Happened in Serbia on a highway. We had an RV on German plates and slept on a gas station there, next to the truckers. Morning comes and the clutch pedal is dead - no resistance when I press it (this is a manual transmission car). Obviously not driveable, and we're not car gurus to debug it. We call the insurance but it's not responding (perhaps because it's Sunday). I find a tow car nearby and ask the guy for help, to which he suggests to tow the car 10km to his garage to investigate. I agree.
There they use the debug interface of the car to figure out that we need some part replaced (language is a bit of a barrier now) and quote us 700 EUR + VAT. I agree because we need to drive, and because I cannot contact insurance.
After the job is done I ask them for the old part (the replaced one), and they just say it's "software", after which I realize that I was just massively overcharged/defrauded.
Later when we discuss the situation with my girlfriend she tells me she's seen that tow car waiting seemingly for us for several hours, which suggests that the clutch damage was perhaps inflicted by the very people that fixed our car. I became scared of the whole situation and decided to not report it to the Serbian police and just leave the country asap (I mean if people cut cables in cars on the highway to get 700 EUR I have very low trust in the local law enforcement).
FWIW, at least in the U.S. it's common for tow truck operators to wait alongside various roads. Breakdowns are predictable and service is faster if the operator is already nearby. It's not like the driver has anything better to do during his shift.
That doesn't mean you weren't overcharged or even scammed. Really can't say without more information.
Sure, there are obviously some nice people but overall it's a very poor, corrupt, and cut-throat country. Serbian doctors have been caught stealing children from hospitals for god's sake.
Also I hold no grudge against Serbian people in general - had some great Serbian friends in the US, they made fantastic barbecue. I'd sooner blame the general state of the country.
That really helps noone. Report in a nearby larger city. If they don't care they just drop it.
Now I'm way too far from Serbia to report it.
With there being no proof, you likely saved yourself pointless frustrating experience.
However most likely explanation really is no cut cable, but taking advantage of foreigner with bad luck.
Curious, why is this a red flag? Lots of small towns have combined tow-service/mechanic shops.
They likely sabotaged your vehicle.
At dinner, I told my parents about it. My mother's husband, who is a (now retired) police officer who worked in white collar crime for more than a decade, started to laugh. "Do they still use that old trick?" And so I learned that this particular type of scam dates back at least to the 1980s, when scammers used fax to contact their potential victims.
I also remember that kind of email that used to go around back in the late 1990s that said Microsoft was sending out this mail to measure the size of the Internet or something silly like that, and that if I forwarded it to people from my address book, I would get some stupidly large amount of money for it, like 10$ per person.
As far as these things go, this was fairly benign, of course, but I almost fell for it. And what made me delete the mail without forwarding it to anyone was not that "to good to be true"-aspect, but the fact that I started wondering how Microsoft would know I had forwarded this mail. And then I wondered, if everybody did forward this mail to everyone they knew, for $10 a pop, how much would that cost Microsoft? I mean, they were filthy rich back then, but still, such a thing could easily get out of hand.
And even when I got the first phishing mail from "my bank" asking me for my PIN and a TAN, what made me delete it was not the fact I had deleted dozens of these from other banks where the scam was obvious because I had no affiliation with them, but the fact that I had not ever given my bank my email address.
It is so easy to think that I would never fall for an obvious scam like that. But it pays to remember that the human psyche has some major bugs, and scammers know disturbingly well how to exploit those.
It has made me laugh so hard I was in tears.
Especially the ones where they reverse the scan, and make the scammer physically travel to other locations while working towards "receiving the money".
EDIT: it seems some of the site is unavailable. It must be accessed via Archive.org then
Will you, at this point, remember that "Scammers dress up ‘opportunities’ with
professional looking brochures and websites to mask their fraudulent operations. They often begin with a phone call or email out of the blue from a scammer offering a ‘not-to-be-missed’, ‘high return’ or ‘guaranteed’ opportunity. The scammer usually operates from overseas, and will not have an Australian Financial Services licence"?
Probably not. But you might remember the story that guy on hacker news told you. You might remember, just as in that story, that you should look out carefully when a "great opportunity" arises. You might check your emotional state and find the comradry you feel to that old friend might not be based on facts since you haven't seen him for a long time. It's rather related to you two having a great night together.
And you might recognize that this combination of great offer, excitement, and a person who doesn't spend time with you often are combining to red flags for a scam.
But that is all because it was a specific example, a story. Not just a list of facts and attributes that generally relate to a set of scams that can be categorized as rather similar.
Therefore I'd argue that such a general list of scams, without specific examples, is not worth much. People's brain simply doesn't work like that. Rather check on Youtube for actual scams. Like "tourist scams in <countryX>".
Perhaps it can be that some peoples' brains work one way and others another way, and perhaps there are multiple ways of working.
What I already know is emotional pattern matching. E.g. one smells a spice that one's mother used as a child and one is immediately transferred back to that time. In that way if one recognizes that high excitement is often related to advertisements or scams one might recognize when one feels that way that something might be fishy.
Or what I also know is path recognition. E.g. "at first we did this, then we did this, then we did this, and therefore we arrived at X". In that way we can remember processes like riding a bike or our way home. That's also how memory palaces work.
"Genuine monks do have a practice of having gifts or giving alms as part of their religion but it is meant to be a generous donation of those who wish to give without any solicitation whatsoever."
In a similar way, I'd never work for another startup again. While I'm sure many startups have great intentions, others are out and out scams, and the vast majority will never break even enough to pay you the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that they promised you. Once burned, twice shy etc.
As a general rule I don't seem to require it to have been an example based communication, or a personal communication on the subject, but just an abstract description can be enough for me to say - hey this situation seems like a subclass of the general class described in that book of scams I read. Maybe I should think about that! That's all I took exception to, that abstract descriptions of things would not be helpful without concrete examples because people don't find abstract descriptions helpful enough. I tend to find them helpful.
that said I have never experienced this smell a spice or eat a food thing and immediately remember that time years ago. To me that seems like bs, but I guess it must happen so many people talk about it.
That, I feel, is the hardest part of learning more about scams and how to protect yourself. You inevitably see a lot of people who simply can't avoid it, almost going for getting scammed like a moth goes to the lamp, never learning from bad experience that you simply can't get rich quick if you aren't already rich.
or a scammer
Not to everyone.
Case in point NEM, who kept the coins from hundreds of initial stakeholders.
Then you could access http://openblockchains.github.io/awesome-ico-truths
As an added benefit, the pages version loads much faster than loading GitHub itself!
The Real Hustle https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0791615/
In life, you can be greedy, you can be stupid. But you cannot afford beeing greedy and stupid at the same time.
Someone should notify the Australian govt. that a padlock and https do not equate to security.
The padlock is the first step, and possibly the most impactful security check that a non-technical person can do. Recognising Fake webpages, XSS, CSP, malware, etc is very hard and impossible to expect from any visitor of a website.
But people eventually decided that localized CC licenses were "considered harmful" - The biggest problem is that you can never be sure whether all the localized licenses are equivalent. It makes things very complicated when you want to create a derivative work of a project, even under the same conditions, if the work released under another localized version by the author. Also, it creates lots of ambiguity in a international community project. Finally, it was difficult to maintain, they need legal experts from all the countries if the license needs changes.
So localized CC licenses have been abolished when Creative Commons v4.0 was released, v4.0 only has the One True Version, the international version, it was made to be a perfectly valid license for all countries that signed Berne Convention, I believe.
I can confidently say I’m scam-proof today, learned the hard way to trust nobody, especially unwelcome advances. Ah, the things I did as a stupid kid!
Give him some money, feel scammed, couldn’t say exactly why.
Talk to my Dad about it later and he asks what was it? Was he holding a book or something? Yep, right in his hand obviously when I recalled it was a cheap rough condition paperback book. My dumb brain saw that and said “surely this guy is ok, he reads!”. Dad informed me this was an old scam.
Congratulations, you are _the_ perfect mark, one that is confident in not being one
Then I filled up my car, and later reviewed my charges on that card and realized that my fill-up was never charged. Which is really weird because modern automatic pumps will not dispense fuel without validating the credit card.
Can't explain it. I just chalk it up to karma.
Religious Organizations that take your money while oppressing your sexuality and agency.
Mental Heatlh system that gives you drugs that often makes your problems worse or at best placebo.
Political Systems that promise change and consistently simply advance the interests of the rich.
Scams meaning these are things people spend money on with a particular result in mind, they end up without that result and the people promoting it are pretty aware they can’t deliver the result.