Here’s a new one.

February 10, 2012 · 40 comments

Got this in my inbox yesterday…

Respected Philanthropist,
               I am an Ex Army man from India and finally retired from the Government service in April 2004. On hearing about your generosity of helping the needy people I put forth the following few lines  with a view to enunciate my pathetic poverty.  Due to constant medical treatment of my wife for epilepsy and diabetic I could not save anything in my service.

             Ambition of my wife is to do my last rites in own house and so in a greedy anxiety I have joined and arranged down line members in the National Federation of the Blind and Manav Foundation said to be working for the backward community with a high hope of getting incentive while serving the needy people but they have cheated and drown into pauperism making loss of my entire pension benefits besides run into debit of more than $25000 in the process of coming out of the tragedy.   As I have no source to repay the loan and my meager pension is not sufficient  even to pay interest(24%) on the loan amount trembling with fear and  now in the street for daily bread and needs. Down line members are agitating bitterly. Torture of down line members and mental agony debt burden some time  thinking of suicide also.

           I once again earnestly appeal to the enthusiastic benevolent Philanthropist to arrange generous help to come out of the debit trap and then serve the needy people for which I shall remain ever grateful. A line of reply is solicited.

            Thanking,
                                                                                                                    Sincerely,
                                                                                                   (K RAJAMANICKAM) 

What really makes me sad about this is that these stupid spammer/scammer emails must actually work. What people are honestly stupid gullible enough to even think there is a sliver of truth in this email? It seems like just about anywhere you go now-a-days people are waiting to prey on unsuspecting victims.

Think about payday loan centers and pawn shops. Where do they tend to pop up? I’ll tell ya where, the lower-income neighborhoods. You know why, so they can scam the most desperate out of every dollar they have.

Sometimes for work I visit military installations. You wanna know what’s almost always within a few blocks of a military base? A car dealership (new or used). You know why? Because all the 18-year-old kids that just joined the military got a nice little sign-up bonus, and before they can wise up and learn how to manage their money, they get distracted by the shiny new car across the street.

And quite possibly the worst offenders of them all. Girl Scouts. Sure they’re all cute and adorable with their green skirts and pig tails, but DO NOT BE FOOLED! When you walk past them on your way in to the grocery store they are just a bunch of kids hanging around a table, but when you walk out, they turn on the puppy dog eyes and act so darn cute it’s near impossible to not buy 10 boxes of cookies. TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!! And to make matters worse, when you get home with your new haul, you discover the cookies only take up 50% of the packaging. You just got punkd by a 2nd grader…

1 jpassmore

I can’t be the only one who think that *GASP* Girl Scout cookies aren’t that good, right? I don’t think I personally know anyone else who thinks so too, so maybe someone out there on the internet agrees?

2 Ninja

Yes, yes you are.

3 jpassmore

They’re not terrible, I’ll eat them if offered. But there are WAY better cookies out there. I just don’t see why people get excited for what turns out to be a mediocre cookie…

4 Michelle

I agree, I don’t think they’re the greatest, yet we still bought 4 boxes the other day.

5 Tanner

Well, I never really considered GS cookies anything but a charitable contribution or a splurge. Are the cookies worth $2.50 (or however much they are)? Not really. Not on average. But they’re only available for 2-3 months of a year, and the money is funneled for a good cause. So when you think about it… is that $2.99 cup of coffee (that is available year round) *really* worth it more than GS cookies a few months out of a year? At least you get puppy-eyed little girls selling you the cookies. Starbucks doesn’t. :p

6 graduate.living

I do love GS Cookies. A lot. When cookie sale times comes, I have to exercise extreme restraint to not buy 10 boxes.

I also think the GS is a great organization, so I don’t mind forking over some extra $$ for a box of Samoas if I know it’s going to a great organization that supports the growth and development of young women across the country.

7 East Coaster

Speaking of predatory business practices, there’s a parking lot right across from the courthouse downtown that takes advantage of all the people who aren’t familiar with the city and have to go to the courthouse. After just 1 hour they charge you $25. No one who works in the city parks there, because you can park across town (there’s a free shuttle or you can walk 5 minutes) for $5. Just thinking about all the poor people who get taken advantage of each day makes me sick.

8 Larry

Hmm. Anyone who parks a car in a major US city ought to use one of the most valuable sites out there, http://www.bestparking.com, which gives you parking rates and sometimes coupons for 40 cities in the US and a few in Canada, as well as rates for airport parking. For instance: if I am driving in for a performance at Lincoln Center in NY, I can pay $44 for 6 hours of parking at the Center’s own garage. One block east I can pay $20 for the same time; three blocks west I can find lots that charge $10 or even $7. But the Center garage is always packed; it’s not just poor people being taken advantage of, but big spenders who apparently don’t care enough to economize.

And I can’t stand Girl Scout cookies. I’ll buy a package and then leave it out on the kitchen table at work; people will eat anything for free.

9 C The Writer

Haha.

10 C The Writer

Where I work not only do Girl Scouts stand outside, but there’s a constant problem of every day, SOMEONE is soliciting for SOMETHING. So just going to my job I’m forced to deal with some creepy guy and the conversation goes as follows:
Creep: Hey Miss, would you like to…
Me: *doesn’t make eye contact, keeps walking*
Creep: Okay then… (with an air of “what a bitch”)

And this is most days. I am sick of them letting random people sit outside/in the entryway selling, soliciting, blah blah.

Which is part of why I need a job soo bad.

11 C The Writer

NEW job.

12 JP

You might want to look into where that Girl Scout money goes… supposedly, the Girl Scouts have significant political contributions.

13 LW

Eh. I don’t know what the Girl Scouts in general contribute or don’t contribute to, but according to their website all of the profit from cookie sales stays with the local troop (after paying the baker, etc. for production). So unless your local troop is supporting political causes you dislike, I wouldn’t worry about it.

14 LW

Unfortunately, I know a guy on whom one of those e-mails IS working. They’ve gotten thousands of dollars from him already, in an attempt to supposedly get a woman and her son to the U.S. where her late husband’s millions are waiting for her. It’s heartbreaking to watch this guy try to solicit funds from all his friends for this project. He won’t listen to anyone who tells him it’s a scam, and he is NOT in a financial position to bounce back from something like this.

Before this happened, I had no idea anyone still believed e-mails like that. I kind of wondered why they still got sent out since they must never work anymore–but they do.

15 C The Writer

Are you kidding me? I can’t believe ANYONE falls for that.

16 LW

I know, right? I mean, he is older, so possibly he lacks prior knowledge of “Zambian Prince” type scams, but still…it’s pretty crazy.

17 Larry

As an “older” person, I assure you his problem is not “lack of prior knowledge” but pure and simple gullibility.

18 LW

Sorry, no offense meant. He definitely is gullible. Like I said, he’s not well off and I guess I figured maybe a lack of financial knowledge and a lack of computer knowledge (his work is mostly agricultural, I believe) were contributing factors.

19 Savvy Scot

We don’t have GS cookies in the UK! Instead, they stand at the end of checkouts in supermarket and help you pack your bags. Don’t get me wrong, the puppy dog eyes still go on for that donation! I have just discovered this great new way of charitable giving- through microloans to the poorest of communities. Check out my latest post if you get the chance. :)

20 Jennifer

I like the Girl Scout’s cookies better than the Boy Scout’s popcorn. We should have them line up side by side at the grocery store and see who sells more. Nothing like a little rivalry!!

21 StackingCash

About pawn shops and payday loan stores, I don’t think it’s ALL about scamming the poor out of money. There is a NEED for them there. You don’t know what it’s like to live on the financial edge. Easy to judge when you don’t need them.

22 Ninja

Since when have 87% interest rates not been considered predatory?

23 StackingCash

True they are evil, but I still think there is a need for them right now. However, the big banks are getting in on the business now and hopefully the competition will lower those interest rates.

24 Stephanie

Payday loans are definitely predatory, but pawn shops? I mean, you don’t have to pawn. You can sell your item and get cash fast. Granted, you aren’t going to get what it’s really worth, but isn’t the “worth” relatively subjective anyway? I mean, someone can tell me that X item from 1832 is worth $10,000, but they can’t guarantee I’ll get that on the open market.

25 Larry

Equally bad are unscrupulous bargain-basement tax services like Jackson-Hewitt and H+R Block that charge high fees for “refund anticipation loans” on tax refunds. These scammers prey mostly on the poor, who are too fiscally desperate to wait a few weeks for a proper refund from the IRS. More here:
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/04/tax-prep-ral-block-hewitt-liberty-instant-tax

26 StackingCash

This is more insidious than a payday loan store or pawn shop :/

27 Lysander

My experience in selling things to ANY business that will resell that item is that it is typical to get between 50% and 25% of what they think they can resell the item for. It isn’t about trying to rip off the seller, but that the re-seller is taking on the risk of having to hang onto the item until it does sell.

Pawning is effectively selling an item with an option to repurchase that item later at a higher price. you can get caught up in a cycle where you continue to re-pawn the same item, but that is a much easier cycle to get out of than a payday loan cycle.

28 Mo D.

I’m not a huge fan of GS cookies, but my husband always gets roped into buying a couple of boxes every year. He likes the chocolate ones; I’m allergic to chocolate, so it’s no skin off my nose if he wants to indulge.

We received a similar type of spam email in our Customer Service email queue at work about a year ago… some guy soliciting funds to free some prince in Africa. I printed it and gave it to our HR Dept; the read was good for a chuckle.

It saddens me that there are people out there that have no scrupples, and think nothing of trying to take advantage of someone’s good will.

29 Lizzie

I have nothing to add from a financial standpoint, but I just have to say the doll at the top of the post is really, really creepy.

30 Stephanie

I just got one of those emails today, and the only reason I read the whole thing was because it was actually well written. Most of the ones I see are horribly misspelled with major lapses in grammar. This one could seriously take someone in though. (I didn’t opt in, since he was only offering me 4.2M. I mean, I had a Zambian prince offer me 85M! lol)

31 Girl Scout Mom

OK, I admit….. I’m a Girl Scout Mom! In fact I have over 100 boxes of cookies in the back of my van right now. My 9 year old is selling them after school to reach her goal. I did want to contribute that in our area (Central Virginia) the Girl Scout troop itself keeps a whopping $.60 per box. And by the way they went up this year to $4 a box! I want to know where the rest of the money goes? I’m not even paying for the gas with $.60 a box! Most of the boxes have 15 cookies in them (I don’t even want to think about the math on that!) Most of these fundraisers are basically exploiting the workers and their MOMs! Shew….I feel better now that I got that off my chest!

32 StackingCash

I can’t believe the girl scouts cut is 60 cents per 4 dollar box. Time for a new vendor.

33 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager

Am I the only one who just realized that American Girl Dolls now have Girl Scout uniforms?! Talk about a marketing partnership…

Girl Scout cookies, they do good, taste good (especially after skiing). What’s wrong with buying a couple of boxes?

34 Sue

My daughter is a Girl Guide and we sell cookies north of the border as well. But I must say that the Girl Scout cookies are way better. My husband works in the US and one of his co workers sells the girl scout cookies. Our cookies in Canada are peanut free so we trade cookies with her (her daughter has peanut allergies so she can’t actually eat the cookies she sells but she can eat ours). I do think that we come out ahead on this free trade deal. The cookies are much better than the boy scout popcorn but we have to buy that too since my nephew is too cute to refuse.

35 krantcents

My daughter was a Girl Scout! She probably is successful in life thanks to that experience. She earned her Gold Award (similar to Eagle Scout). The cookies help support their good work.

36 Christopher

Eeek the girl scout cookies a few years back used to be a lot better. The mint ones now, I would rather go to the store and get the grasshopper ones. But when the neice comes over it is very hard to resist emptying my wallet to support her. But then I have the people at work hitting me up too. I am glad I am a guy so i dont have to buy all that avon and mary kay stuff.

37 Drew @ Epicfinances.com

I would rather give the girl scouts $5 directly. The margin they receive is really sad.

Those fishing e-mails seem to work, I recently found out about a family friend that wired all kinds of money with promise of payment later (around $2500 was scam for payment of supposedly $4000)

38 Ella

I so agree about the puppy eyes, they make you feel bad if you don’t buy their stuff :-)

39 yourPFpro

There is a battle going on right now at my work to see who can put up the cutest picture of their 5 year old next to a box of chocolate bars or girl scout cookies. Oh there is also a money envelope to leave your cash. Anyone else’s break room like this? What happened to making the damn kids go out and walk the streets to sell them? That’s what I had to do haha..

40 EBee

Walmart sells their own version of girl scout cookies. They are cheaper too. Not to say I wouldn’t support the local girl scout troop.

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