Thanks very much to everyone who entered the contest! I’m sorry to hear you guys got scammed, cheated, and lied to and I hope you will have much better luck in the future. I’m glad to hear they weren’t totally devestating events, though.
By international consensus, the winner is Jessica, whose husband had a car accident with a man who had a history of running in front of cars late at night and is now being sued, even though the man’s guardians know he was in the habit of playing chicken. The Japanese contest “judge” was totally appalled that he was being sued for an accident caused by another person and suggested counter-suing, or perhaps sending a burly man with tattoos to their house to convince them to drop the case. I then had to explain that burly men with tattoos are not threatening in America, they’re actually the norm. Jessica, contact me at nevertoomuchglitter at gmail.com with your address. so I can send your prize!
And, just because it made us laugh: Nicole’s entry about the woman BBQ’ing in her apartment, blackening the kitchen, and then denying it. Some people will do anything for real “home-style” barbecue! Nicole, you get 5 bottles of Pa polish and a sheet of decals. Nicole, let me know your address.
And now, let me get a little philosophical. Feel free to skip this part and come back for the nail polish posts later!
Scamming is crummy. I felt so crappy when this first unrolled. It had nothing to do with the money and everything to do with the fact that someone intended to do something crummy. They saw my shop and profile, decided I’d be easy to cheat, and then decided which of my of handmade stuff they wanted to steal. I was figured as an easy mark- maybe because I was a newer seller, or because I was overseas, or because I just seemed like someone it would be OK to cheat. That’s what made me most angry.
The Internet has been a wonderful, life-changing technology for many people (me included!) but unfortunately it is an excellent tool for scams. Hint: If a person from a country you have no ties to, have never visited, etc. sends you an email and tells you they want to use your bank account to park a huge amount of cash, just walk away.
I just read an article about a woman who got caught in a Nigerian email scam and lost $60,000 USD in two months. As if that wasn’t enough, the scammers later told her she won the lottery and had to travel to South Africa and to bring $2000 to collect her prize. She went, and was kidnapped by the scammers on arrival and held for a month. At least she managed to escape- she easily could have lost her life.
Probably the worst scam I’ve heard of (that didn’t involve any greed on the victim’s part) was the story of the ’70s group Badfinger. The lead singer/guitarist/songwriter wrote the song “Without You,” which was made famous by Harry Nilsson and later on by Mariah Carey. That alone should have made them pretty big bucks. They also wrote /performed “Day After Day,” “No Matter What,” “Baby Blue” and a few other songs that went on the charts.
Besides writing a management contract that entitled him upfront to a huge portion of the band’s earnings, their manager stole their advance money and production fees because he controlled the account. This led Badfinger’s record label to stop all promotion of the band and pull their albums from the shelves. They couldn’t sell their music, perform, get royalty checks or do side projects while the legal action was going on. Their sleazy manager also hustled them into the studio to try and make another album so he could get his giant advance upfront. Because of the litigation, no other record company would touch them. The very talented frontman and songwriter, Pete Ham, hung himself in his garage when he was 27, leaving a note blaming his manager. Several years later, the band’s #2 songwriter and guitarist did the same thing in the same way. But the scamming didn’t end there….the remaining band members do shows where they lip-synch (badly) using their dead bandmates/friend’s vocal tracks. Stay classy.
So, I guess the moral of the story is: Read EVERYTHING you sign. If you can’t understand it, pay a couple hundred dollars for a lawyer to explain it to you. It could save you vast amounts of trouble later. And if a Nigerian prince needs your help, just say no!
And on a lighter note, this is one of my favorite scam-the-scammer stories: The P-P-Powerbook. An oldie but a goodie.
Thanks everyone for sharing your stories!