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Has anyone ever tried to scam you?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 14, 2011

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Photo of Cindy Roberts

“No, but I got an email from a friend that didn’t seem to be from her, so I emailed her back and it still seemed off, so I messaged for her to call me and it was from her but it just shows how suspicious we all are.”

Photo of Derek Bergman

“Scam emails, for sure. Just delete it.”

Photo of Luke Brinker

“Phishing emails but nothing that’s not been obvious. Somebody sends you a link, ‘oh is this you?’ and you know, ‘well, I haven’t spoken to you for years, I don’t think you’d be intentionally sending me a link.’”

Photo of Preston Dieterman

“General scam emails — you can always tell. I delete and go on. ”


pure_republication 6 years, 5 months ago

All the time. From my grandaughter. Her's was hijacked and she is fighting to get it undercontrol.

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

By mail, by phone, by internet. Occasionally by door to door solicitation. Once in a while I fall for it. Hard to resist those Thinmints.

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

I once got a call from my 'neighbor' telling me he was broke down in Texas and needed $425 to get his car out of the shop so he could get home. I told him it was a shame he hadn't told me a half hour earlier when he and I were visiting out in his yard.

Kendall Simmons 6 years, 5 months ago


The ones like this that make me feel sad are the grandparents who get scammed by calls like this because they don't recognize that it's not their own grandchild's voice. I guess that, unlike my grandparent friends and me, they don't get to talk with their grandkids on a regular basis.

RoeDapple 6 years, 5 months ago

Every year (sometimes more than once!) I get approached in a large parking lot (think Dillons, Walmart, Target) by one of a pack of beggars wanting $5 for gas to get home to . . . wherever. Almost always between Thanksgiving and New Years day. It's getting so I recognize a few of them from previous years. I ask them if they have change for a $50 bill, they call me a fecal exit port, and we both go on our way.

Bill Lee 6 years, 5 months ago

Of course. I live in America in the 21st Century.

Maddy Griffin 6 years, 5 months ago

I still get e-mails from a Nigerian Prince trying to send me $58 million dollars, since all his immediate family died of either cancer or a horrible car wreck.I didn't realize there were so many in Nigeria with my last name.Id take it, but I think the people of Nigeria need it more.

Liberty275 6 years, 5 months ago

It was only the intellectually challenged half of that 300 million that got scammed. Of course, all of America is paying the price.

What is unemployment at this month?

pizzapete 6 years, 5 months ago

We're going to find those weapons of mass destruction, it's been difficult because they're driving them around on trucks.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 5 months ago

Some Mizzou fans tried to tell me it was my fault they are quitters & had to leave. I told them that playing most of their games closer to the Orange Bowl didn't actually mean they were gonna get there.

pizzapete 6 years, 5 months ago

The city trying to make me rent a trash can...

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

I believe you mean to say: every election ever held. They are called politicians for a reason.

Or do you honestly believe McCain and Palin were just a couple of mavericks looking out for our best interest?

bevy 6 years, 5 months ago

I once asked a toner-scammer if his mother knew what he did for a living. He called me a B**CH and hung up on me.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

A long time ago, I really needed a job in southern California, and took what I could get. What I got was two consecutive jobs as a phone solicitor for scam operations.

I could bore everyone with the pointless details, but the important thing is that I lasted exactly two days at each one.

And, years before that, I got a job going door to door selling magazines for an operation that was within the letter, but not the spirit, of the law. After doing that for one day, I quit.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

Another two day job was at an Italian restaurant. I quit real fast as soon as I realized that it was actually a money laundering operation.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, I don't know for SURE it was a money laundering operation. But what else could explain a restaurant in a high rent district that had hardly any customers, nobody knew what they were doing, and the weirdest thing was - the man in the back that I never saw except when he was changing from street clothes to work clothes or the other way around - at least 5 times during a 4 hour shift!

gphawk89 6 years, 5 months ago

About six months back, a desperate-looking young couple approached me at a gas station and asked me for $5 to help buy a bus ticket. I declined. Last week, the same couple approached me at the same gas station with the exact same story. I suggested that they should either change their story or try working in another area. They suggested that I should (can't be printed here). The "money for a bus ticket" scam is getting really old.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm a bit bummed out because I spent some time getting my postings exactly right, and then the thread wasn't online for very long.

This is part of my posting from the comment thread here:

I was once at a restaurant, and a man came and put a pen on my table, along with a Xeroxed piece of paper. Just part of a page, though. The Xeroxed piece of paper explained what he was doing. He was deaf, and because of that he couldn't get a job. So, he was selling pens for one dollar. He walked all around the restaurant, putting pens and pieces of paper on everyone's table.

People were pulling out their wallets right and left, and he just walked around the restaurant again, picking up one dollar bills and the pieces of paper, so he could use them at the next restaurant. It looked like everyone needed a pen that day.

When he approached me, I used sign language and said this:

Do you know sign language?

He looked shocked, never came near me, and headed out quick with a whole lot of one dollar bills and pieces of paper. For sure, he knew I had just signed something to him, and he had no clue what I had just said.

A deaf person that doesn't know any sign language? Yeah, right.

A box of 100 pens costs how much, about $5? Xerox copies are $0.25, and you cut each into four pieces. And, there are a lot of restaurants along the highways, especially if you're on a long road trip.

P.S. I got a free pen out of the deal. But, the ink in it was green. (Not a joke!)

gudpoynt 6 years, 5 months ago

Once this guy said that if I helped elect him Governor, that he'd protect education and KS jobs.

Then he proceeded to gut education and lay off all kinds of government employees, while creating only a handful of upper income jobs for out of state cronies.

I felt like such a fool to be had by such a tool. Never again.

parrothead8 6 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, I didn't fall for his scam...but somehow I'm still getting scammed by him.

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Hate to point out the obvious, but while I'm not happy about a bad investment of $535 million, that is small potatoes compared to the costs of WMDs and "Mission Accomplished."

We also paid far more in bonuses to bankers with bailout funds, because we were told it was in their contracts.

My real point is that it is silly to think that politicians reaching in your pocket only represent one particular party. Once you start to only blame one party, you will allow such behavior from your own.

irvan moore 6 years, 5 months ago

pretty often by the city commission and their vision for lawrence

Pete Kennamore 6 years, 5 months ago

Once had a tablesaw to sell so I listed it on Craigslist. Within a day got an email accepting my asking price. However, the user would send me a cashier check for more than the amount and asked me to cash it and send him the difference back (yeah right).

BMI 6 years, 5 months ago

Ron. I believe your encounter entirely, I've had something similar happen in KC. As for 'what deaf person doesn't know sign language, think again only longer.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

That is a good point, but those people would be facing other challenges that would be rather obvious, I would think.

I knew a person who lost her hearing as an adult, and I'm sure she didn't learn to sign very well for a while. I heard later that she was working on it, and so was her husband.

But it's difficult for me to believe that a deaf person wouldn't at least be working on learning to sign. I've worked with deaf people, and they certainly had a lot to talk about with each other during breaks from work! In fact, the very few fragments I know of sign language I learned from them.

There is also this: I may be biased because of the fact that I have niece that has learned to sign very well, although she has always had perfect hearing.

I've been informed somewhere, forget where, that most deaf people feel a sense of dignity, and consider begging for money from strangers simply because they are deaf to be beneath them.

Also - some deaf people can read lips very well. But, there are limitations. You need to enunciate well, be facing them, and facial hair often presents a problem.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

About the person who lost her hearing as an adult, it was terrible. I think it had something to do with calcification occurring within her inner ear. From the time she first became aware that she had a problem that there was no treatment for to the time she was completely deaf was only a few months.

And - here's another terrible thing. When a person loses hearing as an adult, very shortly thereafter they usually also lose the ability to speak so that others can understand them. Hearing people are simply never aware of how much corrective feedback they get from hearing their own voices.

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh yes. "The Day After Tomorrow" got me as did "Kid A" (like I need to hear robots making love). I once paid $0.75 for a junky Monday newspaper oh and this one time my ex said to me "....go ahead and tell me, I won't get upset, I promise" and needless to say, I got scammed

Oh, and that punk from Tonganoxie who was using the guise of collecting money for Disabled Vets to line his own pockets got me

jaywalker 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I've been scammed. I was leading a fiber optic team in La. and working 16 to 20 hour days. I was utterly exhausted. One night I woke at 3am to someone pounding on my door. Groggy as hell, I could hear him frantically asking "Mac" to open the door, it was "James." It just so happened my supervisor, Mac, had flown in a few days before and had stayed in that very room until that morning. He left and I switched to his room because it had a better working area.
So I opened the door and this guy I'd never seen asked where Mac was, he needed help because he was in fiber optics too and his truck had broke down on the interstate and he needed cash to pay the tow truck, they wouldn't take a check, blah blah blah. The only thing going through my mind was that I hoped he hadn't seen my truck keys and wouldn't ask me for a ride. Like I said, I was exhausted.
So I was more than happy to give him money to get him out and let me go back to bed. I gave him every dollar I had ($77) plus the change on my dresser, plus a smoke. He promised to pay me back that day.
The next morning as my men were gathering I called Mac back in Atlanta. He had no idea who the guy was, the company was; nothing. Needless to say I never heard from him again. He even kiped my lighter!
I still don't even care. I just wanted sleep.

kernal 6 years, 5 months ago

Ron, I was approached by a couple of people pulling that same scam out West years ago, but they had preprinted cards before the days of home computers, so they must have been doing pretty well with their "I can't work because I'm deaf" scam. That's a real insult to deaf people in this country.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

That same thing happened once happened to me in California. That's why I was so suspicious of the guy in the restaurant in Kansas!

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

The medical insurance industry and the banking industry do it every day.....

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

Sam Brownback, but I think he got away with it (so far.)

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

I've been on the internet since 1995. What do you think?

Peaty Romano 6 years, 5 months ago

Every morning we give my cat one 3 oz can of cat food. She's a pain in the butt till she gets it, meowing and making a fuss. She gets all the dry food she wants during the day but loves the one can she has. More often than not my wife or I give her a can early in the AM. She then trys to scam the other person into giving another can by carrying on. It's worked a few times, but we've gotten wise.

verity 6 years, 5 months ago

I just received an email from one of Muammar Gaddafi's wives pleading for help to escape his palace and his deadly abuse. In return I will get a large percentage of the money that she has managed to send out of the country. Apparently she's still holed up somewhere and doesn't know that he's dead.

pace 6 years, 5 months ago

My mom could be very convincing, my Dad was a mark for a beautiful woman. He would ask "whats for supper?" she would say "I have a turkey in the freezer." Then we would dine out. But she didn't have a turkey in the freezer.
We had a preacher come around a lot for a variety of donations. He got caught with his three houses. My dad was embarrassed at the cash gone to no good end. His family was fed by the Salvation army duing the depression, so he had a soft spot. He continued to support the SA all his life, good work.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

Millions of people got hope and short changed in 2008. How many of them will make the same mistake in 2012?

beatrice 6 years, 5 months ago

Depends. Who will Obama be running against? If he faces one of the Republicans currently vying for the nomination, Obama is a virtual shoe-in. Consider the field: Gingrich? hahahaha. Romney? He can't even get Republicans interested in him, let alone everyone else. Cain? um, have you heard him lately? The more you look at who Herman Cain is, the less you want to know. Perry? I've seen three-speed blenders that could be him in a debate. Obama would eat him for lunch. Paul? Too cranky to be taken seriously. The rest? They are "the rest" for a reason. Sorry to inform you, but the Republicans are not running great candidates. The only reason people are watching the debates is just to see who will fall and not be able to get up.

Because and only because the Republican candidates are so bad, you can count on Obama winning in 2012. Hope you will be able to handle that, because there is nothing you can do to change it.

Pete Kennamore 6 years, 5 months ago

Bea, I usually find myself in violent disagreement with positions you espouse. But in this case, I completely agree with your assessment of the Republican field.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 5 months ago

TOB I just had to wipe coffee offa my monitor. If it fries it's all your fault.

riverdrifter 6 years, 5 months ago

Got scammed by several back-flushin' rooster pheasants over the weekend and I have a damn good dog. God alone knows however many others skulked away. If pheasants played cards they'd cheat like crazy. Therefore, I love'em. Never been scammed that I know of, therefore I might have been. "This is a question of 'awareness', isn't it?" Yep, & therein hangs the tale.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 5 months ago

yeah, some dude tried several times, quite diligently, to scam me.
problem is, he's in the Whitehouse and cain't do nuttin' about him.

he's still tryin' to scam a bunch of my fellow americans.

kernal 6 years, 5 months ago

And that is why I no longer have a land line.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

none2, I always wait and listen to the whole message. Then, after the lady is finished talking, I tell her something that I could never post here.

But I can tell you this much: It is very blunt, very direct, and I get so much satisfaction out of saying it to her that I actually look forward to those calls.

And, to any live telemarketer, I am very polite. Very early in the call, in a very nice and polite voice I say this:

It's nothing personal, I do understand that for you it's just a job. But I want to end this call right now. Thanks.


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

Oh No!

What if a woman records herself trying to sell me a credit card, plays it to me over the phone, and then listens to what I say???

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 5 months ago

none2, there is something you seem to be unaware of. There is nothing that ticks off a telemarketer more than an endless phone call that goes on and on forever, never results in a sale, and is peppered with almost endless personal questions about how his family is doing, and about your personal problems.

If you have the time to spend talking on the phone, you should perhaps consider working on perfecting that skill.

Shane Garrett 6 years, 5 months ago

From every woman, except for one, that ever said "I'll pay you back."

1029 6 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, so I pretended that I was going to the bathroom and then took off without paying the check.

bevy 6 years, 5 months ago

A few times - but my favorite was the woman who called and told us (years ago) that my hubby had made a call to the Jessica Hahn Adult Fantasy LIne, but didn't enter our Credit Card correctly. We didn't have a credit card, but boy was she persistent! I finally got her off the phone.

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