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How To Be Lonely (And Broke)

, , , , , , | Right | February 9, 2023

I work for a bank a major high-street bank in the UK, specifically in the fraud department. In 2018, a customer called in because we wouldn’t let him access his account. Normally, we only restrict accounts if there are security concerns or if we think they’re a fraudster. I pulled up his account and notes, and I could tell something was off, mainly because of the twenty pages of notes, each with ten notes a page.

The more I read, the more gobsmacked I became. For the last three years, this customer had been under the impression that he was in a relationship with Rita Ora. That’s right — the actual singer-songwriter Rita Ora. At every opportunity, this customer had sent money to numerous destinations at the request of his “girlfriend”, and no matter what he had been told by staff or police, he still did not believe that he was a victim of a scam and was being robbed. (We had to get the police involved because we could only assume a person so duped had to be a danger to themselves.)

He told us that he had met her family and been to their houses. Unfortunately, he had never met Rita personally because she had such a busy timetable.

As I’m sure anyone would, I felt pity that someone was so deep in an illusion and being taken advantage of. Surely, you’d think, this person was vulnerable, perhaps a low-income gent late in life, and this was the only joy to which he clung.

No, this man was twenty-six. I have no idea what his job was, but it pulled in a cool £8,000 (around 9,900 USD) a month after tax. Granted, most of that was sent to “Rita”. He started trying to hide his dealings when people tried to stop him, but as far as we could confirm, in total, he had sent her over £250,000 (over 300,000 USD) over these years.

I later found out that we had no choice but to close his account down; even after the highest head of my department physically went to this person with all our evidence of him being robbed, he still wouldn’t see the light.

Turns Out Student Loans Aren’t ALL Bad

, , , , , , , , , | Legal | January 7, 2023

I have a story about Karmic justice for a coworker of mine, even though it was somewhat temporary. About seven years ago, [Coworker] was in her third year of college, using grants and student loans. She ended up having a complicated pregnancy and had to withdraw mid-semester. Since then, she has not gone back to college. Since she withdrew and did not complete her degree, she not only has to pay back the loans but the grants, as well.

[Coworker] says she wasn’t able to put her loans and grants into deferment because of this. She says she tries to pay back what she can when she can, but she is overdue to the tune of $10,000. But with a part-time retail job, it is slow going.

Last year, [Coworker] moved to a new house, and while she updated her address with our place of employment, for some reason, her W2s were sent to her old address. She was able to get a copy of her W2s, and she and her husband filed. They file jointly but with an “injured spouse.” This is not a physically injured spouse, but a financially injured spouse; basically, it means that the government can only take [Coworker]’s part of the tax return to pay for her student loans. It leaves her husband’s part of the tax return alone.

[Coworker]’s share of the tax return is usually about $1,000, and his share is about $4,000; he is a full-time worker. Well, a few weeks after they filed, they got a notice back from the IRS saying that her W2 had already been filed!

Yep, whoever now lived in [Coworker]’s old place got her W2 and decided to not only file it but file it jointly, hoping to steal my coworker’s tax return. Of course, they didn’t know about her loans, so they did not file with an “injured spouse.” As a result, not only did they not get a single dime, but the tax return went to pay my coworker’s over-due student loan to the tune of $6,000!

Now that’s poetic justice!

I wish I could have been there when the nasty fraudsters found out they weren’t getting back anything. What were they going to do? Admit they committed tax fraud to the IRS?

[Coworker] and I laughed ourselves silly before she admitted that, yes, she did get things sorted out properly in the end. As tempted as she was to let the fraudsters wallow in their own Karmic bed, she knew that not sorting it out on her end would get her in trouble, too. Still, the idea that tax fraudsters tried to steal and instead found themselves paying off someone else’s debt is a story that gives her the warm fuzzies.

And I’m sure the IRS has some pointed questions for the fraudsters, too!

My Punctuality Sucks, But This Is Ridiculous

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 28, 2022

Once, early in my freelance writing and editing career, I novelized a screenplay a client had written, sending him sets of three chapters for approval and payment. The contract was clear that he must pay for each set of chapters before I’d start on the next set, and he was good about paying in a timely manner. We successfully made it all the way to the last three chapters, which he was to pay for before I delivered the complete manuscript.

Money hadn’t been a problem up until now, but suddenly, he couldn’t pay me the last installment. He claimed financial distress and said he’d pay as soon as he could get the money together. He asked if I’d send the chapters anyway, but I respectfully declined.

He disappeared for three years only to reemerge, claiming he’d gotten caught up in a natural disaster in which he’d lost a family member. He asked me to give him the chapters for which he’d gladly pay three times the amount he owed… as soon as he could afford it. I declined again and, again, he disappeared.

When he reemerged roughly another three years later, he told me he knew someone powerful in the entertainment industry who had promised to publish the book and make us all rich. It was a sure thing and he could prove it. He sent me a link to this person’s website, thereby proving that they (or at least their website) existed. All I needed to do was send the last three chapters.

Believe it or not, I passed on this “sure thing.” I just wanted what I was owed right then, not a larger slice of pie in the sky (which, due to the existence of gravity, is not a Thing).

Long story short, the client disappeared and reappeared yet again with promises of a huge payday and cover credit… if I’d just give him the last three chapters. When I declined once more, he was silent for about a week, then claimed he’d managed to cobble together the money, asked if he could Venmo it to me, and… crickets.

At some point in all of this, I Googled the fellow by his business handle and discovered that during one of his absences, he’d been in prison on fraud charges — more specifically, for promising something he could not produce while being paid a lot of money to produce it.

Ten years after the original contract was executed, he finally paid me what he owed (plus $25 for my trouble). I immediately sent the complete novel.

The last I heard from him, he asked if I’d design a cover for the book. I have the perfect image for it, but he’s disappeared again.

Suffice it to say that my contracts now have a rider for late fees.

Tell Us You Learned Nothing Without Saying You Learned Nothing

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: Dazzling_Complex9228 | December 11, 2022

I work for a bank from home. I work in the fraud department and I deal with people’s debit cards. In a perfect world, people call in, answer questions, and then hang up without too much fuss. I actually get those people very often.

Then, there are the jerks. They interrupt my intro, they correct their caller intent (the box that tells me why they called) to tell me I’m wrong and that THIS is why they called (which, nine times out of ten, is exactly what I just said to them), and they refuse to answer questions correctly or even at all sometimes. A good example of it is something like this:

Me: “Hello, you’ve reached [My Name]. May I confirm your full name as it appears on your card?”

Customer: “I’m calling in because you locked my card and I want it unlocked.”

Me: “Wonderful. May I confirm your name?”

Customer: “[First Name].”

Me: “I’m sorry, may I confirm your full name as it appears on your card?”

Customer: “[Full Name].”

Me: “Wonderful. I see three transactions from [Website] for twenty dollars each. Did you make those?”

Pause. You’ll notice that’s not open-ended. That’s a yes or a no. And without fail, they reply like this:

Customer: “Well, ya see, what happened is…”

They recall their entire day. They ask why their card was blocked. They do not say, “Yes, that’s mine,” or, “No, that’s not mine.”

Other customers have the magical power of context, where they know how to answer a yes-or-no question without blabbering for five solid minutes about NOTHING important. Nothing. Not one item they say is ever relevant to how I can help them. But that isn’t the worst part.

The worst is, after all of that, you approve their card to be used and unblocked. And they immediately do two things.

1.) “Dont you hang up, I dont wanna wait a half hour to get back to you! I need to make sure you did your job!”

Lady, get off my phone. This whole call was recorded, and you think I sat here listening to you and doing nothing for laughs?

2.) They do the exact same suspicious s*** that locked their card, inevitably locking their s*** up again, and then they claim I did nothing.

The bank did that. Their automated fraud protection system saw you do the suspicious thing again and locked the card again. I agree it’s a stupid system. Stop doing that with your card and it will stop locking. I realize it’s your money. Yes, you can do what you want with it. Yes, I’m aware you can leave and join another bank. I couldn’t care less.

PSA #1: if you called a business to perform their function, we did what you asked. We were recorded doing it, as well as everything we said back and forth. We are not incompetent, and we do not enjoy listening to you complain in our ears.

PSA #2: If we ask a question, we want the answer and nothing else. Please shut up if it isn’t relevant to me helping you.

If Someone Hit My Dog, I Would Not Be Responsible For My Actions

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: MusicWhoreMan | November 17, 2022

Content Warning: Animal Abuse


I love my dogs. I have two dogs that I frequently take out for walks. Both are rescues and have gone through way more s*** than I have.

I decide to take Josephine (the oldest) out for a walk since Millie (the youngest) is fast asleep. We take the route we usually take when we go out for walks, and I notice that there is a new donut shop that just opened. The donuts look nice and delicious, so I decide to grab some. The only problem is that dogs aren’t allowed to go inside, but the owners have been nice enough to leave a spot outside for dogs with a bowl full of water and everything.

I chain Josephine outside. I am inside for around five minutes since there are a few people already there. I’m in line browsing on my phone when I hear my dog scream.

I look up and see this lady smacking my dog with her umbrella at full force numerous times. I quickly rush outside.

Me: “What the f*** are you doing, lady?!”

I pull Josephine away, but the lady keeps trying to smack her; she even hits me in the leg a couple of times.

I kid you not, these are the exact words that come out of this lady’s mouth.

Lady: “Your dog scratched my car!”

She gestures to her car, which is across the street, far away from Josephine. Then, she goes on this rant.

Lady: “You let your dog wander outside without a leash, and I had to it up after it scratched my car!”

I am legitimately confused because I definitely chained my dog before I went into the shop.

I immediately call the cops. The cops arrive while the woman is still ranting and screaming that I’ll have to pay for her car with my insurance. I’m fifteen, and I don’t know anything about insurance.

The cops intervene and try to defuse the situation. The lady then decides to play the victim.

Lady: “That dog viciously attacked me!”

Me: “My dog did snap at her because she was getting hit with an umbrella by a person she doesn’t know!”

The cops pulled her to the side and let her tell HER side of the story. I heard stuff about how my dog had scratched her car and attacked her and how she had “bravely” chained my dog.

Then the cops pulled me to the side and I got to tell my side of the story.

Guess who the cops believed?

While I was tending to my dog and checking for any wounds, I saw the cops handcuff the lady and forcefully shove her into their car because she was resisting arrest. She then threatened to sue me for harassment while screaming profanities.

No one sued me. My dog and I were fine, but she was whimpering all throughout that situation. She was definitely traumatized, but she’s doing well now.

I considered suing the lady for animal abuse, but then I found out that she was already in jail for insurance fraud and assault. I dont know about the insurance fraud part, but she apparently tried to push her coworker out of a window?

Anyway, I didn’t continue with the charges because she’s serving five years in jail now.