Author Topic: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"  (Read 6419 times)

Victoria Victrix

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Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« on: December 15, 2012, 10:04:07 pm »
I know that most of the time we are all sensible, cautious people.

I also know that we've been without something that was, if not the center of our lives, social and otherwise, one of the Top Picks, for two weeks now.  It's really easy to start grasping at any hope offered.

One of those is "My millionaire friend" aka, a variation on the classic "pigeon drop" con.

We've HAD that turn up in the form of an acquaintance of mine in real life, who claimed to have a "millionaire friend" who was going to buy the IP back in September.  Said "millionaire friend" did indeed contact me; he was functionally illiterate, he claimed I couldn't call him "because his cell phone was always tied up" (he's a millionaire, but he can't afford a secretary or a second cell phone for personal calls?) and wanted me to vouch for him to Brian.  I did give him Brian's email address, I told him Brian's conditions for contact and involvement in Paragon's attempt to buy back, and that I did not want to be involved because that was too many people in the chain.  I also wrote to Brian, told him about this, and added that I thought this guy was a con man, so Brian should probably check him out very thoroughly.

Guess what.  Brian never heard from him. 

So here is how the variation on the "pigeon drop" will go.  Someone posting here will have a "millionaire friend."  This someone will either be a dupe (like my acquaintance was) or will be the con man himself.  In the first case, the "millionaire friend" will be the con man, in the second, the "millionaire friend" doesn't actually exist.

The poster will drop hints about the "millionaire friend" until that persona is established in the memory of the forum members.  Then the poster will announce, either publicly, or more insidiously, privately, in PMs, that his "millionaire friend" is interested in, or going to, buy CoH.

Several posts will be made, increasing excitement, before the "pigeon drop" falls.  At this point, the poster will try and get your money.  He might suggest Titans also invest ("just small amounts, like a Kickstarter").  He might suggest that "if you all do a year subscription up front, he can show his advisers that it's going to make money."  I am sure there are other things he might say or suggest, but all of them will involve you contributing some amount of money.  He MIGHT even select one trusted Titan first, persuade him or her to "invest" or "subscribe", and let the first "pigeon" do the persuading.

The main goal here is to get your money.  When the con man gets hints that someone is on to him, or he has gotten everything he thinks he can from the forumites, he will vanish.  With your money, at best, with your credit card or debit card information, at worst.

I have experience with this.  I've had people try pigeon drops on me numerous times (including the classic "I just found this huge bundle of money!  Look!  Tell you what, go take $1000 out of your bank account and give it to me as a good faith gesture and hold this big bundle of money while I check with the police to find out if it's stolen!").  Some were just as I have described above.   No, I didn't fall for any of them.  But friends did.

Friends don't let friends fall for con men.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:36:43 pm by Victoria Victrix »
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corvus1970

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 10:05:10 pm »
Superb advice  8)
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mikoroshi

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 10:13:35 pm »
I like when people string the 419 scammers along and make them do embarrassing or fiscally irresponsible things because they had made them believe their marks are so good they'll definitely get the money if the instructions are followed out.

Won't link to the site I read because it's got some definitely NSFW content.
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Victoria Victrix

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 10:16:27 pm »
I like when people string the 419 scammers along and make them do embarrassing or fiscally irresponsible things because they had made them believe their marks are so good they'll definitely get the money if the instructions are followed out.

Won't link to the site I read because it's got some definitely NSFW content.

I know that site.  In fact, I have it bookmarked.

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corvus1970

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 10:18:36 pm »
Somebody please PM me with the link!
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JaguarX

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 10:25:50 pm »
good stuff

johnrobey

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 11:16:09 pm »
Hi, I have a possibly hare-brained suggestion to add to options under consideration.   While many of the development team have secured new employment (congrats to them), I believe Ms. Bianco hasn't.  In the event that NCSoft refuses to sell the IP to City of Heroes what I'd next like to see is Ms. Bianco and as many of the development team as possible roll out a new MMORPG that is a "spiritual successor" to CoH, perhaps even optimally working with one or both of the Plan Z projects.

What if, say, 100 of the 165 registered here: http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,7150.0.html were to kick in $15-$20 per month as a subscription to what I'm going to call Bianco Enterprises (though I think she'd think of a cooler name) to bankroll their developing this?  We'd be subscribing for several months with nothing to show for it initially.

Perhaps this has already been considered.  What do you guys think?
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Victoria Victrix

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2012, 11:29:29 pm »
Hi, I have a possibly hare-brained suggestion to add to options under consideration.   While many of the development team have secured new employment (congrats to them), I believe Ms. Bianco hasn't.  In the event that NCSoft refuses to sell the IP to City of Heroes what I'd next like to see is Ms. Bianco and as many of the development team as possible roll out a new MMORPG that is a "spiritual successor" to CoH, perhaps even optimally working with one or both of the Plan Z projects.

What if, say, 100 of the 165 registered here: http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,7150.0.html were to kick in $15-$20 per month as a subscription to what I'm going to call Bianco Enterprises (though I think she'd think of a cooler name) to bankroll their developing this?  We'd be subscribing for several months with nothing to show for it initially.

Perhaps this has already been considered.  What do you guys think?

I think it is a very, very bad idea.

You haven't consulted with Melissa.  You haven't asked her if she is willing to lend her name to it.  You haven't even ascertained if this is something she would be interested.

If I were Melissa and found out you had floated this idea, I would consider suing you.
I will go down with this ship.  I won't put my hands up in surrender.  There will be no white flag above my door.  I'm in love, and always will be.  Dido

JaguarX

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2012, 11:37:25 pm »
Hi, I have a possibly hare-brained suggestion to add to options under consideration.   While many of the development team have secured new employment (congrats to them), I believe Ms. Bianco hasn't.  In the event that NCSoft refuses to sell the IP to City of Heroes what I'd next like to see is Ms. Bianco and as many of the development team as possible roll out a new MMORPG that is a "spiritual successor" to CoH, perhaps even optimally working with one or both of the Plan Z projects.

What if, say, 100 of the 165 registered here: http://www.cohtitan.com/forum/index.php/topic,7150.0.html were to kick in $15-$20 per month as a subscription to what I'm going to call Bianco Enterprises (though I think she'd think of a cooler name) to bankroll their developing this?  We'd be subscribing for several months with nothing to show for it initially.

Perhaps this has already been considered.  What do you guys think?

yeah better ask her first.

johnrobey

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2012, 11:38:13 pm »
I think it is a very, very bad idea.

You haven't consulted with Melissa.  You haven't asked her if she is willing to lend her name to it.  You haven't even ascertained if this is something she would be interested.

If I were Melissa and found out you had floated this idea, I would consider suing you.

You're right, I have no idea whether Ms. Bianco would find this idea of interest.  I'm sorry it's a bad idea, sufficiently bad to consider suing me for even floating it.
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Osborn

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2012, 11:43:21 pm »
I know that most of the time we are all sensible, cautious people.

I also know that we've been without something that was, if not the center of our lives, social and otherwise, but was one of the Top Picks, for two weeks now.  It's really easy to start grasping at any hope offered.

One of those is "My millionaire friend" aka, a variation on the classic "pigeon drop" con.

We've HAD that turn up in the form of an acquaintance of mine in real life, who claimed to have a "millionaire friend" who was going to buy the IP back in September.  Said "millionaire friend" did indeed contact me; he was functionally illiterate, he claimed I couldn't call him "because his cell phone was always tied up" (he's a millionaire, but he can't afford a secretary or a second cell phone for personal calls?) and wanted me to vouch for him to Brian.  I did give him Brian's email address, I told him Brian's conditions for contact and involvement in Paragon's attempt to buy back, and that I did not want to be involved because that was too many people in the chain.  I also wrote to Brian, told him about this, and added that I thought this guy was a con man, so Brian should probably check him out very thoroughly.

Guess what.  Brian never heard from him. 

So here is how the variation on the "pigeon drop" will go.  Someone posting here will have a "millionaire friend."  This someone will either be a dupe (like my acquaintance was) or will be the con man himself.  In the first case, the "millionaire friend" will be the con man, in the second, the "millionaire friend" doesn't actually exist.

The poster will drop hints about the "millionaire friend" until that persona is established in the memory of the forum members.  Then the poster will announce, either publicly, or more insidiously, privately, in PMs, that his "millionaire friend" is interested in, or going to, buy CoH.

Several posts will be made, increasing excitement, before the "pigeon drop" falls.  At this point, the poster will try and get your money.  He might suggest Titans also invest ("just small amounts, like a Kickstarter").  He might suggest that "if you all do a year subscription up front, he can show his advisers that it's going to make money."  I am sure there are other things he might say or suggest, but all of them will involve you contributing some amount of money.  He MIGHT even select one trusted Titan first, persuade him or her to "invest" or "subscribe", and let the first "pigeon" do the persuading.

The main goal here is to get your money.  When the con man gets hints that someone is on to him, or he has gotten everything he thinks he can from the forumites, he will vanish.  With your money, at best, with your credit card or debit card information, at worst.

I have experience with this.  I've had people try pigeon drops on me numerous times (including the classic "I just found this huge bundle of money!  Look!  Tell you what, go take $1000 out of your bank account and give it to me as a good faith gesture and hold this big bundle of money while I check with the police to find out if it's stolen!").  Some were just as I have described above.   No, I didn't fall for any of them.  But friends did.

Friends don't let friends fall for con men.

I guess that's one benefit of being dirt poor is that nobody that I know and nobody that they know and nobody that THEY know is a millionaire.

So if anybody springs up like "Lol, if you give me 15 dollars and I'll give you a million dollars" I know it's automatically BS.

You're right, I have no idea whether Ms. Bianco would find this idea of interest.  I'm sorry it's a bad idea, sufficiently bad to consider suing me for even floating it.

Well, she'd be unlikely to sue you for suggesting it as an online post (though it might make her mad, I don't know), but if you were to start to collect money in her name while suggesting she was going to start up a company with the money you've collected she'd have no choice but to sue you or end up liable for a lot of fraud settlements.

Tahquitz

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 12:20:37 am »
Deleted.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 12:28:52 am by Tahquitz »
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Osborn

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2012, 12:27:27 am »
OK, I think he's got the message, we should probably stop reiterating it.

ukaserex

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 12:29:06 am »
Bianco is/was War Witch, correct? Christmas is coming. I know I'd donate 10 bucks to help her(and the other Paragon Studio folks that haven't found a job yet)  have a better Christmas - but wouldn't have a clue how to get it to her.
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Tahquitz

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2012, 12:29:18 am »
No problem.
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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2012, 12:42:28 am »
Still, the crux of johnrobey's comment is true though. So far as I know, neither Positron or War Witch are working again. This gives me hope that if the game is saved, both could be rehired to lead and rebuild Paragon Studios, or another studio built in the same vein and vision as Paragon.

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2012, 06:10:53 am »
So hey..
I have this millionaire friend, she wants to buy City of Heroes, but first she needs to see sufficiently that it would be a viable investment for her, so she's asking for those who are interested to pay up front for a 6 month subscription (Only $80, that $10 off the monthly rate!), or if you pay upfront for a year (at $150) you'll get a lifetime sub when it goes live!
You can send the money to her paypal: ImaScammer@Scamfest.net

>.>
<.<

Whaaaat?

mikoroshi

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2012, 06:17:35 am »
I just have to point this out:
good stuff

Sure is.  Considering...
Speaking of which, I need to go ahead and work on my letter to Disney and other entities. I'm coming up with a list of people to contact in case the Plan Zs  is the option that will continue on, and see if they interested in throwing their weight behind the projects and or when it's time, some marketing, thorugh radios, commericials in Atlanta on the radio and other stuff to get the name and product out. Hell, I'll go as far as paying for a few commericals myself if I have to when the time comes and or convince my friend E. who played COX for years and who make my account look like  sofa change to get behind the project and help out even if it's just for the game, but that task is about as daunting as convincing NCSoft to let go of it IP but I can walk away saying I tried them. If anyone have any tips to help me out with convincing E. to let go of some cash to support the project, way more than I can let go (if she wanted to and can convince her husband probably could buy a good portion of the IP today themselves if they chose to and NCSoft was willing to let go (going by a buy price of 15-30 million dollars.), I'm all ears. Of course this will be all moot if another company picks up the IP but just in case, help me help out in anyways I can on the fincancial standpoint when the time comes for that.
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dwturducken

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2012, 06:47:02 am »
Someone, somewhere on this forum, said they'd heard that Posi was working at the Aion studio. I believe the recent interview with Posi and WW debunked this, but he did say he had "irons in the fire" (my quote, distilling his longer statement). I'm not saying that they are fine, but I don't think either of them are applying for Toys for Tots to make sure something is under the tree. I'm on board, IF we get a sign off from Tony or VV or someone with an actual line of contact with them.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to take a call from a business associate who needs my help opening a club in Cuba. He's putting in the sweat equity, you see. :)
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Victoria Victrix

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Re: Beware "My Millionaire Friend"
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2012, 12:45:26 pm »
Well I know what would make Melissa's day.

If you guys have her twitter handle, since she is a good, kind and sincere Christian (and one of the sort that is a GOOD example of a Christian) if you could tweet her telling her you are all praying for her (or whatever variant on that you want) I know she would like it.   And she's the sort that would chuckle at "hoping for a statistically anomalous favorable outcome on your situation" as well.

Having it come on a Sunday would be even better.

If there is anything else I can come up with (and I intend to ask Brian) I will let you know.
I will go down with this ship.  I won't put my hands up in surrender.  There will be no white flag above my door.  I'm in love, and always will be.  Dido