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A Broad View Of Fraud, Part 2

, , , , | Right | September 21, 2021

A customer has thrown a fit at the manager over us not having carts, even though we do. The poor manager then has the JOY of “humiliating her” and “making her look stupid” by pointing them out three steps BEHIND HER.

She then argues, at a volume that would impress a boot camp instructor, with a coworker that the sale on cardigans should apply to sweaters because they are “the same thing”.

Soon, the woman approaches my register and I just know this interaction will be a downhill run.

She strides directly past the line, approaching from the wrong end of the register. I’m sure you can imagine how outraged she is that she can’t just cut in front of the other people in line. She wastes five minutes arguing with me that since she’s “already there,” she “doesn’t want to have to pick up her items and go to the back of the line.”

The manager has to intervene and tell her to get to the end of the line or to get out without her purchases. Ranting about how the rules of lines aren’t laws, how she knows her rights, and how employees are NOT allowed to refuse service to anyone, ever, forever, throughout the universe, she storms to the end. She knows her rights! She knows the laws! Blah, blah, blah.

She gripes so constantly that I do my best to ring the other guests up quickly so they don’t have to listen to her constant moaning for longer than they have to.

Eventually, she gets up to me and I scan her few items. No big deal. Then, she shoves her credit card at me. I follow policy.

Me: “May I see your ID?”

She rolls her eyes and says, in the most inconvenienced way:

Customer: “Well, it’s my son’s card.”

The credit card and ID are nowhere close to matching.

Me: “I can’t use a card that doesn’t have your name on it.”

Customer: “I use his card all the time! SINCE WHEN CAN YOU NOT USE SOMEONE ELSE’S CARD?! THIS IS F****** RIDICULOUS! YOU’RE A F****** A**HOLE! YOU’RE MAKING THAT UP!”

Me: “I can’t run it. You have to pay a different way.”

She throws some cash onto the counter and is quiet while I finish the transaction.

Customer: “Where’s my coupon?!”

Me: “We handed them out last week. We don’t have any more. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

Customer: “I want to speak to the manager!”

AGAIN? That poor man! The manager arrives, and I can see the light die in his eyes as he sees who he has to talk to.

Manager: “Yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “Your employee refused to give me a coupon! She just played stupid and tried to tell me that you didn’t have anymore!”

Manager: “Ma’am, they were all handed out last week. My employee wasn’t playing games; we really don’t have any more to hand out right now.”

Customer: “That’s bulls***, but fine, play your petty little games. I’ll just add that to my call to corporate. Now, another thing; why won’t you people let me use my son’s credit card?! Since when is that a rule?! What the f*** are you people trying to pull?”

The manager just stares at her for a minute.

Manager: “That has always been a rule, ma’am, as that’s unlawful.”

Customer: “Oh, reeeeeeaaaallly?! Fine, then. Tell me what kind of crime it is!”

Manager: “Felony Card Fraud.”

Customer: “You’re a f****** liar.”

Manager: *Sweetly* “Would you like me to call the police and have them explain it to you?”

Customer: “You know what? Yes! Then, I can explain to them why they’re wrong because it’s never been a problem until now!”

I was amazed when she DID tell the cops that they were lying about the law being the law. She waived her right to be silent. She also made it very loudly clear that she would be suing the cops for wrongful prosecution as they cuffed her because Felony Card Fraud wasn’t a thing. And it was her son’s card, so she was within her rights to use it as his mother because it was a mother’s prerogative. And their names were different because her son legally changed his last name, as if cutting her and her husband out of his life somehow severed her right as his biological mother to take out a card in his name. They were connected by blood, and no law could override that!

The cops repeatedly reminded her that she had the right to remain silent and she repeatedly ignored them. She had no subtlety, saw nothing wrong with it, and just kept admitting her crimes at full volume. Because they weren’t crimes. Because she knew the law and knew her rights better than the cops themselves did. And she would personally tell the judge what the REAL laws were.

I was just amazed, listening to this woman dig herself a hole like a cartoon character going after gold.

The local cops wear cameras, so I didn’t need to be a witness, but I highly suspect that the book the judge threw at her had a LOT of pages in it.

Related:
A Broad View Of Fraud

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Dodging Bullets… And The Feds

, , , , , , | Legal | August 21, 2021

Like so many others, I was laid off because of the health crisis. I start filling out job applications. One application is for an office job writing bids at a security contractor in my old hometown. I’ve never heard of the company before, but they have a very distinctive name.

I don’t think anything of it, but lo and behold, I get a call back from a third-party Human Resources person on behalf of that company to vet me for the role. Everything goes okay, except the HR representative says that the job is at a company with a similar but obviously not the same name as the one I applied to. I pull up the company’s website — which, please note, is full of buzzwords like “honor,” “trust,” and, “integrity” — while I am talking to the HR representative, and it appears that both companies are subsidiaries of the same parent company. The parent company actually has roughly a half-dozen subsidiaries, all with similar names. We both figure that someone on their end made a mistake, and the HR representative says he’ll forward my resume to the company.

Fast forward a week. The company’s hiring manager calls me. The interview goes well… right up until I ask which company I’ll be working for.

Hiring Manager: “Oh, it’s all the same company. Those are just the different brands we operate as. See, most of our work is with the Federal Government, and according to the rules, if you’re awarded a government contract, once that contract expires, you can only re-bid on it once. In other words, if you win the contract twice in a row, you can’t bid on it again. So, when that happens, we re-bid for the contract under a different name. That way, we never actually lose the contract.”

The more he described the company and why it was structured the way it was, the more it became incredibly obvious that the whole thing had been deliberately and specifically set up in such a way as to enable them to cheat their way into government contracts. The office I’d be working in was actually a small satellite office with just the owner’s brother and maybe one other family member, not corporate HQ as indicated in the job listing; most of the workers were clear on the other side of the country. And the more he described the office and my actual responsibilities — I’d have basically been a glorified secretary for the owner’s brother — the less and less comfortable I became.

The interview FINALLY ended, and the hiring manager said he’d be in touch. Thankfully, I never heard back from them. First and only place I’ve ever interviewed where I’m glad they ghosted me. Forget the creepy work arrangement and their lying about what the actual job was; I have too much integrity — actual integrity, not just a buzzword on a website — to knowingly work for a bunch of admitted crooks. Plus, I don’t want to be within a mile of any of their offices when they finally get raided by the Feds. And let’s be real: if they’re dumb enough to out-and-out admit they’re fraudsters to a prospective employee, it’s only a matter of time before they get shut down and the execs get thrown in prison.

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Was The Whole Thing Just An Attempt At Insurance Fraud?!

, , , , , , | Legal | July 16, 2021

My spouse and I are traveling in San Francisco. We decide to use a car rental service that lets people rent out their personal or spare car. Since I’m most familiar with a particular kind of car, we pick that kind to rent. We buy the optional extra insurance on our vehicle, just in case. One of the things I’ve noticed with [Car]s is that there’s a tendency for the back latch to fall off.

So, we use the app and rent someone’s old used [Car]. The back latch is loose, and I know it’s going to fall off. I warn my spouse and mark it in the damages. No problem.

Sure enough, the latch falls off partway through the trip.

This story, though, isn’t actually about the latch. It’s about what we discover when we are cleaning up the car to return it. In the driver’s side pocket, there is a glass tube with brown residue in it, wrapped in tin foil. And underneath the driver’s seat is a mysterious triangular hole cut in the floor of the car for no readily apparent reason.

My spouse and I figure that it is probably a crack pipe and that the car is probably used in some sort of drug smuggling, hence the triangular hole in the floor.

We debate reporting it to the cops. Ultimately, we decide not to because we are on vacation and we are afraid of what would happen if they got involved.

When we get home, they don’t charge us for the latch… but we charge the insurance we got for the hole in the floor.

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Nothing Comic About This

, , , , | Legal | July 6, 2021

We order a weekly comic book from a publisher. The publishing house is very big, partly owned by the government, and publishes most Finnish magazines, comic books, and few newspapers, one of them the biggest newspaper in Finland.

My husband answers a call from a telemarketer. The telemarketer is from that publisher and he is trying to convince my husband that our subscription will be cancelled.

Telemarketer: “Starting next month, you will not receive any more comic books if you don’t order [Comic Book] Extra, an additional weekly comic book.”

My husband and I would never order anything over the phone, but the telemarketer’s claim is so ridiculous my husband wants to hear more. He argues back.

Husband: “We have already paid in advance for a one-year subscription and we still have ten months left.”

Telemarketer: “Well, you won’t be receiving that money back.”

Somehow they end the call, and the telemarketer’s last words are that now, we won’t be getting our comic books OR money back.

My husband is furious about such blatant attempted fraud. He is also worried some lonely granny is going to fall for it, so he tries to contact the publisher and tell them one of their sales representatives has attempted fraud. They have absolutely zero contact info, and upon closer inspection, it is apparent that they have outsourced their sales and customer service to a different company. My husband tries and tries calling them, finally gets hold of someone, and explains the situation, the time it happened, the number they called from, etc.

The customer service person is very understanding.

Husband: “Depending on how this goes, I might be interested in reporting that representative to the police, so please keep me updated.”

Representative: “We will!”

It’s been two years and we’ve heard nothing.

We cancelled our subscription because it left such a bad taste in our mouths.

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That’s No Accident

, , , , | Legal | June 26, 2021

There are some folks who think they can pull one over on the insurance company to try to get free repairs. If a car’s in an accident, they will claim that damage that existed before the accident was caused by it, no matter how improbable it is. Sometimes insurance companies investigate; sometimes they don’t.

We get a call from a customer. He’s been in a rear-end collision and his car needs some repairs. Fair enough. One of the things that needs to be fixed is the rear parking sensors. Again, fair enough. However, the damage he’s talking about seems excessive given the details of the accident. The garage is asked to check.

They phone back and the garage owner is barely able to contain his amusement.

Garage Owner: “He’s lying about the rear parking sensors.”

Me: “How do you know this?”

Garage Owner: “Because there aren’t any. The car was fitted for them as an option, but this one never had them installed.”

It seems that when he bought the car, the customer had thought that it had rear parking sensors but that they didn’t work, and he decided to claim that they had been damaged in the accident to get them repaired for free.

The claim was swiftly referred to the fraud department.

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