promoted 9 years 3 months ago, posted 9 years 3 months ago
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Part one of an infinite-part series on scams of old.
Back when I first moved out on my own, I discovered that life is hard. It is especially hard if you're an unemployed student. In order to make life a little easier in hard times, we used to dream up and execute some very simple scams.
Now that hard times are upon us again, I thought i'd detail a few of the scams that we employed back in the day. None are complex, but all were successful. I thought i'd start off with the simplest of scams - the pizza scam.
The Pizza Scam
Participant requirement - 2
Equipment needed - 2 (two) telephones, ceramic-on-a-string (optional)
Risk Factor - 3/10
Success rate - 80%
This scam is best used in a residential neighbourhood. We've used it in an apartment complex as well, but the chance of success drops dramatically. This scam works best on nights where pizza is not in high demand ((think Tuesday or Wednesday), but it could work on any night.
So the first thing you need to do is make a brief plan. You'll need to know where the pizza will be dispatched from, and you'll need general routing knowledge of your neighbourhood. These two bits of info are vital to the success of the scam.
Next, you'll need to write down what you want. Make the order as complex as you'd like - it doesn't matter. Next, you'll need to make a note of two different addresses.
This one is the most important one. You'll need to scout out an ideal location. What you're looking for is a house or business where the distance from the driveway to the door is great. For the ideal location, you'll want a distance of no more than 50 feet, with no line of sight between the door and a parked car in the driveway. Try to locate a place that meets those criteria AND has a hedgerow or something near the driveway. I must stress that the distance between door and driveway not be TOO great. You'll see why later.
You'll also want to ensure that there is an escape route that will enable you to quickly duck out of sight near Address #1.
The details of this address are not important, save for one thing - it should be further down the road than address #1, and inaccessible from any other direction without having to drive past address #1. You follow?
Call the chosen pizza place. Order the stuff that you and your buddies feel like eating, and give Address # 2. Now wait about 10 minutes, then get another person to call again from a different phone to place another order. . It doesn't matter what you order for this one (we used to keep it small), so long as you send this order to Address #1.
Wait a little bit, then position yourself in a hidden location near the driveway to Address #1. You'll be playing the waiting game for a bit, but after a while, you'll see the pizza guy arrive. He'll open the door, grab the order for Address #1, and head up to the door (which, if you chose Address #1 carefully, is out of sight from the driveway). As soon as he's out of sight, go into his car. You'll see the order for address #2 (your stuff). Grab it and disappear like a ninja.
What Can Go Wrong?
The biggest snag, and the situation that you're trying to avoid, is when the delivery guy locks his vehicle before he goes to the door of Address #1. While you'll never be able to eliminate this possibility, you can lessen it. If the door-to-driveway distance at Address #1 is too great, he'll likely lock the door. If it's not great enough, he'll see you grabbing "your" . The key is to strike a balance.
Even if he does lock the door, it is still possible to succeed. Remember the optional "ceramic-on-a-string?" Here's where it comes in handy. You should always have one of these made up anyways. All you need is a spark plug, a string, and a hammer. Grab your spark plug. See that ceramic part near the top? USing the hammer, try to break it off so that you're left with about 1 cm2 of ceramic, preferably with the hole in the middle. Now tie it to the string, and voila. But what the fuck do you need this for?
I don't claim to know the science behind it, but if you swing that little bit of ceramic at a car's side window, it will shatter the window almost silently. It makes a little "TICK!" noise, and the window will shatter but remain in one piece. You can quickly stick your hand through, open the door, grab your shit and run. Note - Of the two occasions where it has come to this, we only got the pizza once. Both occasions ended in a foot chase with the pizza guy, so try at your own risk.
So that's the pizza scam. This may not work in your area, since pizza guys probably always lock their doors in some cities. Nonetheless, this has worked in both Sudbury (pop. 170000) and London Ontario (pop. 350000). Besides, when you're broke and hungry, you'll try just about anything.