Home » That Article In ‘The Cut’ About The Financial Columnist Who Fell For A Shockingly Obvious Scam Is A Reminder That The Only Safe Place For Your Money Is In Non-Running Cars

That Article In ‘The Cut’ About The Financial Columnist Who Fell For A Shockingly Obvious Scam Is A Reminder That The Only Safe Place For Your Money Is In Non-Running Cars

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I’m not sure if you’ve spent any time this week on the vast network of computers and EKG machines and cash registers that we collectively call “the internet,” but yesterday and today everyone seemed to be talking about an article on the website The Cut written by a financial advice columnist who got scammed out of $50,000. I’m pretty sure the article was such a popular topic of discussion because it contained so much rich, creamery schadenfreude packaged in such an appetizing way: a smug, wealthy person who literally writes about “financial literacy” for a living, getting convinced by the most inane, transparent of scams into cramming $50,000 into a shoebox and throwing it into the window of a Mercedes-Benz SUV. It’s a hell of a ride, but, more importantly, it lays bare the one bit of truly worthy financial advice: The only smart way to keep your money safe is clearly to transform that wealth into many non-running cars that you can then litter about your property or along a nearby street.

The financial-advice columnist, Charlotte Cowles, definitely went through something shitty: She got an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be Amazon, talking about some unexpected large purchases, and from there was transferred to people claiming to be from the Federal Trade Commission and then the CIA. They knew her Social Security number and information about her family, and talked her into pulling $50,000 from savings and giving it to someone purporting to be an undercover CIA agent.

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Vwvisicalc

In reading her account, the ruse seems glaringly obvious, and the insistence that she avoid telling her husband, lawyer, police or anyone should have made any remotely-familiar-with-modern-society person stop in their tracks and, you know, not give any money to these people. But that’s not how it played out.

To her credit, writing about it is a good thing to do, as it can help inform people of the dangers of such scams. She could have kept quiet, kept her reputation as a non-mark financial advice columnist intact, but she didn’t.

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So, that was good of her, I suppose. I can respect that. Still, I can’t shake the feeling that my long-dead grandma, who spoke either six languages or none, depending on how strict you are with what defines a “language,” and who I think was illiterate, could have detected that something in the ham-fisted performance of these scammers was “off.”

[Editor’s Note: I want to make it clear that, though we’re poking fun at this columnist, we are empathetic. We don’t want her or anyone who is the victim of a scam to feel shame, especially given that this columnist mentions she had to attend therapy as a result of this incident. We wish her all the best; with that said, we’re just poking a bit of fun, here. And again, we respect her for telling this story and for raising awareness to this issue in a way that no public service announcement or less-compelling news story ever could. People are talking about scams right now, so Cowles’ story could really prevent someone from going through something similar. -DT].

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The scam was the sort of thing that nobody I know would have fallen for, because no one I know would bother to take a phone call from “Amazon.” Amazon isn’t calling you! But, Cowles did think Amazon was calling her, and then the FTC, and then the freaking CIA, and she seems to have bought it all. If she was transferred to Sasquatch to confirm her bank account and routing numbers I have no reason to believe she wouldn’t have taken that call, too.

Cowles makes it very easy to be less than totally sympathetic because she notes how she’s an unlikely scam victim by writing this:

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“Scam victims tend to be single, lonely, and economically insecure with low financial literacy. I am none of those things. I’m closer to the opposite. I’m a journalist who had a weekly column in the “Business” section of the New York Times. I’ve written a personal-finance column for this magazine for the past seven years. I interview money experts all the time and take their advice seriously. I’m married and talk to my friends, family, and colleagues every day.”

She’s clearly a person who comes from wealth — someone who can just get 50 grand at a moment’s notice without Googling “kidney removal to sell” and “do humans have a middle kidney” and in the end, she implies that the loss of that $50 large didn’t really affect her all that much.

Every step she takes in this thing makes you want to yell at your screen, in a vain attempt to stop someone from being such a rube, a patsy, a dummy. She’s a financial columnist! How? Why does she buy into this ridiculous crap? It’s maddening.

Okay, you just read the damn thing, I suppose. But, let’s get to the real important part here: She gave away $50,000 in a shoebox. Clearly, cash is not secure. It’s too portable, too easy to just lose or hand off. A strong wind or a horny dog can make $50,000 in cash disappear far too easily. And don’t get me started on electronic storage of money; that’s even worse — you can lose countless sums in microseconds, with no actually sensory notice or anything at all, just invisible electrons whizzing through highways of metals, or electromagnetic waves, gliding unseen through the air.

But you know what is a secure way to store your wealth? In the form of a car. Ideally, a non-running one.

‘Hold On, I’m Gonna Have To Rebuild This Motor And Tune This Carb, Then Sell A Few Cars Before I Get You That Cash’

My yard is currently littered with a 1989 Yugo, a 1977 Dodge RV, a 1973 Volkswagen Beetle, and a 1989 Ford F-150, all of which are, for some reason or another, currently immobile. Well, at least under their own power. And those heaps, sitting there, un-garaged, getting wet and a little moldy in places, generating their own rich, redolent smells, represent the vast majority of my material wealth here on Earth. This is why I really should be a financial-advice columnist for an outlet like The Cut or perhaps Oui, if they’re still in print.

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You see, those four non-running cars are at that perfect point in their automotive lives that they’re really not losing value any more; they’re holding their considerable value, and, barring a horrible bout of rust or a falling tree or a determined bolt of lightning, are probably worth hundreds of thousands of dollars! At least, according to my math.

Yugostock

Maybe half a million? Who knows? The value of non-running Yugos, for example, has to be skyrocketing, as Yugos are just getting more and more rare, which, of course, is the primary determinant of car value, right? That’s why everyone who kept their Chevy Vegas and first-gen Honda Preludes are now likely, what, billionaires? That sounds right.

You see, a non-running car is a vault of wealth, one that can’t easily be moved from where you put it. That’s why the non-running thing is key. Also helpful are tires that have lost most of their air, and, even better, small trees that grow between the bumper and body, a biological security system that will definitely keep your investments safe.

So, if I get a call from Amazon, and, miraculously, answer it, and then just play improv-style “yes, and” to every request made by the voices on the other end, I know that my wealth is still safe and secure because any $50,000 I may have is in the form of a bunch of mildewing shitboxes killing the grass of my lawn or, perhaps more positively, keeping my precious driveway gravel secure. I literally can’t be scammed out of money over the phone! It’d take a scammer with a tow truck, a lot of free time, and a preternatural resistance to both tetanus and poison ivy to scam my wealth away from me.

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And, if I need to return those cars into money, then all I have to do is, let’s see, reinstall some carbs after I get that engine un-seized, or install that new flywheel and rebuild a transmission, or figure out what the hell is wrong with those fuel injectors, I think, or why the timing doesn’t seem to be doing anything, and that’s um, it! Then it’s just a quick process of selling and boom, cars into cash! It’s foolproof.

So, as you get this article passed to you by friends looking to enjoy a satisfying, self-confident chuckle at someone else’s $50,000 worth of expense, I hope that you’ll take a moment to repay their favor with some genuinely good advice that they can definitely use: put your money into non-running cars, and litter them with pride alongside your street curbs, underground parking areas, or, ideally, lawn.

It’s the best possible financial advice there is. Take it from me, someone who just decided that they’re a financial-advice columnist and who has never, ever, been scammed out of $50,000.

I wonder how many more Yugos I can fit on my lawn?

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Mike B
Mike B
3 months ago

This is one of the many reasons why I literally never answer my phone unless the number is already in there. If it’s important, they’ll leave message, and I’ll call back if it looks legit. And if someone calls from say “Am Ex”, I’m calling the number on the back of the card, not the one the caller left.

Also, I know this is a joke, but more than once I’ve thought I’d be better off investing in 80 series Landcruisers or squarebody Chevies.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike B
Stryker_T
Stryker_T
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike B

I do this same thing, a guy at work called me and I didn’t answer twice until he left a message, the next day he can’t believe I didn’t answer, he says what if it’s really important? like what if Jesus is trying to call you?

without missing a beat I said “if it’s that important, Jesus would leave a message and I can call back.”

Torque
Torque
2 months ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

If it IS important enough, they will call, leave a msg And then text asking me to call them back

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago

What’s wrong with the F150? I can help.

MattyD
MattyD
3 months ago

“…rich, creamery schadenfreude packaged in such an appetizing way: a smug, wealthy person who literally writes about “financial literacy” for a living…”

@Jason Noiles, what exactly is the point of essentially twisting the knife here?

I read the column when it first came out and the author acknowledged she acted foolishly. And I think she’s done a great public service by publicizing an episode that she’d probably like to forget. Doesn’t seem to me like she’s being “smug”.

There’s enough snark on the internet to last several lifetimes. How about if The Autopian helps tamp it down rather than adding to the noise?

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
3 months ago
Reply to  MattyD

I get the fun of saying dead cars are a better investment, but even with Davids editorial addition, this seems a little cruel. Someone should not be cannon fodder just because they are rich, and no one deserves to be scammed. You may not have fallen for this scam, but there are others you might be susceptible to. People keep getting scammed because others don’t talk about it for the exactly what is happening here. They do not want to be poked fun of or made to look stupid. I have a background in IT security, and it is amazing what these criminals can convince otherwise smart people to do. It easy easy to see the scam after the fact, but much harder in the moment.

Jason Noiles
Jason Noiles
3 months ago
Reply to  MattyD

Huh? Where did I twist the knife?

MattyD
MattyD
3 months ago
Reply to  Jason Noiles

@Jason Noiles, there’s a problem with the Autopian. If you type [at] Jason without a last name like I did, it changes to your name when published. My original comment was for Torchinsky. In fact if you type Jason Noiles, it adds another Noiles. If you type Jason Torchinsky it comes out as Jason Noiles Torchinsky.

Last edited 3 months ago by MattyD
MattyD
MattyD
3 months ago
Reply to  MattyD

@Jason Noiles, @autopian, how is it that my post got edited to say “@Jason Noiles Noiles”?

I didn’t write it that way to begin with; don’t know who he is. And it’s not the fault of my spell-correct. What gives?

MattyD
MattyD
3 months ago
Reply to  MattyD

Yep, it just happened again. Must be a problem on your end.

Don Mynack
Don Mynack
3 months ago

Being cheap has saved me from so many stupid scams, I think. Also being broke.

TheDrunkenWrench
TheDrunkenWrench
3 months ago

I lost $5000 worth of MGB by falling for a “restoration” scam. To be fair, I wholeheartedly believe the original plan. The problem was the guy had no idea how to profitably run a restoration shop and ended up parting out Peter to pay Paul.

Maybe my mistake was that I got the car running. (A body man I am not, but a competent mechanic I am.)

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago

My wife and I are on constant high alert regarding my MIL and various scams. My favorite being the time she nearly mailed a check out for a sink someone was buying FROM HER. The ol’ “I’m going to wire you more than the amount and you’re going to refund me the difference with a slip of paper that happens to have your bank account number on it”.

This woman has had one of her credit cards compromised once a year for the past 5 years running. Chalks it up to horrible luck. No she is not old enough to be so easily scammed. I have to clear her computer of malware regularly. I swear she must have a magnetic attraction to fake “DOWNLOAD NOW” buttons.

Soooo yeah, when people say “Who on earth could possibly fall for these scams?” I always have an answer.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago

I had to do a fraud affidavit for a customer at the bank I used to work at – she was contacted by a company telling her they wanted to vinyl wrap her car with ads, and they’d send her a check to pay the cost, except the check was too much, so she had to go to Walmart and buy a bunch of gift cards for the difference and mail them back. Then, obviously, the check bounced and she was overdrawn.

I asked her if she ever applied for a job with a car advertising company, she said no, the offer was unsolicited. If she had to hit any minimum mileage or show proof she drove around enough for that to be worth it for them? No. Did they set up an appointment with a local wrapping company? No, she had to find one and work it out, they said they’d email the design template once she was ready. The whole thing was obviously really sketchy, and, unfortunately it wasn’t the first scam she fell for, several of the tellers who had worked there for a long time were very familiar with her history

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

I think the term here is illiquid asset: an asset which cannot be quickly or easily turned into cash.
Round here we call it ‘car poor’

Ricardo
Ricardo
3 months ago

The art of the scam.

Friend of my wife got done for $10,000 in less than 1/2 an hour. She was called and the scammers said that they were from the fraud team at her bank and that she had been hacked and so needed to transfer funds to save the rest being stolen.

She is not the brightest of sparks, and comes from a different cultural background where females kinda do what they are told so did what she was told and basically handed over three transactions of $4,999, only one of which was cancelled before it went. Their ‘scare tactic’ approach was so simple and direct and would not work on most people but it worked on her.

I had them set me up a few years back when I was called by a lady from an overseas survey company who asked me for opinion on a range of business matters and trends….. including Electric Cars. I work in business, and despite trying to hand her off to our marketing people for a quote they could publish she managed to keep me on the line for a few minutes and answered a few innocuous business trend questions. In hindsight I realise that this was fishing for a good candidate for the scam.

Next day I get a call from a guy with an English accent claiming to be from a Japanese trading house (I am in Australia btw) offering to get me stock in a lithium mining company that was about to be bought by Tesla. I thought this was a bizarre call to get but apart from that he was very convincing and referred me to various websites to establish his bonafides. I asked where he got my details from (I always do with sales calls) and he provided a very plausible answer that did not raise a red flag with me.

Whoever the guy with an English accent was he was financially savvy, using the right terminology and was so confident….. and friendly. He asked my opinion about what I thought was a good investment opportunity and he would check what he could do and I said ‘travel industry’. This was in mid to late 2020 so airlines where trading at 1/2 what they were 6 months earlier so while they were bleeding they would recover and in fact had already started to. English guy scoffed at me and that was a red flag in being a stock broker but not seeing ‘value’ in a recovering industry. In the end I called him out being a scam and at first he denied and was insulted as he was ‘…only trying to help me’ and then when I doubled down he hung up on me.

I could see how you could get conned. In review I was impressed with the time put into the strategy, scripts, information references, overcoming objections etc… these people were good phone actors and would have got some of the less financially savy and older member of my extended family without too much trouble. They were not trying to ‘scare’ me into action saying I had been hacked but instead where appealing to my greed by offering to double my money out of lithium mining within a matter of months.

NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
3 months ago

The images for this story are f-ing fantastic. “RECEIPTS 9/29/84”!!! A picture of a Yugo in front of a graph that is going up, up up!

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
3 months ago

“so much rich, creamery schadenfreude”

Seriously, guys, please add the word “creamy” to your spellcheck dictionary. For some reason, many of y’all love to put this word in articles regularly (is there some sort of Slack challenge/competition to see who can use this word the most, a’la “Super Troopers” and “meow”?), and it always goes to print as “creamery.” Come on, man.

Rich Pistacchio
Rich Pistacchio
3 months ago

/explainingthejoke
I have emailed Torch in the past to correct this “typo” and was educated about Rich, Creamery Butter. In this case, it’s not rich, creamy schadenfreude. Instead, it’s the type of rich schadenfreude that you can only get fresh from the creamery.
/explainedthejoke

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

So much better to get the explanation from someone with that username

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago

There is a very similar scam being run called the CRA Scam. The CRA is the Canada Revenue Agency. And basically the scam is that you owe $$$$$$$ in taxes and you have to go to Ottawa in an impossibly short period of time to pay up and if you don’t, your accounts will be frozen and you’ll be sent to jail.

Of course it’s all bullshit and I’m proud to say that I personally prevented a family member from falling for it.

Razzmatazz
Razzmatazz
3 months ago

This is why I read The Autopian. Not only do I get high quality satire lampooning the poor decision making of someone who ought to have known better, but also sound financial advice that reinforces my own investment strategy. Thankfully as a frugal individual, I haven’t needed to liquidate any of my precious assets yet, which has nothing at all to do with me being too lazy to get any of them working.

Lost on the Nürburgring
Lost on the Nürburgring
3 months ago

I’m sorry, but if anyone ever tells you (1) “Don’t call law enforcement about this criminal activity I’m accusing you of” or (2) “Put a ton of cash in a shoebox and give it to me”, tell them to eff right off.

I’m sorry this person was a victim of a crime, but come on, if I told you to hit yourself three times in the head with a hammer because the FDA thinks you’ve been poisoned and a thrice struck noggin is the cure, would you do it…?

Last edited 3 months ago by Lost on the Nürburgring
Lost on the Nürburgring
Lost on the Nürburgring
3 months ago

Also, who in the year of our lord 2024 answers the phone anymore…? I don’t even answer it for my contacts, let alone someone not in my contacts. Send a text like god intended.

This is what makes me doubt her story the most —> The caller ID said “Amazon”? What caller ID is that, her land line? Cell phone ID is just the number unless it’s in your contacts. She’s a financial expert and she pays for a land line in 2024? This whole story smells of either BS or idiot.

Mercedes Streeter
Mercedes Streeter
3 months ago

Weirdly, phone calls are still a huge part of our job. You’ll get phone calls from PR people, phone calls from manufacturer reps, phone calls from the people involved in a story you’re working on, and so on.

Sometimes a phone call is the better option because you need to say too much for a text and our emails are just inundated with spam that a legit message will get lost in the noise.

Maybe it depends on your provider or particular subscription, but text-based Caller ID (known as CNAM) is not just for saved contacts. I get calls all of the time from people not in my contacts and I usually get a name on my display rather than just a number.

These names can be and are spoofed by scammers. A long time ago, I had to teach my parents that calls with “IRS” on their screens aren’t likely from the IRS and that nobody from the IRS is going to ask for gift cards. Dad still gave a scammer $4k anyway. Oof…

Last edited 3 months ago by Mercedes Streeter
Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
3 months ago

When I worked for a large cable company and had their phone service, I had my buddy with higher access than I change my CNAM presentation indicator. For 3 glorious years whenever I used that phone people saw that Batman was calling. No number. Just the name.

The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
The Artist Formerly Known as the Uncouth Sloth
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil Layshio

+1 eyeroll for your handle

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
3 months ago

Color me impressed. Most people don’t get it.

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
3 months ago
Reply to  Phil Layshio

LOL once you see it…

Last edited 3 months ago by My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
3 months ago

Remember kids if they want gift cards it’s a scam.

remember it 30 -40 years from now when we are older and more gullible.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
3 months ago

Google’s greatest contribution to humanity is the “Call Screen” function on android phones. Weeds out so many scam and spam calls and all I have to do is tap a screen.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
3 months ago

Everyone has some kind of weakness, something that will make you a target somehow. Social engineering technics has been far more effective because now the scammers acted the other way: instead of trying to get your data, they give you your real information to build some trust.

Never think you are safe because you have a good operational security procedures and is aware on how scammers works.

After it is done, everything became so obvious that you can’t believe that you believed it, but before that, not all red flags will be so obvious, as it was not for her.

Also, the fact that a person is a journalist (or columnist) doesn’t make a person smart. Just look around the poor decisions about cars of the staff of this website. The same for a lot of people who comment here.

Me included.

Torque
Torque
2 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

Social engineering still exists in 2024 because it is so damn effective. The scammers that come prepared, whom already have some of your legit info And with some (of course bullshit) backstop Clearly in the moment can be quite convincing.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago

I had to get a large sum of cash to pay a contractor once (not even $20K), and the amount of hassle and nerves involved is staggering. In no way can I imagine doing this for someone I don’t know.

Jon Benet
Jon Benet
3 months ago

The YouTube scambaiters are the best. I get these car warranty calls constantly.This made me laugh so much.

Scamming a Car Warranty Scammer https://youtu.be/Ok-YGKYF8JI?si=D-JUKgN7BnKBQdjI

Last edited 3 months ago by Jon Benet
John McMillin
John McMillin
3 months ago

This writer does us all a service by revealing this embarrassing tale, so I thank her for that. But not only did this financial advisor show a lack of awareness about common scams. Any journalist risen to this level should have had some basic literacy about Civics, and the mission of various Federal governmental departments. The FTC doesn’t do law enforcement or bother with individual cases of any kind. The Federal Trade Commission oversees big business a the macro level. Then they throw the CIA into the mix? Nothing could be farther from its mission.

Torque
Torque
2 months ago
Reply to  John McMillin

True though there are a slew og the US fed. Govt. And State.and local govt. agencies/groups.
While I agree the majority of journalists Should know the basics of which government. agency does what, he’ll I’d argue the average American should understand this as well; in reality I’d guess less than 10% of journalists probably do and the % for general US public is probably lower than that…
As just one small example, how many American Journalists (or Americans more generally) know that the Secret Service (most well known for protecting the life of the president, president’s family and high level politicians and their families…) also owns responsibility for investigating counterfeit USD money cases? Despite having an interest in federal policy, I think I legit 1st learned this from the 2002 movie “Catch me if you Can”.
A positive action step that can (and should) come out of this journalist’s experience is to have as required training at her office (+ virtual for those who are working remotely) of someone like Frank Abagnale Jr. lead a lecture of common scams.
I know Frank used to frequently be a guest speaker and there are many other privacy / security speakers like him as well as developed continual training material. As an example, Training material like this is very common at banks both for “field/branch employees as well as for Corp. HQ people”

Chris D
Chris D
3 months ago

I have a feeling that a particular financial literacy columnist will soon be an ex-financial literacy columnist.
The scammers are charming, persistent and convincing, and having heard a couple attempting to do their thing on the phone, one has to admit that they get to be very good at their nefarious, unconscionable deeds. (I ask them if they have told their mother what they do for a living, and what she would think of them if she knew – it shuts them right up.)

Cpt. Slow
Cpt. Slow
3 months ago

Some third-rate creative writing in that Cut article. There is no way that happened. Maybe she was shopping a screenplay and accidentally published it to Cut instead?
ETA – I aspire to have wealth in the JT style.

Last edited 3 months ago by Cpt. Slow
RataTejas
RataTejas
3 months ago
Reply to  Cpt. Slow

Maybe ChatGPT went overly creative that day.

ScottyB
ScottyB
3 months ago

I’d have never taken the call to start with, but if someone parroted back my SSN correctly I’d be hanging up and cancelling all my cards and freezing my accounts so fast it would make your head spin.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
3 months ago
Reply to  ScottyB

And, incidentally, that’s not outside the realm of possibility, Social Security numbers are consecutive, add or subtract one to the final digit on yours, and you still have a perfectly valid number that belongs to someone else who was born on the same day and in the same general area as you. The first three digits are the Social Security district you were born in, the next two designate the time window you were born. If somebody knows the date you were born and the approximate location, they have a decent chance of guessing your number. They were only created to track payments into and payments from the Social Security system and so didn’t need to be more complicated than that, but we’ve taken to using them as a de facto national ID number and the security is nowhere near strong enough for that.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ranwhenparked
Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
3 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

The first three digits are the Social Security district you were born in, the next two designate the time window you were born. “
Not if you had been living some time before your family applied for an SSN for you.
Those numbers denote where and when the SSN was applied for – which is why those first five numbers are the same for my 8 years younger sister and I – one of us was born in one city and the other in another city – but our parents applied for our SSN’s at the same time in another state.

Dan Pritts
Dan Pritts
3 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

I’m pretty sure that they are now randomized, but those of us at prime scamming age will fall into this kind of numbering scheme. My older brother, and I got ours at the same time, and they are sequentially numbered.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Same for immigrants. Our sequential SSNs are sometimes convenient, sometimes cause confusion.

RC
RC
3 months ago

To be fair:

I’m a journalist who had a weekly column in the “Business” section of the New York Times.

There is no part of that sentence – including “journalist,” “Business section,” or “New York Times” – that would indicate any kind of applied financial acumen on her part.

Now, teasing of journalists out of the way, Torch isn’t too wrong here. In 2000, I could have bought a 1986 4Runner for two thousand bucks. My buddy, in 1999, bought himself an older ragtop Bronco for 5k that he later sold for about 20k after only putting in about 2 or 3k of work himself and holding onto it for a decade.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
3 months ago
Reply to  RC

Your likelihood to pulled into a scam like in the article has nothing to do with financial acumen. The story is textbook emotional/social engineering. Victims are positioned to engage this with their brain’s fear center. It takes a lot to overcome, whatever your profession.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
NosrednaNod
NosrednaNod
3 months ago
Reply to  RC

“ There is no part of that sentence – including “journalist,” “Business section,” or “New York Times” – that would indicate any kind of applied financial acumen on her part.”

Bingo.

MattyD
MattyD
3 months ago
Reply to  NosrednaNod

Original article was in New York Magazine, not NY Times.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
3 months ago

I kinda hate how sound this logic is. There is a caveat though: Your non-running cash storage vehicles will lose value as they deteriorate, so you must keep a regular schedule of fixing up one vehicle at a time to sell, and then as soon as possible afterwards using that freed up money to buy more/better non-running vehicles. This way the condition of the vehicles remains relatively consistent and little value is lost.

This comes with the side benefit of your wealth becoming a continuous stream of fixed cars, so not only are you storing money in a safe and secure way, but the money is keeping salvageable cars out of the scrapyard to be put back on the street eventually.

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
3 months ago

So by this logic, the Toyota just pulled out of that lake is a liquid asset?

Peter Gatto
Peter Gatto
3 months ago

Yes…

in the water = non-liquid asset
out of water = liquid asset

I don’t make the rules 🙂

Last edited 3 months ago by Peter Gatto
Andy Farrell
Andy Farrell
3 months ago

Don’t put your money into shoeboxes, put it into shitboxes. Got it!

10001010
10001010
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy Farrell

#COTD

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
3 months ago

I’m safe then! 🙂

Current non runners here:
1966 Mercedes W111 Coupé
1967 Citroën DS 21
1969 MZ ES250/2 Trophy motorcycle
1971 Beetle Convertible

Maybe I should get some more, to be safer?

Gilbert Wham
Gilbert Wham
3 months ago

Diversify your portfolio some more, I think you mean…

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
3 months ago

So that’s were I’ve been going wrong all these years. I keep trying to get my cars to run and drive.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
3 months ago

The article mentions the hours-long phone call as a key component of wearing the victim down. Scummy car dealerships play a similar game. The worst deal I ever got came out of a 3-hour process that finally had my young, dumb self just looking to get it over with.

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