Archive for the ‘Pilfering’ Category

Service of Fraud

Thursday, February 9th, 2023

Image by LillyCantabile from Pixabay

We try to protect ourselves from robocallers up to no good, social media intruders dressed as legitimate businesses or fun game producers and sleazes who mail intimidating missives on recognizable letterheads with bogus warnings and phone numbers that ring on the desks of crooks.

I chatted with the manager of my local CVS drugstore yesterday as he released a mundane product, safe behind a locked plastic door, protected from shoplifters. A man in his 40s, he said that retail life is so different now. Most of his products in midtown Manhattan are not similarly protected. In the Wall Street area, I ducked into a Duane Reade drugstore early this week and was taken aback: Over half of the goods, even toothpaste, were behind locked plastic doors.

In addition to having to be on alert 24/7 as never before, how else do potential intruders, big and small, impact the lives of Jane and Joe citizen? Here’s an example. Try to close or transfer a financial account. I thought that armed with my call–from a phone number that’s in the system–my birthdate, the last four digits of my social security number and my account number I could expect a check. Ha! In one instance I needed to download and fill out a confusing form and write a letter and get my signatures on both notarized. I had to re-do the process because I’d left off an account number in one of several places. [They couldn’t have filled it in?] In another instance I needed to get a medallion signature that wasn’t easy to come by.

I was told all of this is to help prevent fraud. My mind jumped to the bigtime thieves who are given mega loans based on lies and unvetted information or who wreak havoc, and substantial losses, for banks whose gatekeepers fall for their supposedly deep–actually shallow–pockets. Reminded me of a friend who was audited the year she took a breather from work and, with a pittance of income, was nonetheless audited by the IRS.

We want our small pickings to be protected from fraud which the rigamarole is meant to do. Do you think that those with larceny in their hearts have to go through similar exercises to access other people’s money?


Image by bgs_digital_creator from Pixabay 

Service of When It’s OK to Steal

Monday, June 18th, 2018

When smoking was in style, some restaurants and bars had fantastic looking ashtrays that found themselves in customers’ handbags. Many venues considered it a way to get their logos into homes–a reminder of a great meal or fun evening and the cost of inspiring future meals. Others would stop guests as they were leaving to ask if they wanted to pay for the ashtray. [I know someone who was stopped!]

Today airline passengers paying $thousands for a ticket in first or business class are snitching bigger souvenirs: blankets, pillows and duvets according to Alison Sider and Andrew Tangel. And they boast about it. “Danny Kashou, 53, a business owner in San Diego, was impressed by the soft fabrics and Saks monograms on the blankets on an international trip earlier this year. ‘Heck, yeah, we took it,’ Mr. Kashou says. ‘We didn’t ask. We just stuck it in our carry-ons and walked off,’” the reporters wrote in their Wall Street Journal article “‘Heck Yeah, we Took It.’ Fliers Are Swiping Airline Swag.”

They wrote about another passenger who “At home, sips brandy from his favorite British Airways glasses and his children curl up in premium Norwegian Air shuttle blankets. Last year, British Airways began offering a soft, satin-edged blanket from the White Company, an upscale brand. Mr. King has three of them.”

On the trinket side, passengers have taken 26,700 salt and pepper shaker sets from Virgin Atlantic that stamped them “pinched from Virgin Atlantic.” The company reports missing 1,700 lightweight blankets from its A330-200 aircraft.

“So far, airlines aren’t taking a heavy-handed approach to pilfering, hoping to keep things friendly. Premium cabins—first and business class—account for 5.5% of international passenger traffic, but more than 30% of revenue, according to the International Air Transport Association.”

United Airlines sells the Saks designed bedding it uses on its international business class flights because its customers like it so much. A Polaris duvet costs $59.99 and a memory foam pillow $27.99 at United’s online store which it encourages passengers to use.

Sider and Tangel report that Delta flights from LA to Dubai can run as high as $15,000. Surely there’s enough profit built in to cover the costs of the two duvets one passenger saw another stuff into a carryon bag.

Would you feel comfortable snitching something that costs more than a dollar or two? Is it considered OK these days to remove anything used during a flight? Passengers feel perfectly comfortable to brag to reporters about their take–is that normal? Unless encouraged to do so, should rule of thumb be “don’t take anything?”

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