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Unemployment scams

Okay, scams are bad enough when aimed at people with jobs and/or income, but I just read on the Oregon Unemployment website about a scam where people steal people's ReliaCards (what they initially put the unemployment money on) to get people's personal information to steal their identities.

...

I'm confused. What's the point of stealing the identity of someone who doesn't have an income? The amount of money they'd get from that couldn't possibly justify the difficulty and the risk. I don't understand scams, and I *really* don't get this.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
underlankers
Aug. 24th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
Like most criminals, scammers don't tend to be very big on brains. And if the total number of Nigerian princes in my e-mail were equal to the Nigerians, Nigeria would have more princes than it does subjects. ;P

Soroundon H'ven Diatrael.
fayanora
Aug. 24th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
LOL, yeah!
underlankers
Aug. 24th, 2009 11:27 pm (UTC)
Well....suffice to say that in the Empire, we'd never have a Bernie Madoff. Such a person tends to have infiltrators into the Ponzi Scheme relatively quickly. The ZGDAZ have always been efficiently run with that kind of shut.

Soroundon H'ven Diatrael.
underlankers
Aug. 24th, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
Shit, mispelled shit.

Soroundon H'ven Diatrael.
christinaathena
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, but the thing with e-mail scams is it only takes one or two people to fall for it to make it worthwhile. It costs very little money to send e-mails - basically just the initial cost of purchasing a computer, internet access, and electricity. Probably less than a penny an e-mail. If even .01% of recipients fall for the scam, they'd still only need to make $10 off each victim to break even! And, of course, they'd actually make far more than that off each victim, thousands of dollars in many cases. So, it's a near-zero cost, with large profits.
kengr
Aug. 24th, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
ID is used for a *lot* of things. For example, while they may not be able to get credit cards with your ID, they *can* likely get a bank account. Or a drivers license.

And then pass tons of bad checks which *you* will be gone after to cover.
fayanora
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:13 am (UTC)
The punishment for scamming, in a Fayanora-controlled world, will be a lifetime working mining asteroids to make up for all the money they stole.
underlankers
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
Seems like Soviet-style justice to me. A simple restitution would suffice. Men like Bernie Madoff escape any justice, but to do that smacks of vengeance and not justice. And I say this from a society where as a former ruler I was pretty much a strongman. As a ruler I tended to not like vengeance because it tended to proliferate and get too far. My father made the mistake of approving of it and a revolution resulted from it.

Soroundon H'ven Diatrael.
christinaathena
Aug. 25th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
Simple restitution fails unless you have a near-100% likelihood of being caught. If the chance of getting away with a crime is, say, 80%, then it would be worth the risk for a scammer. You need to make sure that it's not worth it. One possibility is simply requiring restitution to be severalfold what was taken, such that the potential scammer has to consider the possibility of being forced to pay back, for example, $50,000 if caught over the profit of $5,000 if he gets away with it. If the scammer knows he wouldn't have to pay back any more than he had gained, then it's not much of a deterrent. Especially if the scammer had invested the money he'd gained. Then being forced to pay back $5,000 on a scam that had gained $5,000 wouldn't be much of a punishment. He might've turned that $5,000 into $6,000 in the meantime, for a net profit of $1,000! He'd still be ahead!
janetmiles
Aug. 25th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
In one of the Garrett, P.I. books, Glen Cook has Garrett musing on why thieves steal from the poor, when the return on investment would be much higher if they stole from the rich.

His answer was, the poor can't fight back.
fayanora
Aug. 25th, 2009 07:21 am (UTC)
Makes sense.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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