Thursday, October 20, 2011

On The Plus Side, There's No Dead Baby

Fontana, CA

Ever heard of a Spanish Prisoner? It's a con where somebody says "I know this rich guy in prison in Spain. And he needs money to help get him out. And when he does he'll be awful grateful to anybody who helped."

A lot of cons are variations on this model. Everything from Nigerian email scams, which are as close to a modern day Spanish Prisoner as you're likely to see, to your run of the mill Ponzi scheme. They all boil down to one thing.

"Give me something real and I'll give you something intangible."

It could be the hope of a later payoff, a sense of security, or, in this case, the idea that you've done a good deed for a dead baby.

Police in Fontana have arrested 4 people in connection with a scam where they were soliciting funds from passers-by to pay for a baby's funeral. They walked around with signs showing the picture of an infant, a generic name, birth and death dates and the words, FUNERAL DONATIONS in big, black letters.

Only there was no dead baby.

The four netted from $700.00 to $1400.00 a day and they'd been doing it for the last year.

And that's where this sort of thing falls apart.

It's actually a pretty good scam. People want to feel like they're helping out. And dead babies? Hell, who doesn't want to help out a family burdened with the devastation a dead baby brings? People are, by and large, good.

If they weren't this shit wouldn't work.

The problem with these guys is that they overstayed their welcome. Cons are like any other crime. You get in, you get your shit and you get the hell out of there. Play it like the Two Minute Rule and you'll probably get away with it.

1 comment:

Govneh said...

On the plus side, there's no dead baby.

It was so awesome I just had to say it myself.