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Two scam artists and the schemes they concocted
Welcome, new subscribers, and welcome back, loyal readers! I’m happy you’re here.
Today’s issue is about scams. Nobody likes being scammed. That’s for sure. But reading about a good scam? That’s different. What is about scams that allures and captivates us? For me, it’s knowing that unless I keep my wits about me, I’m a gullible target. (Ask me about the time I almost agreed to pay for a “free” Steinway grand piano offered by a recent widower in Oklahoma.)
I think you’ll enjoy this week’s articles. There are just two this time, so I challenge you to try both. They include:
a warning not to use Zelle to pay for your $31,500 new swimming pool
a man who thinks you can live forever (hint: don’t eat solid food)
Do you have a good scam story to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
The moral of this story is never get a pool, and if you do, it’s best not to pay by Zelle. Even the idea of having a pool “made me feel a little bit like an asshole to be honest,” David Friedman writes in this hilarious article. “But what is life if not a long march toward losing all your morals?”
After getting over the shame of it all, Mr. Friedman and his wife hire a man named Gary Kruglitz, owner of Royal Palace Pools and Spas. From the beginning, something is off about Gary. Like many contractors, he’s often not responsive. His communication is laconic and intermittent. Mr. Friedman writes:
I wouldn't say Gary is perplexed by this modern world we find ourselves living in as much as he might not be aware it exists. Sometimes when you talk to him, he’ll look up from his papers, turn in your direction, and blink, like a bird that has heard something in the underbrush.
Most distressing, there are long delays. Months pass. So when Gary finally replies and says he’s ready to dig the pool, Mr. Friedman and his wife are eager. So eager, in fact, that they don’t question Gary when he says that he wants the $31,500 paid via Zelle, sent in several daily installments. The rest of this caper, I’ll let you read!
By Devin Friedman • Business Insider • 20 min
Bryan Johnson is a 46-year-old millionaire who lives in Venice, California, and believes he is going to live forever. He has a system he says is working for him. It includes swallowing 111 pills a day, not eating solid food, always sleeping alone, shooting red light into his scalp, and analyzing his erections and samples of his stool. So far, Mr. Johnson is happy with his results: His doctor says he has the bones of a 30-year-old and the heart of a 37-year-old. But more can be done, of course. He’s seeking the “next evolution of being human.” Other medical experts, on the other hand, call him “pale” and find his claims of everlasting life delusional. “I don’t really care what people in our time and place think of me,” Mr. Johnson says. “I really care about what the 25th century thinks.”
By Charlotte Alter • Time • 21 mins
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