Tag Archive: scams


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.

 

When I last wrote, we’d gotten the house cleared, and the painter had begun working. After that, we got new carpet. Let me put in a plug for Empire Today. They were easy, affordable, and did the work the next day, as advertised. We were quite impressed.

Unfortunately, Bub (Rich’s mom) thinks we’re railroading her. Everyone we speak with tells us that she shouldn’t have been living alone as long as she had (she’s 88). That they kept an eye on her. We could see that she was not taking good care of herself. Her primary doctor has written that she has dementia and can’t take care of her finances. However, Bub insists that she was getting along fine, that she gets enough money to live on, and that she wants to go home. Well, home, we keep telling her, must be sold, so that you may have funds with which to live in a nice place and not the shithole you’re in now.

Luckily, the house sold in record time. Ten days after it went on the market, we had an offer. We countered upwards a bit, and they accepted. Bonus: they want only a 30-day escrow. That means that escrow will close before Katy gets out of her current jail stint. She’s still got the three San Diego felonies to contend with, plus the new elder abuse charge in Murrieta. Still, with even just a few days out, visiting her grandma at the nursing home, getting her all upset and worked up… we were worried that Bub, at the time she had to sign the final papers, might balk and fret, “But what’ll happen to Katy?”

Good news: Bub’s broken elbow is as good as new.

Bad news: That means that she is now on private pay. We get a call the day Medicare ended. They need $6,700 today. “So sorry, but we don’t have it. As soon as the house sells, we’ll be paying you in full, as agreed.” She didn’t know what we were talking about. We told her that both the Business Director and the Social Services Director told us, on more than one occasion, with both Rich & me present, that we could just “run up a bill,” and yes there will be late charges, but we’d be thrilled to pay it all in one lump sum when the house sells and we break Bub the hell out of there.

(This nursing home is supposed to be a good place. God help you if you end up in a good one. I wouldn’t wish a bad one on my worst enemy. A thick envelope was mailed to Bub at her place of residence from the nursing home. It contained admissions paperwork that they needed her to fill out and sign. Apparently, instead of walking down the hallway and asking her to fill it out [she broke her left elbow; but she’s right-handed], they mailed the papers to her house, explaining in the cover letter that they hadn’t been able to contact her.)

She’s been to visit the house a couple times now, and she seems resigned to selling it. But we keep hearing, from multiple sources, that she’s very angry with us for all this. She’s so nice to our faces, but as soon as we leave, she’s working with Katy’s boyfriend to counteract everything. On our way back one day we received a call from Bub’s attorney. He’d just spoken with Boyfriend, who said he was calling for Bub, who wanted to know “what her rights were.” Bub told my mom that she wants to revoke Rich’s power of attorney. I wouldn’t be surprised if she disinherited him. Sociopaths are very good at separating their victims from all the people who want to protect them.

We’re planning on moving her to Grossmont Gardens (who everybody says is excellent) on Sunday the 13th. This Sunday we’re going up to try and sell the furniture she won’t be taking with. We’ve got the small antiques, which we’ll sell for the best prices. Whatever’s left goes to Goodwill. We’ve been trying to get Boyfriend to come over and collect the furniture it’s so critical that Katy have. He’s got two more weekends. Problem is, he doesn’t have money for a storage shed, and Bub doesn’t have a checkbook with which to give him money.

On Tuesday, the real estate agent came over with the final papers to sign, and then we went over to the escrow company to sign their papers. So it’s a done deal now. Whew.

Just yesterday evening, I got a call from Bub’s bank. Apparently, they’d gotten a call from the Boyfriend, who said that Bub wanted to withdraw money, but she didn’t have a checkbook and didn’t have any identification*, and what could she do? The banker asked to speak to Bub, and Boyfriend hemmed and hawed something about being outside, and he’d have to call back. I explained briefly about the situation, of which she already seemed to be aware – that’s why she called. I told her Boyfriend has no business with the account, and please to call us again if anything unusual happens. Plug to U.S. Bank. They’ve done a fantastic job of helping us with all this crap.

*She actually doesn’t have any proper I.D., as it turns out. She voluntarily gave up driving shortly after she was widowed. She never drove before, and the few times she tried it she arrived “shaking like a leaf.” So no driver’s license. She never needed to get a state I.D. And she doesn’t have a passport; she’s probably never left the country. This was all a fun surprise when we went to the escrow company: they can’t notarize the signature without I.D. We had to wait for the real estate agent and her boyfriend to arrive, to witness and attest that they both knew her, and both knew the escrow agent. Yikes. That was close.

Guess Who’s In Jail Right Now?

That’s right, kids. Our favorite young criminal was taken into custody this morning for 119 days. Hopefully she’ll serve at least 30-45 days of that. Then there are still the felonies in San Diego after she gets out of Riverside jail. And the detectives are still working on the latest elder abuse charge – that hasn’t even gone to the District Attorney yet. At least she’ll be out of our hair for a little while.

The house is almost finished getting painted. We’re going up tomorrow and again Sunday. We’ll be moving furniture to the garage in preparation for new carpet. All the small antiques we’ll be packing up and selling ourselves. No need to have a fire sale on those, because we can’t move Rich’s mom into assisted living until the house sells anyway. As for the furniture, we’re taking one piece that we think is valuable. We’ll do the research and sell it and the small antiques ourselves. Since we can’t have an estate sale there, we’re just going to quietly tell a couple of the neighbors, and the real estate agent, that there is furniture for sale in the garage, all offers considered. Anything left over at the close of escrow will go to Goodwill.

Rich’s mom is only concerned with Katy getting certain pieces of furniture that belonged to her late mother. While compiling all the banking info for the police detective, Rich discovered that his mom has bailed Katy out of jail four times in the past 18 months, three times just last December! There’s also another new petty theft that was only charged on January 7th. She’s been a busy girl!

Not Much to Update

The house is finally ready for painting. That will start on Monday. We’re still planning on moving Rich’s mom to Grossmont Gardens a week from tomorrow. She still thinks she will be able to stay on her own at home. But her health is deteriorating quickly anyway, and she’s beginning to realize the inevitable. We’ve got to get her out of that hideous nursing home.

We also met with a lady from an estate-sale service to discuss liquidating the antiques she won’t have room for. They’re all she has left for savings. Then when most of the furniture is moved out, we’ll have to re-carpet before it goes up for sale.

Rich is still working on applying for V.A. benefits for his mom. That’s no simple task, let me tell you. We’ve not heard anything from Katy, thank God. Now that the money is gone, Katy has no more use for her grandma.

Yay! A Drama-Free Day!

Yesterday we spent the whole day cleaning and moving furniture, and getting antiques dusted and displayed for an appraiser. No ugly scenes in the street, no new surprises, no drama. Whew. My back is killing me.

We did find out a bit more on her most recent charges. You can find all these public records on the internet. These are all still current. In chronological order:

The “Beer Run” (petty theft) – A couple years ago, she was with a bunch of her worthless friends. They were all stoned and drunk, and ran out of beer and munchies. So they went to a grocery store at four in the morning to steal some. They got caught. She keeps getting probation, over and over, and keeps violating it, over and over. To her credit, though, she had been slowly paying off the hefty fine the court slapped on her. It was nearly paid off.

Elder abuse and Theft (#1) – this was the first go-around with Rich calling the police to report Katie stealing money from her grandma. Again the same story with probation. She’s also supposed to be paying restitution to grandma, and there’s to be “no negative contact.”

Petty theft (#2) – this happened last August. We don’t know any details on this one.

The San Diego felonies – Last December 2nd, Katie and her boyfriend were arrested in S.D. and charged with Possession of Stolen Property, Grand Theft, and Use of More than 4 Stolen Credit Cards. There was a $50,000 bail for those, that’s how grandma paid $5000 to get her out.

Elder abuse and Theft (#2) – the latest round that you all have been reading about.

Here’s the interesting part: When you’re on probation, any petty theft or minor misdemeanor is considered serious. Even if she steals two dollars, it’s still a felony. The first elder abuse charge was her first felony. Because she was on probation, the second petty theft in August would be her second. And the big felonies in S.D. would be her third. Even if the August petty theft is dismissed, the second elder abuse charge would still be her third felony.

In California we have a somewhat controversial law on the books called “Three Strikes.” The idea is that if you’ve committed three felonies, you’re considered a career criminal, and that third felony will put you in jail for a MUCH longer time: 25 years to life.

Yikes. She is in BIG trouble.

 

The Saga Continues

Yesterday we went over and got a lot of work done. The house has to be painted, so we’re removing everything from walls and moving furniture to the centers of rooms. Amazing amount of knick-knacks and fake plants all covered in dust, books, pictures of that damn granddaughter Katy. So Rich calls Katy’s boyfriend (our only way to get a hold of her) and tells them we’ll be there for a couple of hours, and if they want to get their stuff out of the house, they should do it now. They’ve had notice for more than a week to get it out, and it’s still there. Now the locks have been changed and they’re not allowed in the complex, except by our express permission.

Katy tells Rich that Grandma wants to come home, and that she’s mad at us for selling the house. Knowing full well that she isn’t even able to get in and out of a car, or use the bathroom by herself, or dress herself, much less come home, he told Katy to go ahead and bring Grandma home and we’ll put the house back the way it was. A couple hours went by. Much to our surprise, she and boyfriend and a punk friend show up with Grandma in the passenger seat. Another huge argument ensued in the street. The neighbors must LOVE our family by now. Rich’s mom could literally not get out of the car. He told them all to get her back to the nursing home immediately. They left, after security showed up (I called). I also called the nursing home and started yelling at whoever I could get in charge on the phone. They had effectively kidnapped her!

Then we called the police, again, and then booked over to the home. They were there, thank god, and I laid into the nursing staff, who stood there and gawped at me like dumb bunnies.

We went into the nursing director’s office, where they explained that they were not a locked facility, and they had no instructions to not release her to any particular individuals. The boyfriend had claimed to be her grandson, apparently, and they don’t check ID’s. It was impossible to get two words out before being interrupted by the nursing director. We both called her on it, on two separate occasions. “Okay, can I talk now? I’ll start over…”

Meanwhile, Katy and boyfriend are wheeling grandma down to her rehab, as though nothing was amiss. She called Katy “dear heart.” We had to go into a previously-scheduled meeting with the social services director which was just ridiculous. She didn’t introduce herself or even make eye contact. She wanted nothing to do with “family disputes.” She did want, however, to know what Rich’s discharge plans would be. We tried explaining to her that because of Katy, our options are about nil. We have to sell the house as quickly as possible, because in two weeks, Medicare will run out, and after that, it’s about nine thousand a month to keep her in the nursing home. Up front.

The police showed up, and Rich filed an “incident report,” because of boyfriend impersonating a relative.

Meanwhile, all Rich’s mom cares about is that Katy get certain furniture. She’s living on someone’s couch right now, and will (please god) be going to jail soon, so we don’t see how she can take any furniture. Besides, we have to sell everything for money.

Going back tomorrow to finish the painting prep, and we’ll see what fresh surprises are in store for us! Whee!

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