Monday, February 18, 2013

Scam Oldies: Vending Machine Scam

English: Vending machine
English: Vending machine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What if I tell you that you can buy vending machines and table-top game machines, put them into restaurants, and watch $$$ roll in every day, and you just need to go collect them periodically? Easy money, right?

Except there is no such thing (easy money, that is).

Almost all the buildings already have vending machines in the strategic locations. You practically have to PAY building management (or the company occupying that space) for the right to put a vending machine there.

As for tabletop games, unless you're a cheap bar, a casino, or something closer to Dave & Busters, you can forget it. Restaurants make $$$ on food, so they don't want people to linger around and play games.

But these realities were never mentioned by the people who sell those machines. Those machines costs thousands of dollars, but you only make a few dollars at a time, maybe tens of dollars a week. So it will be a while before you make back your investment.

It's even worse when the sellers are crooks who fake references about the "success stories".

From 2003, Robert Nicol perpetrated fraud upon hundreds of investors who believed his speech that vending machines and game machines are highly profitable. Investors were told to check the testimonials of various success stories, except they were faked. The scam eventually reached over $5 million dollars when it was investigated by US Postal Inspection Service in 2007. Nicol fled to the Philippines and was later arrested and extradited back to the US to face charges. A bevy of associates, including Nicol's son, were also arrested, charged, and convicted of various fraud.

The scam is notable for its "potential profit"... as long as you don't actually look any deeper into the details, or ask questions, even common sense questions such as:

  • Where am I going to put these machines? 
  • If this is so easy, why aren't you doing it? 
  • Who are really offering the testimonials? 

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