Tag Archives: scam

I’m giving away free money

Hey everybody, I just came into a pretty big sum of money. It’s ten thousand dollars. That’s tacky, right? Telling you how much money I fell into? I get it. But I just can’t hide how happy I am, to have totally landed in such an unexpected windfall of cash. And I want to share that happiness with all of you. Or, not all of you, but some of you. If you share this blog post, what I mean is, if you reblog it, or if you retweet, or share it on Facebook or whatever, and then send me your email address, I’ll give you ten bucks. But only for the first hundred people. That’s pretty generous of me, right? Brightening up the lives of a hundred random people on the Internet? Also, you have to start following me on Twitter.

Ten-dollar bills

What can I say? That’s just who I am, a really generous, fun-loving, share-the-wealth type of guy. I wish I could give away even more money. I thought about maybe making it a hundred dollars to the first ten people who reblog this post on Tumblr, (you have to start following me on Tumblr, also) and then take a screen shot of that reblog, post it to Instagram, and then tag me, showing me that you actually did it. And while, yeah, those ten people would have been ten times happier than the hundred people I ultimately decided to go with, I just felt that it was more important to cast a wider net, to try and make more people happier, even if they’re only going to wind up being just a little bit happier.

That sounds an awfully lot like quantity over quality, right? Yeah, I guess so. But sometimes you have to sacrifice quality for quantity. Like if you’re going to eat breakfast every day, I’d rather buy a five-dollar box of cereal than a really expensive tiny jar of caviar. So that’s what this is like. All you have to do is follow me on social media, and if you’re one of the first one hundred people, I’ll send you ten bucks.

I wish I could have made even more people happy, but I wouldn’t have any cash left over if I kept giving away free money. And while I’m not willing to part with my remaining nine thousand dollars, I’d be more than happy to invite you over my house for dinner. Again, it would be impossible to have everyone over. Just logistically, that would be a pretty big challenge. But let’s say like the first twenty-five people who subscribe to my YouTube channel, I’ll invite you over for a homemade meal. I make a really great carbonara sauce. All you have to do is subscribe to the channel, leave a nice comment under any three of my videos, and then post your own video on YouTube mentioning my channel, the whole ten-dollar-giveaway thing I’m doing, and you’re all set. Be sure to mention how generous I am, talk about all of the blessings I’m sharing and stuff like that.

Also, listen, one of my clients was just recently traveling abroad. His small airplane went down somewhere over the Central African Republic, and after this whole botched attempt to locate the wreckage, we found out that, unfortunately, it’s really unlikely that anyone made it out of the jungle alive, let alone survived the plane crash. Fortunately, he doesn’t have any living heirs, and I was entrusted as the manager of his entire portfolio. All I need are some volunteers to act as liaisons to his estate, let’s say ten people, to go forward with me in this very lucrative endeavor. You just have to like my page on Facebook, subscribe to my newsletter, add me as an addition to your cell phone’s family plan, text me the routing number for your bank’s checking account, buy my eBooks on Amazon, leave me several five-star reviews, mail me a check for fifteen cents, and tell all of your family and friends and coworkers to follow me on Twitter, to press the heart icon over all of my Tumblr posts, and to mention my name in a hashtag on any photos you upload to Instagram, and like I said, those first ten people are going to get rich, OK, all of these blessings are going to come to you and your family, because trust me, this guy was ultra-wealthy, and if I could access his money and keep it all to myself, I would, I’m telling you it’s like millions of dollars, and I’ll give away a big chunk of it, all right, I’m not messing around here, so all of these buttons to the right of this blog post, the share buttons and the pin it buttons, just press them, seriously, just keep pressing them and we’re all going to get really rich, sound good?

You won a free cruise!

I kept getting the same phone call, over and over again, always from out of state.  The caller ID would say Seattle or Orlando or Phoenix. “Hello?” I’d answer, but before I could even finish that one word, there’d be an automatic recording, “Congratulations! You’ve won a free vacation!”


The messages would scroll through the same two or three scripts. “Pack those bags!” and I’d try to hang up before the sentence could be finished. Or there’d be one where a boat’s horn would blare, followed by a, “You just won a free cruise!” I don’t understand where these robo-calls are getting their financing from. Who’s making money off of this? Even if I were gullible enough to fall for a scam like this once, don’t you think it would raise even the stupidest caller’s suspicions to keep winning free vacations, one after the other?

So I just stopped answering my phone, outside of the few known contacts that still took the time to actually dial my number. And this worked, for a while anyway, but the phone gods must have taken notice to my answering habits, because the tactics changed slightly. I started getting random calls from various numbers in Danbury, Connecticut.

Connecticut, huh? I mean, I don’t really have any business in Connecticut, but it’s pretty close, definitely within the tri-state area. And why were they so persistent? It was like every other day, Danbury, Connecticut. Even though I knew that it was probably a junk call, every time I’d see that 203 area code pop up on my touchscreen, my imagination would run wild, I’d start fantasizing about all sorts of out-of-the-blue dream job offers, or some rich long-lost relative who’d somehow left me a large sum of money, but his inheritance lawyer was based out of Connecticut, and if he couldn’t get in touch with me soon, he’d be forced to start looking toward my next of kin. And do I really want to see my brothers and sisters wind up with what should have been my surprise fortune?

So one day when I got out of work I saw the three missed calls, I hesitated for a second before my thumb impulsively pressed the redial button. It didn’t even ring, it went straight to the recorded voice, “It looks like somebody’s ready to claim their free trip!” I was instantly disappointed, not realizing how I’d unintentionally let my long shot Danbury fantasies take up a little too much room in the higher parts of my consciousness.

But right as I was about to hang up the phone, the recording got a little specific, “Make sure you’re at the airport with enough time to get through security. Your reserved seat is in row 21, seat F.” It couldn’t be. Did I really win a trip? A free cruise?

I showed up at the airport on Monday and swiped my ID through the automated kiosk at the terminal. “Please report to agent window.” The agent ran my license through her system, “So you’re the guy who won the free cruise. Well guess what? You’ve been upgraded to first class. Enjoy your flight.”

Things just kept getting better, my good fortune accelerating every step of the way. When the cruise director asked me why I only had a backpack, when I told them that I wasn’t really convinced that I’d actually be traveling on a free vacation, he had a whole new wardrobe sent to my cabin. They unpacked everything, and all of the clothes fit better than my own.

At the buffet that night, I started loading my plate with oysters on the half shell. But one of the cruise workers stopped me, “Hey, you’re the free cruise guy, right?”

“That’s me,” I said. He took my plate away and came back with some expensive looking China. Now these were oysters, almost three times the size of the ones available for the rest of the guests. When I cracked them open, I couldn’t believe it, but there were actual pearls stuffed inside, just like you’d see in a picture from a high school oceanography textbook. After I finished my meal, the staff took all of my pearls and fashioned them into a necklace, with all of the pearls spelling out the words, “Free Cruise.”

I thought that was a little cheesy, but it was a nice gesture, and it was great way for me to identify myself as the lucky winner. People stopped asking me, “Are you the free cruise guy?” and just automatically started giving me the star treatment wherever I went. My hour-long massage got extended to four. I was playing some blackjack at the casino, I had a nineteen, but when I signaled that I’d hold, the dealer gave me a look and mouthed out the word, “Hit.” And it was a good thing too, because I wound up with a twenty-one, and the dealer drew a twenty. I won like seven hundred bucks.

When I got home, I brought the pearls to one of those pawn/jeweler shops in the diamond district. I can’t believe how much money those things fetched. I mean, I’m no pearl expert or anything, but I would’ve assumed them to be fakes, or at least the manmade kind, the artificial ones that they produce by forcing sand into the oysters’ mouths.

I just got back last week. I can’t believe that I waited so long to take advantage of such an incredible opportunity. I wish I knew who to thank. Unfortunately, I stopped receiving the robo-calls, so it looks like the good luck has moved on to someone else. Still, if you get the call about the free vacation, trust me, it’s not too good to be true, it’s real. Pick up that phone! Head on over to that airport! You’ve just won yourself a free vacation!

Guest posts and obscure advertisements

Every once in a while I’ll get an email from some random Internet person asking if they might be able to write up a guest post on this blog. The first time it happened, I was pretty excited. All of these thoughts flew through my head, like, it’s happening, I’m starting to attract attention here, I can’t believe it.

That first email was from some lady in Australia. She had read this nonsense piece I had written about setting up a series of trampolines, spaced out along a route, that I could use as a bouncy form of alternative transportation. “Great post!” she complimented me. “Great compliment!” I said out loud to my computer.

A few friendly words were all it took to capture my attention. I read on. She worked for a company called Bounce Inc. From what very limited research I’ve done, mostly looking at the video from the web site, I gathered that it’s some sort of gym/amusement park hybrid. My solicitor described it as a, “massive indoor trampoline universe,” a whole giant area of interconnected trampolines.

And then I sat back in my chair and thought, huh, that’s kind of … well, it’s some bizarre trampoline business in Australia that I’ll probably never get to visit, let alone bounce around in, and some employee is asking me if they’d like to collaborate via my blog.

Huh. My sense of, “This is happening!” deflated somewhat, but I replied back, “What were you thinking? Did you want me to write something up?” Our correspondence dissolved when she informed me that she’d be writing up whatever it was that she’d be writing up, an advertisement basically, and she’d like to use my very obscure corner of the Internet to use as a wall on which to post up a cheesy flyer.

How dare she? I got all indignant and wrote some crazy email back explaining the total lack of connection between my blog and her bouncy castle business, and that was the last that I heard from her. But seriously, what kind reach did she think she’d get by having something written up here? It would be like me going into my local corner deli and asking if they might help pass out literature about Elon Musk’s Hyperlooop.

That was the first, and while my inbox isn’t inundated with random business proposals – it isn’t inundated with any email at all, really – I do get from time to time marketing companies from India hoping to use my blog as an SEO platform, whatever that is. I’ve done a little bit of research on what it would mean exactly, but basically it’s just about turning any Internet space into a garbage link generator. And then I’d have to write up blog posts like, “43 best 80s movies characters,” with number one being it’s own page, it’s own bullshit advertisements and garbage links. And then you’d read a sentence and look at some picture that I hijacked from Google images and you’d be told to click “next” to see number two, with another page of random Internet stuff you’ll never really click on, not on purpose, not really.

Just yesterday I got an email from a Mike Thomas. His message was something like, “Wow! Check out this video on man-caves in storage sheds! You should let me write up an original post about man caves for your web site. Or you can just post the video. Due to Google’s rules, we can’t pay you anything. But don’t worry, we’ll only send you original, creative material! Send me an email and I’ll get in touch with you to see where we can go from here!”

Wow, thanks Mike! You’d do that for me, provide me with all of that great content? Hooray! I can’t believe he’d insult me by assuming that I’d want money. For all of that original, creative content, I should be paying him. Man-caves in storage sheds, I have no idea what that’s all about, but I’m sure it’s going to be just the thing to ratchet my writing up to the next level.

What ever happened to good old-fashioned online scammers? I’m really missing the days when I’d get letters from long lost royal relatives that relocated to Cameroon generations ago, trying to get in touch with me because they need my help in taking back the billion dollar family inheritance. I got some email a while ago from a Chinese company telling me that another Chinese company had recently tried to set up a business named Strictly Autobiographical. What a coincidence! But I needn’t worry, all I had to do was pay them a fee, and they’d register my domain name in China, preventing other Strictly Autobiographicals from popping up overseas.

I’m telling you, it’s happening for me. My brand name is becoming international. Everybody wants a piece of this, even the Chinese. It’s just really nice to know I have random Internet people looking out for me, trying to help me out here, giving me free content and offering cheap protection. Keep those emails coming!