I stopped a $10 million dollar robbery


Maybe this is some sort of secret test to screen the readerbase? Like a BoingBoing version of The Last Starfighter?

Or maybe it's secretly just a Rob Beschizza post?


Everybody loves stories. And the author has only tried to capture the readers attention. This seems like flawed movie script. A lot of the comments above have enunciated the loopholes.
I used to be an Fund Manager at Stanley before I moved to 31West.
Each loan application went through a multi-layered verification process. In real life scenario, a verification rep would have tried to speak with X a long time before Bill got his hunch. This would have exposed the fraud at a nascent stage itself.
This could have been a believable story during the times the first Wall Street movie released. In 2014, its not plausible enough.


It's not as unusual as you might think, even if the scale might be.

The problem is most of the cases you hear about are carried out by amateurs. These guys were simply better prepared and had more resources.

In any confidence trick, there's a crucial stage known as the Pay-off, or the Convincer. The idea is to lure the mark into a false sense of security by making it seem like things are paying off for them. Not every con needs a Pay-off, but it helps to sell the story and makes things run smoother.

If the con involves rigged gambling, you let the mark win a few small bets to encourage them to make the big bet where you cheat them.

If the con involves stocks or investment, you send the mark fake "dividends" or profits of some sort to get them to "invest" fully in your scheme.

If the con involves gaining access to something valuable (like a car you want to steal and resell), you give the mark access to something as "collateral" and a sign of good faith (like a fake wallet full of useless fake bank cards, IDs, and a minor amount of cash).

If you're honestly pulling off a scam for $10 million, you can afford to give up a mere $0.015 million as a Pay-off to gain the target's confidence. (It's the name of the trick, after all.) Joe Schmoe might not be able to get together that kind of money, but successful con artists and grifters can probably scrape it together in a month or two with some decent scams, particularly if they're working together and plan to split the $10 million take.

Remember - the scams you tend to hear about are the least successful ones. There are a couple of factors as to why that is.

First is scale. Running scams is a risky thing, so you want to make as much money per scam as you can get away with.

If the scale of the scam is small, it's because the scammers lack the resources or the ingenuity to run bigger scams - and if you're desperate for money, you're going to be tempted to skimp on the Pay-off (or try to fake it) because you really can't afford to part with even a small percentage of the money you're after.

The second factor is pride and social standing. People generally don't like revealing their mistakes - especially when those mistakes can damage your reputation and lower your status in the eyes of your peers.

So when you fall for a con because the scammers successfully tempted you with a decent Pay-off (rather than stiffing you like amateurs), you're not likely to talk about it to anyone except the authorities. It's bad enough having to explain things to them (and to your family, and to anyone else directly involved).

You hear lots of stories about attempted scams, but not nearly so many about successful ones. People like to brag about outsmarting adversaries, but they tend to hold their tongue when they get outsmarted instead.


Bill said to M: I need permission from the internet company that I would be the potential shareholder if you default.

If M owns the shares and puts them up as collateral why would Bill need permission from the company to be the shareholder upon default? I'm not a stock person, so I don't understand if that is a standard thing or not...


Speaking of self promotion, this is the image from his blog. The caption reads: "This is basically me"


The only place that telephones deliver a dial tone immediately after a disconnection is in the movies. Here's a telecom geek's rant about it.


We had spoken to Evil on the phone

This isn't evil, it's just greed.


I foil robberies like this every day. Or perhaps my spam filter does. Only today I stopped several robberies involving money lost in African bank accounts.


Couldn't 'royalty' get a better deal at a bank below 15%?


Title adjustments
- "I did nothing to stop a $10 million dollar robbery"
- "I almost lost a guy $10 million dollars, good thing he's not as dumb as I am"
- "I'm very proud of the stupidest thing I have ever done"

Oh, his poor wife.


I think heist would be acceptable. Lots of planning, risky back and forth, forged letterhead and signatures.


I liked it, and I think the posturing in the comments are a reaction to the exposure the author showed, deftly. Boasting about how much worldlier and wiser you are than this guy, or Bill, won't protect you.


In short, the con-man is not working to convince you to trust him -- it's about convincing you that he trusts you [swap out genders as required, sorry]. Once that's done, the rest falls into place.


Presumably it is not a publically traded corporation.


Actually I think it's a little bit more complicated. Right now I am in Europe. Every time someone hangs up I actually hear a dial tone. Nonetheless I have trouble believing the whole story, it feels smug to me.


Fuck -- if I want to get a secured loan for $20,000 to buy a used car, I have to provide twenty forms of identification, submit to many more credit checks, get screwed on fees and then possibly get denied because that ONE time I paid my bill a day late (because I had a bad case of flu) while my FICO score is ruined for another 7 years simply for asking to be considered for a loan.

I've been doing it all wrong. I should ask for $10 million. They might not even verify who I am.


Well, if you murder on person you go to jail, too. But, start a war or send drones to kill Americans without trial or judicial process, then, nothin'. Same goes for aiding drug dealers with money laundering. The banks caught red handed got off without any criminal prosecutions. So, yes, you are just aiming too small.


I've been doing it all wrong! I see the light. I'll go ask my rich dad to loan me some start up capital.


The comments had me more riveted than the story! Yes, it may be a not-so-great story told by someone who is a money-ist, but who obviously wants to really be a writer. Was it really such an affront to writing that it needed many paragraphs of pedantry and dissection? LOL! I guess I'll be looking at the settings for the new BBS to see if I can choose to not see certain users comments, as they are many paragraphs long and add nothing to the discussion.


Hmm. The simplest explanation is that Europe does not actually exist, and it is all just part of a very, very, very elaborate long con.