Stories about breaking the law!

So Much For “Personal Bonds”

, , , , , | Legal | January 25, 2021

I work for a small contracting and landscaping company. The crew is about a dozen guys, the owner, and me in the office over the owner’s garage. Every Monday morning, I meet with [Owner] to discuss our plan for the week — progress on jobs, bills to be paid, new clients, etc. — and then [Owner] is gone for the rest of the week. He calls or texts to get updates, but otherwise, I almost never see him.

One Monday, we are having our meeting when his phone rings.

Owner: “I have to take this. Play some music or something?”

Me: “Oh, yeah, sure.”

I plug in my headphones.

Owner: *After his call* “Okay, I’ll see you later. I have a few prospective clients today. I’m gonna go to the bank and pay [Vendor] $2,000 today.”

Me: “Sounds good.”

[Owner] often pays bills in person if he’s going to be in the area, as he believes it builds a personal bond between the vendor and contractor. I mark off the bill and go about my day. On Wednesday, [Vendor] calls the office.

Me: “[Landscaping Company]. How can I help you?”

Vendor: “Hey, uh, just a reminder that your bill is overdue.”

Me: “[Owner] paid $2,000 on Monday.”

Vendor: “What?”

Me: “[Owner] said he stopped by.”

Vendor: “No, he never came in. And you owe last month, too.”

Me: “Oh. Uhh… Okay, just a minute.”

I log in to the banking website and see that the money was taken out on Monday.

Me: “Maybe he got caught up. I’ll give him a call and call you back.”

Vendor: *Annoyed* “You need to pay by the end of the week.” *Hangs up*

I call [Owner] but his phone goes straight to voicemail. I leave a message telling him that [Vendor] called, and I explain what I said to them. An hour later, he calls me back.

Owner: “Why did you tell them I’d be there?”

Me: “Because… you said you would?”

Owner: “And I’ll get there. I’m gonna take another $2,000.”

Me: “Okay, for bills?”

Owner: “It’s my money!”

Me: “Your paycheck?”

Owner: “Look, I gotta go. Just don’t worry about it.” *Hangs up*

I was in charge of documenting payroll, so I noted that he’d taken it — tax-free — on our payroll website. I went back through the bank statement against my notes from our meetings and saw that he had taken money from the account every day he’d said he was paying vendors. I contacted each vendor and they all said he hadn’t paid.

[Owner] was out of contact for the next week, not even showing up for the Monday meeting. I called his phone several times but he never answered. I went down to the main house and knocked on the door. Before I could say anything, his wife told me I was fired and closed the door in my face.

Two weeks later, I received a paycheck and a letter from [Owner]’s wife. She had followed [Owner] on one of his “business trips” and found that he had been visiting sex workers and using the company’s money to pay them.

I found out through the workers that [Owner]’s wife had filed for divorce and full custody of their three children. The company went under during the proceedings, and last I heard, [Owner] was in prison.

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Superior In Name Only

, , , , | Legal | January 23, 2021

I live in a second-floor condo when this happens. One night, I’m watching a film and having a couple of beers. At 23:30, the outside doorbell rings.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: “Police, open up now!”

Something isn’t right. It’s been a quiet night.

Me: “One minute, please. I’ll come downstairs.”

I walk down two flights of stairs. I open the door, confused, to find four police officers.

Me: “Can I help?”

Officer: “Is this 17 [Location]?”

Me: “Yes?”

Officer: “Open, mate, we have business to do.”

I stay where I am and hand him my police ID. It has my picture and name and says, “Sworn in [date one month ago]”.

Officer: “Oh, hello. We haven’t been introduced, I’m Sergeant [Officer].”

Me: “Reserve [My Surname]. What’s going on, Sarge?”

Officer: “A hoax emergency call was placed for an ambulance to this address. Do you know anything?”

Me: “Huh? A hoax ambulance call? Not me.”

Officer: “Is there anyone else on the property?”

Me: “My roommate. Speak to him if you like; he doesn’t know much English. What’s the address again?”

Officer: “17 [Location] Boulevard, [postcode].”

I’m annoyed. He’s got the wrong address; a cop should know the area. It also isn’t how I planned to introduce myself to a superior officer.

Me: “Sergeant [Officer], this condo block is [Location] Plaza, not [Location] Boulevard. Can I help you find [Location] Boulevard?”

Police: “Please.”

Me: “Street over there. Odd numbers are on the left.”

Clarity, people. Google Maps is there for a reason.

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You’ll Never Get That Ringing Out Of Your Ears

, , , , , | Legal | January 21, 2021

I have a landline phone which came with my apartment. I exclusively use my cellphone for all business, so all calls on the landline are scams.

I answer the phone one day.

Me: “Hello.”

Scammer #1: “Hi, I am [Scammer #1] from Microsoft and I am calling about your computer.”

I’m pretty sure his name is fake. I try to suppress my glee at this scam as they are my favorite to mess with.

Me: “Oh, dear, what is wrong?”

Scammer #1: “We are receiving signals from your computer about [some made-up issue that I don’t care to remember].”

Me: “Oh, give me a second to log into my PC. It will take me a second.”

He’s probably thinking he has an easy mark. 

Scammer #1: “Sure, take your time.”

I mute my phone, log in to YouTube, and open my anti-scammer video. Then, I unmute the phone. As the scammer waits, I play a video of dial-up modem sounds.

Normally, that is where the story ends, but you probably noticed the “#1” in the scammer’s name.

The next day, the phone rings again.

Me: “Hello.”

This scammer has a different voice but gives the same name.

Scammer #2: “Hi, this is [Scammer #2] calling from Microsoft.”

Me: “Really, we are doing this again? I would have thought that after what I did yesterday I would be on your do-not-call list.” *Hangs up*

Let’s see if they call back tomorrow.

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We’re Not Clowning Around Here

, , , , | Legal | January 19, 2021

I am an amateur clown and my kids are begging me to teach them how to make balloon animals. I go to a big online retailer to find a balloon pump just like I have and order two from one of their marketplace sellers at $20 each. I receive two pumps that are of such poor quality and so cheap that I doubt even a dollar store would carry them. I message the seller immediately.

Me: “I received the balloon pumps. These are not the ones you have pictured or advertised.”

I include pictures of what I already had and what they sent.

Me: “You can see that what you sent is of extremely poor quality and would not last one party of balloon making. I would like for you to either send what I ordered and paid for or refund my money.”

Seller: “Oh, so sorry, friend, for the mixup. It would cost much to send back; how about we give you $1 off of each?”

Me: “$2? Are you kidding? They aren’t even worth that.”

Seller: “Okay, friend. We did send you two balloon pumps. To keep you happy, how about $10 off the order? Is that good, friend?”

I’m really annoyed.

Me: “First off, I am not your friend. I am a customer, and a very unhappy at one at that. Second and most importantly, you did not send me what I bought. I have sent you pictures and the information you need to prove that. I want a full refund, and if you send me a return label, I will send it back. If you do not refund my money, I will open a complaint of fraud against you with [Online Retailer]. You cannot advertise one item and then send some cheap knockoff and expect a customer to just accept that.”

They never responded, but my money was refunded. I did report them to the retailer and left a detailed review of the product, warning others to be careful who they buy from. I saw later that the seller was removed from the marketplace after several negative reviews.

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At Least You Weren’t Turned Into A Newt

, , , , , , | Legal | January 18, 2021

My fiance has just received a call from a scammer calling about “a car accident she recently had.” She doesn’t own a car or even a UK driving license, so she passes her phone to me. I resolve to waste as much of this person’s time as possible.

Scammer: “Hello, I understand you were in a car accident recently.”

Me: “Hi there. How are you?”

Scammer: “I am fine, thank you. Can you tell me when this accident happened?”

Me: “This happened on the first of January, 2020.”

Scammer: “And can you tell me what happened?”

Me: “Well, there I was, driving down runway twenty-seven left at Heathrow Airport in my Hawker Hurricane when a Boeing 747 appeared out of nowhere. So I swerved to my right onto runway twenty-seven right, only for my Avro Manchester to be run over by a Boeing 737 coming in to land.”

Scammer: “Okay, and did you suffer any injuries?”

Me: “Yes! I was killed.”

Scammer: “You were? How can you be talking to me now?”

Me: “Oh, yes, I was killed. But I got better.”

He hung up.

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