Give me $500 and I Will Stop Calling You

So my wife had an IRS Scam message on her phone. The heavily Indian-accented person said she owed a bunch of money to the IRS and they were going to call the cops if she didn’t pay up immediately.

I know that the elderly and the profoundly stupid are the primary targets of this scam, but it got me thinking, since I am getting close to retirement. . . .

If I started calling up random people and told them to pay me $500 and I would never call them again, would that be legal?

I would charge them no more than $500 on the credit card they gave me and I would never call them again, so I would not be defrauding them. I would, however, sell this list of 1000 profoundly stupid people with money for a nice fee.

Think it would work?

It might work in the sense that you might get someone to pay you. And if you’re honest about it, it’s not fraud.

Unfortunately for your plan, extortion (or more specifically exaction) is a violation of federal law, and since you’re essentially threatening to harass someone until they pay you to stop, you are guilty of that crime.

“Exaction refers not only to extortion or the demanding and obtaining of something through force, but additionally, in its formal definition, means the infliction of something such as pain and suffering or making somebody endure something unpleasant.”

Threatening harrassment unless somebody pays you money? I’m going to hazard a guess that there are laws against this.

Get more creative. Offer “supplements” that will cure their ills, with no burden to prove that they work. Promise them that if they send you $500, Jesus will send them $5000.

YES! That’s IT!! Time to work on my script!

Excellent username/post combo. :smiley:

You’d better make sure that they can’t trace the call back and find you because they might have a very different method of stopping your calls in mind. LOL

Remember not to say that they actually cure anything-say that they are “designed to promote recovery from” whatever the hell ails you.

  1. Come up with a list of bothersome but common ailments. Osteoarthritis, say, or thinning hair, or weak fingernails.

  2. Find a dozen people who suffer from the ailment and that you think might be somewhat sensitive to suggestion. I think social media would make this fairly easy.

  3. Charge them a much-reduced rate for your magic substance. Since they paid something for it, most will report that they experienced less pain or more hair or whatever.

  4. Advertise your product by saying that clinical trials have proved it to work.

If you want, you could also offer a year’s free product in exchange for their testimonials.

Ideally, too, you would not just sell a bottle of pills, but offer the first month at a bargain rate while signing them up for automatic delivery at your regular high price.

(I think I watch too much late night TV.)

It’s also a lot better if you don’t live in the United States. It’s a crime to defraud people, but good luck prosecuting someone who lives in Hyderabad.

You pay only (inflated) shipping fees!!

I’d imagine that would still be illegal because the person is likely on the federal DNC list.

Such a scheme would be stronger than the Pyramids of Gaza!

There was a case in NYC perhaps 20-30 years ago where a very tough looking large man would go around asking people if he could have their wallet, there was a issue arresting/prosecuting him because he was asking. Not sure how that ultimately turned out.

No, non-profits & charities (including churches) are exempt from the DNC list.

If you’re smart, your “if they send you $500, Jesus will send them $5000” scam is probably run through a ‘church’, so that you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you collect, and are not going to be audited by the IRS, etc. on how you spend the money.