Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cons, Scams and etc.

This week has been very stressful for some tenants here. Two separate situations have occurred and they both need to be considered by the tenants and also by OHC.

The first involves buying stolen property from the drug addicts. I was going to write something myself but I found this very good article on the same subject. It is copied here with permission from
Marjorie Crew of in Chatham, Ontario

Don’t Buy Crime

Someone has offered you a great deal on clothing, food, meat, tools, computers, laptops, etc….buyer beware.

You might be about to purchase items that may be stolen.
If you purchase stolen goods, knowingly or not knowing you are in possession of stolen goods and that is a crime.

So... you think you got a good deal.

Your good deal is a huge contributor to the reason that our insurance rates are high, cost of food and other merchandise escalates.

We ALL pay the cost for your good deal and for crime.

So.... you think that you are helping the shoplifter out during hard times.
You could be possibly indirectly purchasing drugs. The offender will take the money you give them and go straight to a drug house. You are part of the problem if you are supporting a drug habit through purchasing stolen goods.

Don’t support crime by purchasing items that you suspect may be stolen. If you suspect someone is attempting to sell stolen goods, report it to the police, and most of all….


The most often sold items here are meat and Ensure. The meat is out and out theft from a grocery store and the Ensure is more along the lines of fraud of the Provincial Government. Buying either is buying stolen merchandize and is illegal. Ignorance of the law is not a valid remedy in court. So I repeat what the East Side Pride have written -


The second incident is a con. Someone is friendly. Makes themselves most helpful and gets you to a point where you trust them without having any doubts. Then they 'borrow' money from you and disappear out of your life. This con is harder to deal with - most betrayals involving someone you trusted are hard to deal with. In another way they are the easiest to deal with. Here are some things you can do to protect yourselves from this type of scam.

  1. Do not keep cash around the house. If all you have is laundry change and Bingo money, you have nothing for them to borrow.
  2. Never go to the bank to withdraw just to loan to someone else. If you have to go to the bank, they want more money than you should be loaning them.
  3. If you do loan out small change, be sure to get it back. No one is in this building because they are rich. We all know that even $2.00 is a lot of money if you don't have it. If it is not paid back, do not loan anything to that person again. Sounds harsh! Maybe it is. But what is a lot harder to live with is having someone who started out borrowing $2.00 take you for every cent you have and disappearing.
  4. Do not loan more than you can afford to lose. If someone wants $10.00 or $100.00 and giving it to them is going to put you in a bad financial spot, don't give it to them.
  5. Remember that YOU are #1 in your life. No matter what sad tale they tell you, if giving is going to be a hardship for you, don't give. Take care of yourself (#1) first.
  6. Remember, 'If it is too good to be true, it probably is!' If anyone tells you they can turn your spare change into a fortune, it is unlikely that you will see it again. The fortune they are talking about is the one where they add your money to the money they have already scammed from others. And THEY keep it as THEIR small fortune!
  7. The absolute best response to anyone wanting to borrow is "NO!"
  8. The most recent alleged con in this building usually added a warning such as 'Don't tell anyone or don't tell Joe or whoever they know you confide in. So do confide in someone if you loan money out. If it is not really a scam, the borrower should have no real problem with the fact that you tell your son/daughter or friend. Just don't turn it into gossip - there is a difference between a confidence and gossip!
  9. If you find that you have been the target of a fraud artist, con artist or call them what you want, call the police and report them if it is a sizeable amount. If it is $5.00 or $10.00 write it off as a lesson learned and do not loan willy nilly to anyone else. If it is a sizeable amount call OHC and report them if they live in the building. OHC does not want them living here any more than the rest of us.

There are legal remedies for all of this. But every time you have to resort to going to the law to get your money back, it costs you. So practice saying "NO!" to borrowers, especially those needing large amounts of money. Actually, in this building, say "NO" to anyone bumming from you. A toonie from you and a toonie from me and a toonie from the guy next door is enough toonies to get high on for a drug addict.

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