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Old 09-11-2013, 12:13   #1
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Scams I Have Known

In my ramblings, I have encountered a lot of scams, and have come collect them, like souvenirs. I like scams that pertain to sailors and travelers. Internet scams should have their own, separate thread.

I'm sure most of us have encountered them, and hopefully can smile about them, easier if they didn't cost us cash.

This thread has two purposes, both to warn new travelers of the common hustles, and to serve as entertainment as we encounter "old friends" among the scams and read of new ones. Please keep the spirit light, and say where the scam was encountered.

I'll begin with a "bogus money" scam. The con artist presents fake police ID and says counterfeit money is being circulated. He has a list of serial number for the fake bills, demands to see your cash, or you go to the police station.

He tells you that yours are OK, and that he will "seal" them so no other inspectors will bother you.. He rolls up your money in brown paper, ties it with a metallic string, and puts an "official seal on it, then hands it back to you.

When you open the "sealed roll", you find newspaper, not money inside, a version of the old Switcheroo. I first met this scam in Colombia.

OK Your turn.
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Old 10-11-2013, 17:46   #2
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Re: Scams I Have Known

Pet rent that is charged by some landlords
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Old 10-11-2013, 18:15   #3
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Re: Scams I Have Known

You remember the short change trick from the movie Paper Moon? Had that pulled on me once when clerking at a small town drug store in NC many moons ago.
Here's the clip: "Paper Moon" Five and Ten - YouTube
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Old 10-11-2013, 18:21   #4
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Re: Scams I Have Known

New Orleans - "I can tell you where you got your shoes at"......
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Old 10-11-2013, 18:44   #5
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Re: Scams I Have Known

I worker in a camera store in my youth. The store was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Brown. The Browns had been carny folks in their younger days and if you could get Brown talking, no one knew his first name, you'd learn some interesting cons. One day someone came in, made a small purchase and started asking for change in different denominations. I quickly realized I was in over my head and called Brown over. I think we had an extra twenty in the cash drawer that night. You couldn't put one over on Brown.

One day I was filling my car with gas when a young man came up to me carrying a gas can. He started telling me a story about his car being out of gas, he had no money, could he have a couple of dollars to buy gas. I grabbed his can, squirted some gas in it and handed it back to him. You should have seen the look on his face.

To top it off, a few days later, I ran into the same guy, half way across town, in a restaurant parking lot. He started telling me the same story and I just broke up laughing. He had learned not to try his scam in a gas station. I've always wondered what he did with the gasoline I put in his can.
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Old 10-11-2013, 19:32   #6
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Re: Scams I Have Known

The other day I almost pulled a quick change artist scam without even trying. Just asked for the twenty to be broken into fives and a ten, by the time I got the clerk straightened out I realized I could have had most bills in the drawer.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:13   #7
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Re: Scams I Have Known

There is one trick I have seen pulled by money changers all over the world, when they are counting the money that you receive.

They have most of the money in very large bills, and a little of it in very small bills, with the big bills on top of the stack. They hold the money in their left hand, and count it into the right.

They count very slowly on the high value bills so you can count with them, then very rapidly on the very low value bills. People don't worry too much about the low value bills.

But during the fast counting, as the small bills are passed from left to right on top of the stacks, high value bills are being slipped from right to left UNDER the stacks, invisibly in the fast, practiced movements. When you get the stack in the right hand, it will have several high denomination bills missing, and you get far less money than you are owed.

Often the con artist hands you the short stack of money, then immediately says,"The police, run quick" or something like that, and runs. Some places street exchanges are illegal, but you get as much as twice the money.

The tip off is the mix of very high and very low denomination bills, and of course, the fast shuffle.

The IRON RULE: Any time anyone counts or touches the money, you count it again yourself, even if you watched him count it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:28   #8
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Re: Scams I Have Known

So what does this have to do with "General Sailing"? Is this the old switcheroo?
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:53   #9
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Re: Scams I Have Known

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestathook View Post
There is one trick I have seen pulled by money changers all over the world, when they are counting the money that you receive.

They have most of the money in very large bills, and a little of it in very small bills, with the big bills on top of the stack. They hold the money in their left hand, and count it into the right.

They count very slowly on the high value bills so you can count with them, then very rapidly on the very low value bills. People don't worry too much about the low value bills.

But during the fast counting, as the small bills are passed from left to right on top of the stacks, high value bills are being slipped from right to left UNDER the stacks, invisibly in the fast, practiced movements. When you get the stack in the right hand, it will have several high denomination bills missing, and you get far less money than you are owed.

Often the con artist hands you the short stack of money, then immediately says,"The police, run quick" or something like that, and runs. Some places street exchanges are illegal, but you get as much as twice the money.

The tip off is the mix of very high and very low denomination bills, and of course, the fast shuffle.

The IRON RULE: Any time anyone counts or touches the money, you count it again yourself, even if you watched him count it.
I have been short changed in the DR with a similar scam... except after handing back the money the guy said.. "oh, I think I short changed you $5"... which he did, and now was being honest to gain your confidence. Then he takes the money back and counts it quickly, adds $5 and give it back. What he's done in the process is replace the big bills with small ones. No idea how he accomplished it... I was watching his hands the whole time! then his buddy taps him on the shoulder "distracting him". As you walk away you decide to count your money again and lo and behold it's mostly one dollar bills! You turn around and he's disappeared completely.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:47   #10
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Re: Scams I Have Known

I have had a guy calling me all weekend. He claims that he is from the IRS and that I have underpaid my taxes. Problem is the IRS never calls you and asks for $$ over the phone. Must need some Christmas money. Just banned phone number. Next problem.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:05   #11
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Re: Scams I Have Known

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
So what does this have to do with "General Sailing"? Is this the old switcheroo?
Getting scammed is one of the dangers a cruiser faces, sort of like reefs or storms. Some of the really bad ones can end you up in jail.

Do you think it is better for a new cruiser to be unaware of these scams?
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Old 11-11-2013, 15:10   #12
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Re: Scams I Have Known

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Originally Posted by Bestathook View Post
Getting scammed is one of the dangers a cruiser faces, sort of like reefs or storms. Some of the really bad ones can end you up in jail.

Do you think it is better for a new cruiser to be unaware of these scams?
Up until now its been people getting stiffed doing illegal money changes hoping to beat the official rate Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out you'll pull the short stick.

Anything outside banks and reputable money changes is considered illegal. Most cops around the world won't do much for you in these cases.

It would be good to see any cruising specific scams.
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Old 11-11-2013, 15:55   #13
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Re: Scams I Have Known

Ripped off by vendor

ok, how about this?
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Old 11-11-2013, 16:17   #14
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Re: Scams I Have Known

In Port Carmen, Cebu Philippines, Cruisers are lured by low labor rates and in painting by lower material costs. The workers are encouraged by the American owner to go slow, one can observe the same spot being sanded for hours, repaonted and sanded again. Unbelievably this continues for days and weeks in some cases. Iff the customer complains then he is rushing the job. Because the owner is a first class con artist he gets away with it Carmen — Noonsite
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:08   #15
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Re: Scams I Have Known

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Getting scammed is one of the dangers a cruiser faces...
I suppose. Although this is something that EVERYONE faces, cruising or not, sailing or not, traveling or not.

Regardless, it is not about sailing. This sub-forum is "General Sailing." It is supposed to be about sailing topics. This is clearly not about sailing. Hence it should be in "Our Community," or maybe "Cruising News & Events," or maybe most appropriately in either "Dollars & Cents" or "Off Topic."

Posting a thread in what is very obviously the wrong sub-forum is, of course, not a big deal. It's just one of my pet peeves.
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