Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Cons, New Cheats, New Scams

It is always the same dishes, but they come in new flavors:
On the food market:
Have you noticed that whatever you buy, the serving size is about 170 calories? That is because the food industry knows that you are going to check the number of calories, right? You never check the serving size. I had a bag of potato chips the other day, with a serving size of three chips. So what they do is divide the total amount of calories in any food package by 170 and they get a serving size.
Conclusion: there is no use checking the number of calories, check the number of servings!
On my tele:
There is a new trend of trying stuff for free or at a low price. That is very nice. What bothers me is that if you can try it with good conditions, they never tell you the real price. Why, do you think, are they doing that?
Using the government's authority: there is a lot of healthcare companies that try to make you believe that they are somewhat "official"; they use some declaration of the President and then they send you letters stamped "public" or "official". I guess there is nothing illegal with that. The last offer I got was to be returned to some "Administrative Processing Center" at a POBox in Atlanta. I turned the letter around and around, there was no way to know who these guys are.
Telephone scams :
Phone scams are as old as phone companies. What is new is that some companies who call do not tell you their name. "I am John from the credit company" is typical. They do not say "Your credit company", that would be illegal, they think that you will not notice, or that you do not know that "the credit company" does not mean anything.
The other day, a well known national bank called me. The guy on the phone was also named John, he said. He was calling from India: the probability that his name is really John is no greater than the chance that I would be called Rabindranath. I do not mind being called from India, I just do not like being lied to: should I trust a bank whose first call starts with a white lie?
The worst new scams of course are directed at people who look for work. They are all going to get rich with the internet. I would say that this is a specially disgusting kind of scam, but I know that the blind and the handicapped are the first to be robbed and that the desperately ill are promised miraculous cures every day, so robbing the poor comes next.
What frightens me is that people who use these tricks lack elementary morality. They do not see that there are crimes against the law but also crimes within the law. Some crimes are crimes against the heart and should not be called "a part of business" when it is the wrong thing to do.

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