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(Boston Globe)   It's easier to steal $1 from a million people than $1 million from one person   (boston.com) divider line 66
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22879 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Jan 2009 at 7:08 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-01-11 11:28:41 PM  
Well, and they don't tend to whine as much.
 
2009-01-11 11:38:53 PM  
I've long thought it'd be easy enough to make some $$$ with a simple mail fraud scheme, this was in the age before computers but just put an ad for something for sale in the back of a magazine. One widget for $1.

Orders flow in.

Then only actually mail widgets out to people who complain that they've not received one. Lots of people will just forget and not notice they don't get something they only paid $1 for, others will think they've been cheated but not care enough about the $1 to follow up.

It would be illegal of course, and probably two neighbors would order and wonder what the odds are that they both don't receive it, but... I dunno, the "cheat a lot of people for a little bit" aspect would be the same.

I always did wonder too about the guys who would steal someone's ATM card, or better yet steal some numbers and make duplicate cards with old VHS tape. Some stupid ones would then take the cards for the full $200 limit at once and get caught. Seems to me better to only take out $20, lots of rich people won't notice they are missing $20, they'll just think they withdrew extra money at the bar and forgot to write it down in their bank ledger.

/not planning to actually try mail fraud
//with my luck it'd be trivially busted and it'd be all about the prison
 
2009-01-11 11:39:36 PM  
Let's just do what we always do. Hijack some nuclear weapons and hold the world hostage. Yeah? Good! Gentlemen, it has come to my attention that a breakaway Russian Republic called Kreplachistan will be transferring a nuclear warhead to the United Nations in a few days. Here's the plan. We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for... ONE MILLION DOLLARS!
 
2009-01-11 11:43:49 PM  
Mmmm... kreplach.
 
2009-01-11 11:44:32 PM  
itazurakko: I've long thought it'd be easy enough to make some $$$ with a simple mail fraud scheme

This seems very similar to the plan from Lock, Stock, and 2 Smoking Barrels
 
2009-01-11 11:45:03 PM  
itazurakko: I've long thought it'd be easy enough to make some $$$ with a simple mail fraud scheme, this was in the age before computers but just put an ad for something for sale in the back of a magazine. One widget for $1.

Orders flow in.

Then only actually mail widgets out to people who complain that they've not received one. Lots of people will just forget and not notice they don't get something they only paid $1 for, others will think they've been cheated but not care enough about the $1 to follow up.

It would be illegal of course, and probably two neighbors would order and wonder what the odds are that they both don't receive it, but... I dunno, the "cheat a lot of people for a little bit" aspect would be the same.

I always did wonder too about the guys who would steal someone's ATM card, or better yet steal some numbers and make duplicate cards with old VHS tape. Some stupid ones would then take the cards for the full $200 limit at once and get caught. Seems to me better to only take out $20, lots of rich people won't notice they are missing $20, they'll just think they withdrew extra money at the bar and forgot to write it down in their bank ledger.

/not planning to actually try mail fraud
//with my luck it'd be trivially busted and it'd be all about the prison


This sounds like stuff out of the Jolly Roger version of the Cookbook, what with all the out-of-date phreaking information from the 80s...
 
2009-01-11 11:46:46 PM  
Yeah see this is why I don't go for the life of crime...
 
2009-01-12 12:10:26 AM  
I'd be happy if I could steal one cent from everyone in America. No one would miss a penny but I'd have $3,000,000.
 
2009-01-12 12:11:02 AM  
In retrospect, I'm sad to admit that this sort of thing happened to me once and the $30 that somebody stole from my credit card account seemed fairly minor when compared to the paperwork the credit card company sent, so I just paid the $30.
 
2009-01-12 12:16:01 AM  
This happened to a friend of mine in college. He kept getting a charge for 19.95 and asked me if I ever heard of it. First google hit was how it was a scam. The trick is to make it a small enough amount that it just isn't worth the trouble to deal with it and better is to make it small enough that the person doesn't notice.

/reads his statements with a fine toothed comb
//unemployed so nothing better to do than chase down these pricks
 
2009-01-12 12:40:37 AM  
My aging and increasingly out of it mother got a check for a whopping $5.00 the other day, whcih she wanted me to deposit for her. I read the fine print, and it said that by depositing or cashing this check, you are agreeing to sign up for a service that costs $139.95 per year.

Right. Sounds like a great deal to me, for an all-day SUCKER!
 
2009-01-12 01:01:38 AM  
HELLO WOULD YOU LIKE TO LOOK AS HAPPY AS I DO?? THEN SEND $1 TO 'HAPPY DUDE', 742 EVERGREEN TERRACE, SPRINGFIELD
 
2009-01-12 07:05:37 AM  
eddyatwork: He kept getting a charge for 19.95 and asked me if I ever heard of it. First google hit was how it was a scam.

Sounds like every gym membership I've ever heard of. $20 a month for life, never used, hard to quit.
 
2009-01-12 07:12:00 AM  
As the former President of Nigeria I am getting a kick out of these replies ...
 
2009-01-12 07:15:20 AM  
otakuism.animeblogger.net

Kaoru approves.
 
2009-01-12 07:18:19 AM  
Not if you are using a gun. Try saying "Give me a dollar!" One million times. By victim one thousand, you're saying "gimmeadollr". Plus, your pants are full of one thousand one dollar bills so the obvious response for the victim is "Why do you need a dollar? You got, like a thousand already." And the damn gun weighs a ton. Pointing at the crouch still gets a dollar but by now, you're pointing at the guy's feet.

And I remember victim 945. He didn't have a dollar. He had a twenty so I made change for him and I think he got twenty one singles back. And it was a Nixon twenty. Are they new?
 
2009-01-12 07:19:07 AM  
Ennuipoet: eddyatwork: He kept getting a charge for 19.95 and asked me if I ever heard of it. First google hit was how it was a scam.

Sounds like every gym membership I've ever heard of. $20 a month for life, never used, hard to quit.


This also kinda sounds like "triple advantage" via freecreditreport.com

They're so ballsy they have commercials for their scam on TV.

/ex girlfriend fell for it.
// I lulled.
 
2009-01-12 07:21:49 AM  
Isn't this the theory of tax based subsidies?
 
2009-01-12 07:25:22 AM  
I have to agree with the other posters.
Who wants to deal with 1 million people?
If you're caught, that's one million counts
of petty larceny.
I think I'd get less prison time
killing one person.
 
2009-01-12 07:29:49 AM  
Psychotropic: I'd be happy if I could steal one cent from everyone in America. No one would miss a penny but I'd have $3,000,000.

i7.photobucket.com

Approves.
 
2009-01-12 07:32:18 AM  
Madoff thinks it's easiest to steal millions of dollars from hundreds of people.
 
2009-01-12 07:32:19 AM  
It's like taking pennies from the crippled children jar. Only these people are just idiots, and it's 25 cents at a time.
 
2009-01-12 07:34:20 AM  
Last chance to send me $3.00
 
2009-01-12 07:39:17 AM  
The ROI isn't worth it. How much does it cost you to get that 1 dollar from each person versus how much it cost you to get that 1 million dollars from one person? I mean even if it costs you let say 10k to swindle that one person out of million bucks, you still will net 990,000 dollars. But let say it costs you 50 cent to get that 1 dollar from each person. So after all is said and done, you come out with 500,000 dollars.

Dunno, I think i rather just swindle the one sucker.
 
2009-01-12 07:42:21 AM  
blog.pricegrabber.com

Agrees.
 
2009-01-12 07:44:51 AM  
img2.timeinc.net

Plan "B"
 
2009-01-12 07:50:54 AM  
Oh yeah, if you argue that swindling the one guy out of a million isn't worth it because they'll want their money back. Which would negate the net of 990,000 dollars versus the 500,000 you get from tricking one million people out of 1 dollar.

Just hire a hitman to kill that guy and all his relatives. Maybe you get lucky and get a package deal.

Cost 10,000
Gain 990,000
Cost 100,000?
Net 890,000?

Better than 500,000 with a greater chance of class action law suit against you.

Better off ripping off that one person and making sure he/she and all his relatives don't talk.
 
2009-01-12 07:54:32 AM  
Came for the Simpsons reference. Leaving satisfied.
 
2009-01-12 08:03:55 AM  
Is this another bail-out thread?
 
2009-01-12 08:15:47 AM  
Happened on one of our cards.
 
2009-01-12 08:31:23 AM  
Ennuipoet: Sounds like every gym membership I've ever heard of. $20 a month for life, never used, hard to quit.

cache.gawker.com
Sympathizes

/actually no he doesn't
 
2009-01-12 08:41:35 AM  
the key is via a broken vending machine. I have lost many a dollar in broken soda machines, broken candy machines, broken 4 quarters for a dollar machines, broken pool tables, etc etc.

Just get a broken machine, install it somewhere and never fix it. You'll get everyone once. Some idiots, even, twice.
 
2009-01-12 08:44:44 AM  
The credit card companies aren't going to like this.

Lots of small charges that are difficult to dispute is their game.
 
2009-01-12 08:46:16 AM  
itazurakko: I've long thought it'd be easy enough to make some $$$ with a simple mail fraud scheme, this was in the age before computers but just put an ad for something for sale in the back of a magazine. One widget for $1.

Orders flow in.

Then only actually mail widgets out to people who complain that they've not received one. Lots of people will just forget and not notice they don't get something they only paid $1 for, others will think they've been cheated but not care enough about the $1 to follow up.

It would be illegal of course, and probably two neighbors would order and wonder what the odds are that they both don't receive it, but... I dunno, the "cheat a lot of people for a little bit" aspect would be the same.

I always did wonder too about the guys who would steal someone's ATM card, or better yet steal some numbers and make duplicate cards with old VHS tape. Some stupid ones would then take the cards for the full $200 limit at once and get caught. Seems to me better to only take out $20, lots of rich people won't notice they are missing $20, they'll just think they withdrew extra money at the bar and forgot to write it down in their bank ledger.

/not planning to actually try mail fraud
//with my luck it'd be trivially busted and it'd be all about the prison


No-one ever gets caught for ATM fraud. you have much more chance of getting if you take out $20 a few times as if you were to just straight take the $200.
How they gunna catch you anyway?
CCTV at the atm? Oh noes just put sunglasses and a hat on.
Take the $200, bin the card.
 
2009-01-12 08:48:55 AM  
It goes by different names ("diffuse costs versus focused benefits" or "concentrated benefit over diffuse injury"), but it explains why these scams continue, why you can't eliminate a government program once it starts, and why newspapers will never get rid of "The Family Circus".
 
2009-01-12 09:00:18 AM  
I had a mysterious charge of $9.55 on my debit card. Neither I nor the bank was able to tell who originated it, and they charged it back and issued me a credit. The next month there was another $9.55 credit on my bank statement. I told the bank about it, and they're like, "So, what's the problem?" I spent it on hookers and blow.
 
2009-01-12 09:05:40 AM  
StarshipPooper: The ROI isn't worth it. How much does it cost you to get that 1 dollar from each person versus how much it cost you to get that 1 million dollars from one person? I mean even if it costs you let say 10k to swindle that one person out of million bucks, you still will net 990,000 dollars. But let say it costs you 50 cent to get that 1 dollar from each person. So after all is said and done, you come out with 500,000 dollars.

Dunno, I think i rather just swindle the one sucker.


Personally, I'd rather cheat the guys that created the scheme. What are they gonna do, call the cops?
 
2009-01-12 09:14:12 AM  
itazurakko: I always did wonder too about the guys who would steal someone's ATM card, or better yet steal some numbers and make duplicate cards with old VHS tape. Some stupid ones would then take the cards for the full $200 limit at once and get caught. Seems to me better to only take out $20, lots of rich people won't notice they are missing $20, they'll just think they withdrew extra money at the bar and forgot to write it down in their bank ledger.

That's what the jackasses that broke into my car did. Heck I didn't even notice they broke in (older car). If they had only taken 1 card instead of my wallet I probably wouldn't have noticed for at least a week.

/Yes, I was a dumbass.
 
2009-01-12 09:17:08 AM  
"It's easier to steal $1 from a million people than $1 million from one person"..

This thought was first expressed in a simpler form far back in the reaches of human history at the birth of the Tax Collector.
 
2009-01-12 09:25:24 AM  
GungFu: Approves.

Came here for the Superman III references.

Leaving satisfied.
 
2009-01-12 09:32:15 AM  
Son of Thunder: GungFu: Approves.

Came here for the Superman III references.

Leaving satisfied.


Why? That movie blew goats.
 
2009-01-12 09:35:44 AM  
I disagree. It is easier to steal 1 million from one person as long as he thinks he is making 12.5% or more.

It's the same reason that people end up with all their money in enron or on just one stock.

They move more money to their "winners" in their portfolio.
If they winners make good returns for couple years in a row, people tend to start dumping more money in, dreaming of many years of 20% returns.

All one has to do is be able to pay the 15% or so. Then, clients see how their "test" investment did and then move more money in.
 
2009-01-12 09:37:15 AM  
I've had mysterious charges appear on my cards before, or signed up for services only to discover its almost impossible to get them to stop charging you once it starts.

The solution is actually very easy... just report the card lost/stolen. You get a new card number/exp date, and the old one doesnt work anymore. As a matter of fact, I just do this out of habbit every 6 months or so, that way I know no one has my information sitting in a database somewhere.
 
2009-01-12 09:39:00 AM  
farm3.static.flickr.com


that is all...
 
2009-01-12 09:41:37 AM  
Story reminded me of the penny a pixel page...now THAT dude knows what easy money looks like.
 
2009-01-12 09:47:29 AM  
StarshipPooper: The ROI isn't worth it. How much does it cost you to get that 1 dollar from each person versus how much it cost you to get that 1 million dollars from one person? I mean even if it costs you let say 10k to swindle that one person out of million bucks, you still will net 990,000 dollars. But let say it costs you 50 cent to get that 1 dollar from each person. So after all is said and done, you come out with 500,000 dollars.

Dunno, I think i rather just swindle the one sucker.


Then put him in a box with ether and send it to some pacific island. Or just box him up and take him on a cruise.
2 days out at sea, you push him over the edge of his, your stateroom. Then you climb your ladder made of ice to your actual room on the terrace above you. The ladder melts away, no evidence.
 
2009-01-12 09:58:30 AM  
Nutsac_Jim: All one has to do is be able to pay the 15% or so. Then, clients see how their "test" investment did and then move more money in.

Isn't that the entire premise of Boiler Room?
 
2009-01-12 10:08:19 AM  
absoluteparanoia: Nutsac_Jim: All one has to do is be able to pay the 15% or so. Then, clients see how their "test" investment did and then move more money in.

Isn't that the entire premise of Boiler Room?


I don't know. What the hell is boiler room. I'm just saying how people think. They like to stick their toe in, then follow in with an increase. After that, they pretty much move all their money in and start dreaming of retiring at 50.
 
2009-01-12 10:09:18 AM  
Came here for the Office Space references, leaving satisfied.
 
2009-01-12 10:11:51 AM  
Nutsac_Jim: StarshipPooper: The ROI isn't worth it. How much does it cost you to get that 1 dollar from each person versus how much it cost you to get that 1 million dollars from one person? I mean even if it costs you let say 10k to swindle that one person out of million bucks, you still will net 990,000 dollars. But let say it costs you 50 cent to get that 1 dollar from each person. So after all is said and done, you come out with 500,000 dollars.

Dunno, I think i rather just swindle the one sucker.

Then put him in a box with ether and send it to some pacific island. Or just box him up and take him on a cruise.
2 days out at sea, you push him over the edge of his, your stateroom. Then you climb your ladder made of ice to your actual room on the terrace above you. The ladder melts away, no evidence.


If you're going to do that, just kill him with dry ice instead. Place a huge amount of dry ice in a room. Have the sucker go in it. Turn up the heat in the room and as the dry ice melts, it kills the guy without him even knowing. By the time he realizes something is up he will pass out by then. No evidence left since the dry ice is gone and you're just left with a dead guy.

You're out the cost of the dry ice and paper trail for purchasing the dry ice though since you need an ID to buy the stuff. This is purely for informational purposes, I'm not advocating you go around killing people with dry ice.
 
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