Tag Archive: scams


So, this happened. For the record, this is Accurate Builders in El Cajon, California.

Friday, March 5th, 2021, 11:00 am

The parking lot at Alpine Taco Shop was full. There was a work truck in the lot parked across two spots, plus another truck (with Accurate Builders logo on the side) was facing out, with a chipper in tow, blocking the driveway to the house in the back (see photos). As I’ve done many times when the lot is full, I parked in a small unpaved dirt area on the northeast side of the lot. I was facing east, broadside to the chipper, which was about 40 feet away. I was parked parallel to a pedestrian sidewalk just beyond me.

I sat in the car for a moment, making a phone call, and then heard a loud BANG. I got out and walked around the car, and found the dent on the passenger side, facing the chipper. Not wanting to get hit again, I moved the car to another spot that had just opened up.

I waved at the workers to get their attention over the noise of the chipper, and explained to the guy who seemed to be in charge that a rock or something just came out of their chipper and damaged my car.

The guy looked at me with a straight face and said, “That’s not our chipper.”

“No? Who’s running it, then?”

“We’re not running that chipper.”

“Let me get this straight: that’s not your chipper, and you’re not running it?”

“Nope.” What is this, some sort of hillbilly gaslighting Jedi mind trick?

“Well, I don’t think it flew here and started running on its own.”

The guy came over to my car to inspect the damage. I asked for his name but not surprisingly, he didn’t offer it. As his Mexican workers swarmed around, taking pictures of the dent, the guy went over to where my car had been parked and picked up a ragged fist-sized chunk of wood. “You think this might’ve been it?”

“Not sure, but that would’ve done it.”

The guy took the chunk of wood away and disposed of it. I did not get a chance to take a photo before he disappeared with it.

The chippers discharge spout was pointing towards the parking lot and the sidewalk where anyone could have been hit by the debris that was clearly not being fully contained. If that chunk of wood had hit a person, it could have been a serious medical incident.

Now he’s back at my car, full-on YELLING at me now. “There is NO WAY a piece of wood could do that! No WAY! Yer a SCAMMER! This here is a SCAM! I bet yer a Democrat, too! I bet you voted for BIDEN! Yew Democrats are all the SAME!” Two of the ladies who work in the taco shop came out and bore witness to this tirade. I was grateful for their presence.

At this point I realized this man was not at all rational, not in his right mind. I resisted the urge to say, “Darn it, ya caught me, dude. It’s the age-old car-dent-chipper scam! Me and my cohorts drive around in our dented cars, just looking for chippers to park nearby!” I laughed it off on the outside, but inwardly I felt very intimidated by and afraid of this unhinged person. This person who was driving around in a truck with an Accurate Builders logo on the side.

I got my phone and called the number on the side of the truck. Got voice mail for someone named Fernando. Left a pretty terrified message. Never got a call back. According to the website, the owner’s name is Fernando Gonzalez, so I’m guessing it was the owner’s phone? The website has a totally different main number.

But while I was on the phone, crazy guy came back to yell at me some more. “Oh SURE, go ahead and call the COPS and make a statement, it won’t do yew ANY good!” I got the feeling this wasn’t the first time he’d screamed those words at someone.

All of these people were maskless, by the way, and crazy guy was screaming in my face.

I didn’t see any options where they offer brush-clearing services on their website. Perhaps this person was not an employee but some third-party contractor using their truck. But regardless, this person was representing Accurate Builders and I suggested they take a hard look at his outright hostility and complete lack of professionalism.

It’s a small dent, but the body shop worker said that whatever hit the car was at such high velocity that it actually deformed the metal, stretching it inward. If that projectile had hit a person, it would have resulted in a serious injury. And the chipper was aimed right at the taco shop’s parking lot, right at the lunch hour, and also there was a sidewalk right by where I’d parked.

Update: Accurate Builders claims they were merely accepting free mulch from an unnamed third party doing brush clearing there, and they refuse to take any responsibility. I’d have thought that they’d want, for only $150, make this right, but I was wrong.

Of this episode of Scammer Payback, Peirogi says, “Scammers have been using criminal organizations and money mules in order to launder money from their fraudulent crimes. We will confront these scammers and show you everything.”

Best of Kitboga Baiting Scammers

Kitboga first started baiting scammers halfway through 2017. He is known for his funny voices, extraordinary characters and incredibly smart baiting techniques. Nowadays, he streams his scammer baiting in front of thousands of people on Twitch. Here are some of his best moments.

Scammer Payback says, “Scammers are becoming more and more irritated when you know their language. I like to translate them in real time and tell them what they are saying.”

There are ordinary folk who act as drop points for unsuspecting scam victims to deliver boxes full of cash to be forwarded to scammers in India. I love how the wife acts all innocent and then turns into a raging Karen and of course calls the police – she is 100% part of it.

Pierogi of Scammer Payback says, “Do you want to see a Scammer during a RAGE OVERLOAD? This scammer absolutely flips out at me after I access his computer system and delete victim information. TRY NOT TO LAUGH!!”

Pirogi of Scammer Payback says, “This scammer tells me that if I give him Gift Cards he will quit! Let’s see if it’s true.”

Pirogi of Scammer Payback drinks the tears of scammers!

 

How Psychics Fool Their Victims

CollegeHumor‘s resident know-it-all, Adam Conover of #AdamRuinsEverything explains.

SCAM ALERT: Ozio Media

Monday morning:

Freelanced.com informs me that someone wants to hire me for proofreading.  Susan Ahonen with EzineArticles.com sends me an emailed interview.  Among other things, they want to know if I’m familiar with their submission guidelines; I am.  What time zone I’m in.  If I have a PayPal account; I do.  If I’m familiar with Google Documents and have Google Chat; I am and I do.  If I have an account with Copyscape.com (a plagiarism checker); I don’t but would be happy to set one up.  If I can proof a minimum of twenty 500-word articles daily; I can.  Et cetera.

Lovely.  She sends me a proofreading test.  It is chock-full of errors to fix.  The actual articles won’t be nearly this bad, of course.  It’s an MS Word document.  I’m told to turn on “track changes” and send it back when I’m done.

Thursday morning:

In a quick succession of emails, I see that I’ve been cleared as “ready for hire” by Susan Ahonen.  She asks if I’ve been contacted by Ozio Media, and I have indeed gotten three emails from them.  Seems they are the employer?  What happened to EzineArticles.com?  One email details how to invoice Ozio.  Their pay rate is miserable: 30 cents per 500 words.  Third-world rates.  But, I need the experience and resume credit, so I gulp and decide to go ahead, at least for a little while.

Ann with Ozio Media has a lot of documents to be proofed and wants to know if I can start immediately.  I actually have to leave for my ranger job at 11:00 a.m.  She wants me to open a Copyscape account ($5.00 minimum for 100 credits).  She provides a link to a page full of documents, all instructions I must read.  She wants me to contact her via Google Chat, for about an hour of training.

I write back, saying I can’t cancel my commitments for the next two days on short notice; could we start on Monday?  Yes, she says, let me know when you are ready on Monday.  Whew.

I print out all the instructions (about ten pages’ worth) to read over the weekend, and set up the Copyscape account.

Monday morning:

Send email and chat messages to Ann (no last name) at 8:30 a.m., no response.  I sit at the damn computer for two hours waiting.  Checked hourly for the following four hours after that.  Late in the afternoon, when I was offline, she sent a reply saying she was now available.  Hmph.

Tuesday morning:

Send email and chat messages to Ann again at 8:30 a.m., again no response.

Tuesday afternoon:

Finally around noon, she sends an IM to say she’s available if I am.  She conducts the training over the next hour via Google Chat.  It’s pretty straightforward.  I have an account now with Box.net, which serves as an FTP server for Ozio.  She walks me through opening a project folder, selecting files for proofing from an Incoming folder, and for uploading them back to a Completed folder.  Pretty straightforward.  I’m not to move or delete files; if I make a correction, I’m to re-upload the corrected file and put a comment on it.  We are to leave comments when downloading a file, when it’s passed or failed Copyscape, and anything else that needs noting.  I’ve been assigned to “Justin’s” team, and if I have any further questions, I’m to direct them to him.

I read the project guidelines carefully, but they’re written for the authors.  Word count, font, and point size are specified, and file naming conventions are strict.  I open up the project folder; there is only one file available for proofing.  Apparently one must check the folder several times a day, because when an incoming file appears, an unknown number of other proofreaders can also grab it.  We’ve been warned not to download more than three or four files at a time.  I guess that was a problem; someone taking all the files at once and hoarding them.

I proof the file and upload it to the Completed folder.  One more file appears in the evening; I grab it and proof that one also.  Woo, 60 cents!

Wednesday morning:

I find a slew of emails from Box.net, all saying “(filename) received for PMA review by EB.”  One of those files was one that I proofed.  These were all comments left by this EB (project manager assistant?) on each file in the Completed folder.  A minute later, another comment arrives pertaining to my file:

  • EB:  ??? Not formatted per project guidelines. Please correct.

Oh no!  Really?  I look over the guidelines again, look over the file again… I don’t see anything.  I reply.

  • Me:  How so?
  • EB:  If you think all this red looks okay, then I’ll have to re-format it and re-upload it.  I’ll have to get the manager’s approval, though.
  • Me:  I’m sorry, this is my first day.  My understanding was to track changes.  Is that incorrect?
  • EB:  Did you even look at the text?

Well, that’s pretty snotty.  Can I just get a straight answer?  I take the high road:

  • Me:  Of course.  Maybe you could tell me what I did wrong, and I’ll be happy to correct it.

At this point, another random person broke in and left their own comment:

  • Random:  Since you’re the project manager, why are there 14 files in the incoming folder but only 12 in the completed folder? What happened to the other 2
  • EB:  Are you for real, or is it sarcasm?:

Wow, this has gotten completely out of control.  At this point I try to contact Justin (again, no last name) via email and chat.  No response.  After several minutes, I reply:

  • Me:  I’m trying to be professional, and find out what I did wrong.  Are we not to track changes?

Several minutes later, another random person chimed in:

  • Random:  I didn’t write this article, but I think we don’t use track changes.
  • Me:  Thank you.

I quickly fixed both articles, and re-uploaded them.  Then left one last comment:

  • Me:  See corrected files.

There was an error in the file-naming convention on the second file; I left a comment on that file alerting them to that, too.

Wednesday afternoon:

I get an email from Justin, five hours later, saying I’d been dropped from his project team.

Quickly followed by another email from Box.net saying my account had been closed.

Just like that.

I sent an email to Ann NoLastName, saying that I’d like to discuss what happened, that I’m just flabbergasted at this turn of events.  She replied in the evening, saying that I’d made errors in the file transfers, and in the way I left comments.  I knew better than to bother asking, at this point, what “errors” I’d made, exactly.  She said that the project was closed, and wished me well in my future endeavors.

Damn.  Now, I’ve been fired before.  But in less than 24 hours?  Now, THAT’S a new record.

Actually, no one ever specifically said I’d been fired, just that the project was closed and they wished me well.  So I’m keeping the bastards on my resume, for now at least.  “They just haven’t sent me any work for a while…”

After some detailed searching, I found complaints about Ozio Media here and here.  They pay writers next to nothing, too: $1.50 per 500 words.  Then they “reject” it for unspecified reasons and refuse to pay their pittance.  I bet they get a lot of free writing and proofreading done that way.

Update:

Now they are saying I am violating their terms by revealing trade secrets. Riiiiight. So let me just state here that these are my opinions, and this is my site, and I am free to express my opinions on my site. I am relating an honest, truthful account of my experience with Ozio.

 

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