Forbes again calls Spokane the “Scam Capital of America”

The Merry Scamsters of Spokane Strike Again! – Forbes.

Oh great.

Forbes has been saying this since 1988. We do seem to have a problem with shady deals:

We also have the ordinary small time scammers too. Earlier this month, every one of the scams the Washington Office of the Attorney General warns consumers about, plus more, landed on my doorstep, called on the phone, or accosted us in parking lots – all within one week!

These scams included:

  • “we have left over asphalt from a driveway we just did on the other block, and we’ll give you a discount on doing your driveway” (this scam is listed right on the OAG web site!)
  • a fake door to door magazine sales scam
  • a well known fake group allegedly soliciting funds for a “search and rescue council”
  • a fake group raising money for breast cancer research (a friend is researching this one and has uncovered a financial scam – the OAG knows about this now)
  • And twice in one week, accosted in a parking lot by someone claiming they need to drive across the state “tonight!” but have run out of money to buy gas, could you please give me some money for gas? (The fictitious story they gave did not make any sense – and it is also a very well known scam.) Variations: My wallet was stolen when I was at X, and here I am stranded now (hundreds of miles from the theft) and need to get to city Y (a few hundred miles yet to go), and, Need to get to Salt Lake City for medical treatment, complete with a wheel chair parked outside the car, but ran out of gas money.  These initially sound legit until you think through the details – they guy who claimed to have driven his truck 500 miles with “only 1/4 tank of gas left” and needed extra money to make it home. He should have run out of gas about 100 miles earlier! Or the person who, at 10 pm, says she needs to drive across state tonight!  Or the person who claims to have been robbed, has no wallet, and needs cash to get home – offer to call the police for them – and watch them run off.

2 Responses to Forbes again calls Spokane the “Scam Capital of America”

  1. EJI says:

    Don’t forget the door-to-door security system con artists. They’re usually uniformed (or logo’d, e.g., Honeywell), well-groomed, knowledgable, college-age kids who say that some change in regulation has caused our existing security system provider to overcharge us, and they, as manufacturers or vendors of your original equipment, are upgrading equipment for a nominal fee. Or a variation on that theme.

    Their aim is to get you to sign on to a new monitoring service that will never monitor, just bill.

    To get some idea of Spokane as scam capital, all you have to do is look at the Craigslist job listings. I could count the number of legit vacancies in the past year on one hand.

  2. inlandnw says:

    We should start a list to keep track of all the local scams.

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