What happens when a teenaged scamster with Silver Spoon Syndrome attempts to defraud one customer too many? He gets an entry in The Urban Dictionary.
It started when the 19-year-old kid offered a new set of gears for sale on a 4x4 forum for $100. Someone bought the gears, sending $115 for the gears and shipping. Then the kid went back and edited his post to change the price to $125 plus shipping – after he cashed the cheque! Of course the buyer objected and PMs were sent. The kid claimed that he had mis-typed. (You know, ‘2’ and ‘5’ being so close to ‘0’.) The buyer asked for his money back, or the gears. Nope, the kid wouldn’t do it. So the argument became public.
We all know how close-knit Internet communities can be. The feces hit the rotating oscillator. The kid claimed he’d done nothing wrong. The posters pointed out that he had. Then it comes out that the ‘bran new’ [sic] gears were used. Uh oh. The buyer instisted on a refund. After much delay the kid sent the gears (apparently he shipped from his employer – he said he reimbursed his employer), but the buyer wanted new gears or his money back. Finally he sent a money order, but as of the weekend no one would cash it. (The buyer wanted – and the community insisted – on a Postal money order, but the kid bought a Western Union one from 7-11.)
But the kid kept insisting he’d done nothing wrong, and taunted the forum members.
They dredged up all sorts of personal information including his high school yearbook photos, his phone number, and satellite photos of his house! :eek: The thread appeared on message boards all over the place. Not only in the off-road community but on gaming boards, computer boards, gun fora, musicians boards… There was even a screenshot from The Drudge Report. (I looked, but didn’t find it. Might have been PhotoShopped.) And then there’s The Urban Dictionary entry. The kid’s World Famous. Or World Infamous.
Turns out the kid had been playing similar scams on other boards and on eBay. He’d ripped off a lot of people, and now they had a focal point for their anger. There’s even a website that was set up where people who have been ripped off by this person can post complaints.
Perhaps his parents should have used a bit more discipline in his upbringing. But I still see them as innocent victims of their son’s misdeeds. Legally anyway, the kid is an adult. They seem like decent people.
I’m not linking the thread (which is now closed) that started all of this because it contains way too much personal information. Not that anyone here would abuse it, but it just doesn’t seem right to post a link. I’m sure if anyone is interested the thread would be easy enough to find. At 73 pages though, it’s a lot of reading.
The points I wanted to make are these:
[ul][li]Don’t try to scam people[/li][li]If you scam people and are caught, don’t make it worse by being a jerk[/li][li]The Internet is not anonymous! I’m shocked at how much people were able to dig up on this kid. It makes me wonder how much information is available about me![/li]Don’t mess with Internet Communities. Especially if they’re gearheads. There’s a certain stereotype for people who get their kicks building big trucks and driving them off-road. I’ve met a lot of people who fit the stereotype. But a lot of them are tech-savvy and have intelligence-gathering skills that are scary.[/ul]