My mom’s friend got scammed *real bad* in Vegas.
And she’s not some dummy who didn’t know any better either… but, the scammer “pre-qualified” her before she voluntarily handed over $500 in cash to him.
She never met him (the scammer) before… he didn’t grab her purse and run… he didn’t force her in any way to hand over her money.
As a matter of fact, the scammer had his victim wishing she had more money to give him!
Here’s what happened:
The woman (we’ll call her Jackie) was vacationing in Vegas with her husband over the New Years holiday. She was downstairs playing the slots while her husband was napping in their room upstairs.
A good looking, well dressed man approached her and started a conversation. He asked if she was there on vacation… mentioned how “it must be fantastic to be single and on the go” (where she revealed her husband was sleeping upstairs)… to which he commented “I should’ve known. Attractive women like yourself always marry doctors” (and she “corrected” him and told him her hubby is a pilot for a major airline).
After chatting for a few minutes, he asked her to have coffee with him at the cafe right outside the gambling area, to which Jackie agreed.
During their conversation, he let her in on a secret that he was an employee at the hotel across the way, and knew someone who can fix the machines so she’s guaranteed to win the $1,000,000 jackpot from a popular slot machine. He explained that employees were not eligible to win the prize, so they were looking for someone to help them pull off this master plan, and she would walk away with $500,000. She agreed to follow him to the hotel.
* Woman, what on earth were you thinkin’?? Are you trying to get yourself killed?!!*
Once they arrived at the hotel, he led her to a slot machine and asked her to wait while he called on his friend (the machine “fixer”), and casually asked her for $1,000. He explained that this was the “fee” his friend is charging for his service.
Jackie told him she didn’t have that much cash on her, but, she did have $500. He told her he’ll try to convince his friend to do the job for 1/2 price. Jackie crossed her fingers and hoped what she had was enough.
The man took the $500 and walked off.
After waiting for over 30 minutes at the machine, with no sign of the man returning, Jackie was forced to face the fact that she had been scammed. She walked back to her hotel embarrassed, and out $500.
Her husband still doesn’t know about this “incident”.
* * * * *
Pretty crazy, huh? I mean, *YOU* would never ever fall for a scam like that!
Well, Mr. Well-Dressed Scammer knows that you can’t fool everyone, but, if he makes just 1 “sale” a day for $500 a pop, he’ll bring in $3,500 a week – or $14,000 a month.
What this slime-bag did was “prequalify” his leads.
- He most likely scanned the casino for women appearing vulnerable… maybe lonely. Someone who would feel flattered by the attention of a good looking man.
Note: Physical attractiveness and compliments are two psychological triggers that play a part in how and why we respond to someone. The man was attractive, friendly and complimented her… making her feel “safe” to lower her defenses… I mean, scammers can only come in unattractive packaging, right?
- Once he chose his “prospect”, he begins to prequalify them. After all, why waste your time selling to someone who wouldn’t be interested in – or doesn’t have the money to purchase what you are selling?
Had Jackie ignored him, or refused to accompany him to the cafe, she would have been “disqualified” from this process. However, she showed her interest in what he had to say and offer, so she was “bumped up” to the next process.
- She further agreed to participate in the scheme, revealing to the scammer that she wanted to be a part of this “exclusive group”.
Note: The man “treated” Jackie to a cup of coffee. This may have had a hand in her feeling obligated to reciprocate the favor by agreeing to the “plan”. You sure don’t want to disappoint the hot guy because he might say bad things about you to the other hot guys…
- The scammer presented her with a “high-ticket” item… then agreed to offer her the “special” pricing of $500.
Note: By this time, the man had Jackie “hoping” what she had to offer him was enough to get her what he was about to give her. In her mind, $500 was a painless drop in the bucket compared to the “outcome” ($500,000) she was promised.
Now, I’m not encouraging you to fly out to Vegas (or anywhere else for that matter) and make a living as a professional thief. But, this guy took more time and effort prequalifying and “courting” his prospect to make certain he makes the sale, than most honest people who are trying to sell a product or service online!
Moral of the story:
- Find a market looking for a solution with money to spend,
- Offer to solve their problem,
- Make sure what you sell is something your customers will value more than the price they paid!
Okay, now I gotta jump in the shower and get ready for church!!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend : )