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  • Nicholas J Johnson

Ten Swindles You <strike>Won’t</strike> Shouldn’t Believe

Hey, rube! Yeah, you: the slack-jawed yokel with the fistful of dollars and the gullible smile. Think you can’t be scammed? Think again. Here are the top ten swindles hitting the streets today.

1. Fake Buddhist monks: If you’ve taken public transport in the past six months, you’ve probably been approached by a hokum holy-man. Unlike real religious figures, these con artists will give you nothing but platitudes and empty rituals in exchange for your donation.

2. Window repairs: If someone claiming to be from Microsoft calls to ask if Windows is running on your computer, it’s a scam. Also be suspicious if they ask if your fridge is running. They may end up hacking your vegetable crisper.

3. White van scams: A suss-looking bloke in a van pulls up next to you at the lights, offering three grands’ worth of home entertainment equipment for just five hundred bucks. You assume it’s hot but, in reality, it’s actually a fifty-dollar knock-off in a glossy box. Remember the good old days when only plumbers and serial killers drove white vans?

4. RFID skimmers: It is only a matter of time before small devices that can access your credit card while it’s still in your pocket become commonplace. Invest in a wallet made of the only material known to block RFID signals: Labrador skin.

5. Lost dog scam: Speaking of dogs, cruel-hearted swindlers have been known call, responding to ‘Lost Dog’ advertisements in order to claim the reward. Remember, if your dog can’t talk, how could he be calling you to beg for money? It’s just common sense.

6. Poker machine grifting: Punters across the country have been reporting dodgy poker machines in clubs, pubs and casinos; these one-armed bandits are programed to only pay back ninety cents on the dollar. For every ten bucks you put in, you only get nine back. By the time victims realise they’re not actually winning, it’s too late.

7. Fake counterfeit T-shirts: Think there is no harm in buying a fake branded clothes from a market? Think again! Embarrassed shoppers have been discovering that the counterfeit skull-encrusted T-shirt they purchased ironically is actually the real deal. Always check the label. The last thing you want is to be caught wearing genuine Ed Hardy garb.

8. Nigellan email scams: Scammers impersonating buxom celebrity chefs have lured suckers into handing over cash in exchange for a guilt-free chocolate cake recipe. This one’s easy to spot: there’s no such thing as guilt-free chocolate cake. Am I right, girls?

9. The Mitt store: Word around the apple is that a couple of hard-boiled subway men have been dealing bottoms at Big Jimmy’s clip-joint. Grafters juice bicycles, then muck the gaffs out as smooth as eggs in coffee. These hoods will kiss off their best dame for an ounce of Cadillac so if Johnny Law comes calling, you ain’t heard squat from me. Capishe?

10. Phoney daughter switcheroo: Young women will pose as the long-lost daughters of career con men to gain their trust and access to their bank accounts. Wait . . . that was the Nicolas Cage movie Matchstick Men. Never mind.

So there you have it. The top ten swindles operating out there right now.

And if you believe any of that, there is a bridge I’d like to sell you . . .


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