursing the guy from his own wallet and then filing a “petty cash” claim at the end of the shift.

This guy is not having it. He just keeps screaming to the point that one of the store employees comes out to see what is going on. By this time, I have already landlined dispatch, briefly explained, and asked for a boss to come to try and rectify the situation. Dispatch heard the screaming in the background and decided to dispatch another unit to our location, as well as a boss and police for our safety.

The guy goes inside to yell at the clerk for stealing his money. I follow him to make sure the clerks are safe. We are on really good terms with the night manager, so we always feel like we need to keep her safe. The guy starts screaming at her, even after she offers to give him the $2.

That’s where it goes from bad to “oh, s***.” This moron decides since he’s angry, he’s going to pull out his pocket knife and threaten everyone. It does not work like he wants it to, though. I quickly hit my radio emergency button — which my partner hears and comes running — and speak over the air, “[Distress code], I need PD now; he has a knife.”

In my area, when an ambulance calls a distress code, you get literally everybody. Every available ambulance, boss, and sometimes chief show up to help. We end up with something like twelve ambulances and two bosses at our location within two or three minutes. We get almost the entire police precinct within five or six minutes.

The guy does not have a good day after that; he ends up arrested because of the weapon — all over $2 that we said we would gladly give him.

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Fake Friends Passing Fake Bills

, , , , , , | Legal | August 31, 2020

My mother is disabled and on a fixed income. One week, she is about $100 short for whatever reason and so I loan her the money. After managing to get everything sorted out, she is able to sell off some things she doesn’t need anymore to a friend in order to pay me back. The friend comes over with the money.

Mom: “Just hand it to [My Name].”

Friend: “Here you go.”

The bill is in my hand for about three seconds before I realize something is wrong.

Me: “No, give me a different one. Now.”

Mom: “What’s wrong with it?”

Me: “It’s counterfeit. Take it back and give me a different one. Now.”

Friend: “That’s absurd. I got this from the ATM on my way over here.”

Me: “There’s not an ATM on this side of the city that dispenses any bill larger than a twenty.”

Mom: “How can you tell? You’ve hardly looked at it.”

Me: “It’s crumpled up but it still feels too stiff. It’s not the right shade of green; it’s too light.”

I lightly run my nails over it.

Me: “No ridges. And I bet if I got my counterfeit pen out, it wouldn’t mark properly. It’s counterfeit.”

Friend: “I’m telling you, I got it from the ATM.”

Me: “I worked in customer service for nearly fifteen years; this isn’t the first one I’ve come across. I don’t even need to be this polite about it. If you made this and are trying to pass it off, you’ve done a s*** job and I’m surprised you’re not in jail by now. If you legit didn’t know it was counterfeit, then you got it from someone at the casino who pawned it off on you, and that makes you an idiot. Either way, I’m not accepting it.”

I ended up getting a real bill and went happily about my business. Last I heard, that “friend” was no longer welcome at my mother’s house, and she’s a lot more diligent about the cash she gets.

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Talk About Leaving Things To The Last Minute

, , , | Legal | August 29, 2020

I take a call at 2:00 pm.

Client: “If I get documents to you by the end of the day, can you still file them with the court today?”

Me: “Yeah, sure. There will be a rush fee, but I should be able to do it. What type of documents are they?”

Client: “It’s a [document asking the judge to reschedule a hearing date].”

Me: “Oh, okay, that’s pretty straight forward. I can—”

Client: “Yeah, the hearing was today.”

Me: “…”

Client: “So, can you still get over there?”

Me: “…”

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Unscrew That Foot From Your Mouth

, , , , | Legal | August 27, 2020

I’ve just recently had orthopedic surgery — putting screws in my foot — and am recovering at home. I have to stay in bed for six weeks to heal. It’s not very fun, but I have an abundance of books and games to keep my attention. My boyfriend has been taking care of me and our few close friends have been visiting when they can.

One day, I get a phone call from a number I don’t recognize, but I answer anyway, as I don’t get calls very often and I’m bored.

Me: “Hello?”

Scammer: “Hi there. Am I speaking to [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, how can I help you?”

Scammer: “I’m calling to let you know of a great opportunity we have at [Gym in my area]! We’re offering a free two-week trial with a personal trainer, and we’re also offering a discount on your membership—”

Me: *Interrupts* “Excuse me. I’m sorry for interrupting, but I’d like you to take my name and number off your call list. I’m not interested in using the gym.”

Scammer: “Oh, but we have other deals right now, too, since it’s almost summer! Let me tell you about—”

Me: “I’m sorry, I know you’re just doing your job, but I’m not interested. How did you get this number, anyway?”

Scammer: “I can see over here that you’ve left your information with us—”

Me: “Uh, nope. I’ve never been to your gym before. Or any public gym, for that matter.”

Scammer: *Quickly backtracks* “Oh, my apologies, I’m looking at the wrong form. A friend of yours gave us your number when they were in—”

Now I’m laughing.

Me: “Yeah, no, that didn’t happen. You see, I’m recovering from foot surgery and any relative or friend knows that I’m not mobile and won’t be for the next few months. There’s no way they ‘left’ my information with you. Please don’t call me again.”

Scammer: *Pause* “I can hold the offer if you want to train your foot back to normal with a personal trainer, once you can come in?”

Me: “Wow.” *Hangs up*

They actually called me again about a week later with the same spiel, so I told them to f*** off and not call me again. Thankfully, this time, they listened.

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Stupid Crime Doesn’t Pay

, , , , , | Legal | August 23, 2020

We receive a call from the owner of an automated car wash that is located across the street from our store. Someone busted into the coin deposits and stole all the money the night before. They ask us to keep an eye out for anyone using our coin counter with large amounts of quarters.

Around noon, we have a young guy in his late teens come up with a coin count ticket for about $200. My coworker comes up to me and shows me the ticket. It shows how many of each type coin was counted; 95% of the coins were quarters. I tell my coworker to go ahead and process it but stall him as long as she can.

Coworker: “Wow, that was a lot of change!”

Young Guy: “Heh, yeah.”

Coworker: “I don’t have enough money to cash this; let me get a manager to get me some more money.”

My coworker calls the manager for an increase.

Coworker: “I’m also going to need you to fill out this form with your name, phone number, and address, and I will need to see your ID.”

Young Guy: “Why do you need all that?”

Coworker: “Oh, well, since the amount is over $150, we have to record it for tax purposes.”

Young Guy: “Oh, okay.”

The young guy filled out the form and handed his ID to my coworker; she then wrote his driver’s license number on the form. Meanwhile, on a phone out of earshot, I called our loss prevention team and the local police department, which was also located right across the street from us. The police department was already aware of the theft and sent officers right over.

After about five minutes, my coworker had received her increase and processed the guy’s ticket and gave him the cash. The guy then walked over to me and asked if I could page his friend; after I paged his friend, he waited by a seating area near our service desk. As his friend walked up, the officers walked in the door and looked at me. I pointed the guy out.

They walked up to him and his friend and started questioning them. The young guy that had cashed the ticket started getting belligerent with the officers and then tried to make a break for it. The officers caught him and this friend, placed them over the back of one of the empty registers, cuffed them, and frisked them. One of them had a six-inch knife and the other had a taser.

We later received a “Thank You” letter from the owner of the car wash. The two guys that had come into our store were the ones that had robbed his business and they were able to be prosecuted thanks to us.

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