Category: Criminal/Illegal


Clearing The House Of Scams

| CO, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Liars/Scammers

(I receive a call on my cell phone.)

Caller: “Hello! This is [Name] with Publisher’s Clearing House, and we’re calling to tell you that you have won a large sum.”

(I immediately know this is a scam, so I decide to mess with him.)

Me: *pretending I’m really excited* “OH, my GOD, REALLY?!”

Caller: “Yes, you have won a large sum, and in order to collect it—”

Me: “HONEY!” *I call out like I’m doing it across the house, even though my wife is right next to me* “Honey, all our money problems are over! I won something from PCH!” *talking to the person on the phone* “Thank you! Thank you! You know, it’s really amazing, isn’t it, that I won this money even though you have to enter all the drawings and I never did?”

Caller: *silence*

Me: *still feigning excitement* “You see, my mom was always the one to enter the drawings, and she never won a thing, so isn’t it incredible that I’ve NEVER spent a dime entering anything and I win the money? Isn’t that just AMAZING?” *I lower my voice to one of mocking consideration* “You know, it’s almost like this isn’t really a call from Publisher’s Clearing House, but instead someone trying to scam me out of—”

Caller: *click*

(I haven’t heard from them since.)


Getting The Wrong Kind Of ‘High’ Score

| New Zealand | Criminal/Illegal, Job Seekers

(A worker from one of our opposition companies comes in looking for a job as he has just resigned from his previous employment.)

Workmate: “So, why did you quit at [Opposition Company]?”

Job-Seeker: “They were introducing drug testing for all employees.”

Me: *laughing* “And you’ll fail?”

Job-Seeker: *deadpan* “Yes, I would.”

(Not exactly the best way to apply for a job.)


Playing House Is No Game

| PA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Liars/Scammers

(I am trying to sell my house. It is well cared for, with additions such as a sun room and a fully furnished basement that one could live in, and located in a very nice, quiet suburban neighborhood. Needless to say, the house is a bit on the expensive side. Someone by the name of “Leslie” is scheduled to come and look at the house and the agency requests that I leave during that time. I stay with neighbors across the street. Since I’m not that far away, I light a fire in the electric fireplace to make it look cozier and warm up the room a little. After several hours no one shows up, so I decide to at least go and turn off the fireplace so the place doesn’t burn down. Upon walking in the front door, I finds two kids, that I know from my job as a school librarian, unattended in the living room and attempting to jam things inside the grating to light them on fire.)

Me: “What exactly are you doing?”

Child #1: “Oh, our mom told us to wait here while she looks at the house.”

Me: “Well, you shouldn’t do that around a fireplace! You could light the house on fire.”

Child #2: “We’re sorry, Mrs. [My Name].”

Me: “Sit on the couch and don’t touch anything. I’m going to go talk to your mother.”

(Red flag number one is when I walk into my bedroom to find the broker standing there while the mother of the children is inside the closet, digging around. You can tell how big the closet is just by opening the door and looking inside, so I suspect that it’s possible that the woman might have been looking for something to steal.)

Me: “Excuse me, but your children are in my living room by themselves, poking things at my fireplace! They could have set the house on fire if I hadn’t caught them in time!”

Mother: “Are you accusing my kids of trying to start a fire?”

Me: “Not intentionally, no. But they could have.”

Mother: “I’ve never encountered such rudeness before! Let’s go!”

(As they leave, red flag number two pops up when I realize I never saw them arrive because they came in through the back, which is a chore to get to because everyone uses the narrow back alley as a parking lot and there are plenty of parking spaces up front they could have used instead, which makes me think they were trying to be sneaky for some reason. I call the agency selling my house.)

Agent: “How can I help you, [My Name]?”

Me: “Could you maybe start a screening process for the people you show houses to? I know the children of that woman who came to look at the house and they’re on government assistance. They cannot afford a [really high price] home, and I’m worried about her intentions.”

Agent: “Ma’am, the ‘Leslie’ that was booked to come look at your home was a man.”

(As it turned out, the broker who came to the house and let the woman in did not even have her license to show houses yet and had just decided to let one of her friends in and show her around. Apparently this is illegal and she ended up being barred from getting a license, effectively ending her career in real estate. On the positive side, just a week later, a woman I can only describe as a “kindhearted cat lady” bought the house on the spot for herself and her son with cash she won in a divorce settlement.)


(Imaginary) Bordering On Ridicule

| Vienna, Austria | Criminal/Illegal, Employees

(Restaurants and cafes can pay to have a portion of the sidewalk closed off so they can put chairs and tables there, to enable people to sit outside instead of inside. Of course, as people have fun and time gets later, they might be a noise concern since nobody wants to have people chat and laugh at night.)

Waiter: *to me* “Sir? Please take a step forward.”

(I do.)

Waiter: “Thank you, sir.”

Me: “What … was that about?”

Waiter: “You were outside the designated area of our ‘garden,’ where the distinct possibility exists that you might be a noise disturbance to the people who have their flats here. And of course we do not wish to be the source of any disturbance, sir.”

Me: “And… inside the line I’m not?”

Waiter: “No, sir, inside our ‘garden’ you are not a disturbance when you enjoy your time with us.”

Me: “But… I’m essentially half a foot from where I was before and there is no provision whatsoever that the noise I make would be muffled.”

Waiter: *with INCREDIBLE politeness in the voice* “Sir, I don’t make the law. I only get to ridicule it.”


Sending Fraudsters A Clear Message

| Helsinki, Finland | Criminal/Illegal, Technology

(I work for an airline online ticket sales back office. One of our duties is to profile online bookings in search of credit card scammers.)

Coworker: “This booking is a scam. I’m sure of it! It fits all the profiles!”

(Sure enough, the credit card used for the booking turned out to be a copied credit card.)

Coworker: “Here’s another one! And another! They are flooding in now! I’m sure these come from the same source. They all look the same!”

Me: “Can you handle it or do you need help?”

Coworker: “I don’t know. Let me see… Shoot, there are at least 20 of these! I gotta make them stop. I’ll send them an e-mail!”

Me: “You’re gonna do what?”

Coworker: “I’m gonna send them an e-mail”

Me: “Send who an e-mail?”

Coworker: “The scammers!”

Me: “How are you gonna send them an e-mail?”

Coworker: “There’s an e-mail address in these bookings!”

Me: “You really think that’s gonna work?”

Coworker: “Well, you don’t know if you don’t try! There, I wrote in it ‘Stop spamming us with these frauds’ and sent it!”

(We have a laugh together wishing it would really be this easy to fight the frauds and continue with our tasks. Then, less than 10 minutes later, we receive an e-mail to our team’s general e-mail.)

Coworker: “No way! It worked!”

Me: “What worked?”

Coworker: “The e-mail I sent to the fraudsters! We got a reply! It says: ‘Oh, ok :)’ and the frauds really stopped, too!”

(We printed that e-mail conversation out and pinned it to our message board. This is how you fight crime!)