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In his issue: New scams and Old scams and legislated opacity.
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Warning: Some expletives below.  I'm low on Bitcoin.

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Keeping us in the Dark


According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University, the phrase "shall not disclose" appears 183 times in the US Code and the Code of Federal Regulations.  The ugly one in the "Bank Secrecy Act" is 31 CFR 1010.520(b)(3)(iv)(B), which says "A financial institution shall not disclose to [the victim, among others]... the fact that FinCEN has requested or has obtained information under this section, except to the extent necessary to comply with such an information request."

The implication is that the people working for FinCEN are angels and would never abuse the information they gather about the victims on whom they spy.  HA!  It seems like a pretty stupid law to me either way, so if you're ever on a jury and you have the chance to agree with me, here's a way to put it: "This law prevents those supposedly harming the rest of us from finding out that they are being investigated for harming us, which is one of the main things that stops criminals from harming us.  We ought to acquit him based solely on the grounds that this is a stupid law created only to concentrate power in Washington."

So anyway, Citibank closed my account and won't say why.  Maybe they got a request from FinCEN?  The bank manager there said it was probably because I was withdrawing cash so much.  Apparently, while you make a lot of sales, you're supposed to let the bank hold on to your money for a long time.  Go figure.

So I am now counting more on people sending me checks that I can go cash.  Some of you have already proven trustworthy enough for me to release bitcoins on your promise to send a check (well, it's actually upon me seeing an image of the check and trusting you to mail it).  The check is great for me, so I offer a 3% discount.  If you prove trustworthy enough to me, I'll release early too, sometimes immediately, and sometimes once I see the tracking.  Let's get to know each other better and see where it goes.

Speaking of which, here's a picture of a brazen guy.  If you recognize yourself, send me a check for the $500 you stole and I'll broadcast that you've turned into a good guy.

The scam here was just that "Onone" (his LBC username) actually gave me this image, and then sent me a fake receipt.  Onone, in case you're worried, I made sure the license is unreadable so no one will hunt you down.  But you have given me the motivation to warn a whole bunch of my customers about you so they can help me waste your time - at least until you reimburse me.

New scam: distract your victim after he asks for ID so that he will feel he already knows you well enough to skip it.  Use a Google phone or Magic Jack so you're mostly untraceable.  Thanks to Jackie for making me aware of this - I'm still not sure about you Jackie, but let's see if you send me that ID email you promised...

Here's another one "Anne99" aka "Anne Grethe" (on Skype, from Oslo, Norway) answered my local Murrieta ad, requesting to buy "all your bitcoin."
"Are you in Murrieta?" I asked.
(S?)he didn't answer, but I asked again a minute later after we agreed to transact in cash, "Are you in Murrieta?  Why don't we meet?" "Ofc wee can meet."

The next question was where we should meet, so "Anne" sends me a photo of a Chase branch, and asks "Do you know where this place is?"  I explained that there were a few of those around, and I couldn't tell which one it was.  And here's the odd part: She writes again"Can we meet at this place, I will find the address," but the file she's sending this time is an executable.  So I downloaded it and deleted it. Although she had already sent me a picture, she said her phone didn't have a camera.  I like giving scammers the benefit of doubt. I figure the more of their time I waste, the better off the rest of you will be.  Here's the rest of our conversation, for your entertainment purposes:

[5/9/2014 6:03:38 PM] Dave Scotese: Scamming people makes you view others as prey, and this will fuck up your life.  Even when you're successful, a scam always hurts both parties.  The scammer thinks people are tools and becomes an asshole and then ends up not very happy and blames the world.  Karma is a bitch and she hides really well.  A scammer never knows for sure if he's been discovered, so he's always looking over his shoulder.  I try to help them see that going legit can make them rich.  It's partly why I have the mailing list.  I assume you're already signed up for it?
[5/9/2014 6:13:07 PM] Anne Grethe: I am not scamming
[5/9/2014 6:13:19 PM] Dave Scotese: Good! That is great news. Me neither :)
Because, you know, scamming is really stupid. It's profitable for a while in the superficial ways, but it really fucks up your psyche. You end up with a lot of money and you're full of shit and you know it. So you waste your life away on bullshit things and then you die full of regrets. Building beautiful things is much more fun. That's what I do. Like this spiel I'm giving you.  I really like people, even scammers, and I like to imagine that when I go on about it to someone who does some scamming, it helps them find their way out of their depravity. What do you think of it?
I'm always looking for input to make it better.
[5/9/2014 6:17:18 PM] Anne Grethe: Yes
[5/9/2014 6:17:20 PM] Dave Scotese: For example, here's a story you might like: http://www.litmocracy.com/ee/weblog/comments/indian_telemarketers. Anyway, you had me worried that you were trying to scam me (by planting that .exe on my machine), so I canceled our trade, but I'm still up for it.  I just need some kind of evidence that you'll be there when you want to meet. If you can come up with something, that would be helpful too.
Hey you aren't that guy from Ukraine that stole my hosting account are you? Of course you aren't.
I want scammers to like me so they stop trying to steal my bitcoins.
[5/9/2014 6:19:57 PM] Anne Grethe: Its not what you think
[5/9/2014 6:20:12 PM] Dave Scotese: Ok.
[5/9/2014 6:20:34 PM] Dave Scotese: But am I right that the exe was some kind of program that you could use to scam me?
[5/9/2014 6:21:13 PM] Anne Grethe: no
[5/9/2014 6:21:41 PM] Dave Scotese: What was it?
[5/9/2014 6:21:57 PM] Anne Grethe: I am scared to get scammed too
[5/9/2014 6:22:28 PM] Dave Scotese: Ok, but where did you get that file named "temecula-photo.exe"?
[5/9/2014 6:23:25 PM] Anne Grethe: google pictures
[5/9/2014 6:24:48 PM] Dave Scotese: Dude, don't lie to me.  Google doesn't provide any files with ".exe" on the end with their picture search engine. Just tell me what it really is.
[5/9/2014 6:25:45 PM] Anne Grethe: Its nothing, you don't have to worry about it!
[5/9/2014 6:25:50 PM] Dave Scotese: If you're going to scam people, you have to be a lot smarter, and prepared to feel like shit for a long time.  Old age really sucks when you have a lot of victims to look back on. It's why Hitler killed himself, I think. Look, I don't want you to suffer.  I just want you to deal honestly with people.  Develop a network and take the moral high ground.
[5/9/2014 6:26:50 PM] Anne Grethe: Don't worry! I swear i didn't do anything=))
[5/9/2014 6:27:33 PM] Dave Scotese: I'm not so worried about me.  You spread suffering when you scam anyone, and that makes the victim think we need more government, which is what fucks everything up in the first place.
[5/9/2014 6:27:39 PM] Dave Scotese: Do you see the connection?
[5/9/2014 6:28:00 PM] Anne Grethe: yea OFC

Dave.
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