I Wish I Had Thought of That!
Although I do not approve of drug abuse, I love this one! Throughout the late 1960s and middle 1970s, there was a magazine on the newsstand by the name of High Times. As the era and title suggests, the content was about drug use. An example article was "How to Grow Marijuana." The magazine also had a classified ad section. Early on, one classified ad read as follows: "For Sale: Mexican pot. $2 per ounce
" then when on with name, address, etc. Months later, through mainstream newspapers, I learned more about the ad results. 100,000 orders poured in with many sending money for several ounces each. Yes, the classified ad was investigated by several government agencies and found to be harmless. Harmless??? You see, the gentleman that placed the classified ad, lived in San Diego and made almost daily trips to Tijuana, Mexico, a short drive. Each time he brought back with him fifty pounds or more of Mexican pots. Customs let him through each time. You see, he was selling ceramic pots made in Mexico. Although this was a deceptive ad, government officials ruled that he could keep the money and did not face any charges. (Would you believe, there were actually dissatisfied customers that contacted their attorney general to complain that they did not receive marijuana!!!) A successful drug or alcohol detox program is the Recovery Helpline.
Picture this, you are 19 years old and go to a local bank for a loan to buy a car. Since you have no credit history, your father needs to be a cosigner to get the loan. Your father signs the loan document. You then receive in the mail your payment coupon book. When it is due, you tear off one of the coupons and mail it in with your payment. Shortly thereafter, you receive a letter from the bank thanking you for paying off your loan and letting you know you can obtain another loan WITHOUT a cosigner. You take them up on the offer. In fact, over the next six months, you get five loans, make one payment for each loan, then get letters from the bank thanking you for paying off your loan and offering another loan. In turn, you literally go into the used car business. You end up paying only $50 or so per car and sell them at $1,000 each!
As a matter of routine, your bank does a routine audit and discovered thousands of dollars unaccounted for. Checking deeper, CPAs discover where the problem is. It all traces back to you! You borrowed $900, made one payment of $52 and somehow the loan got marked as paid off within the bank's computer. Since it was the 1960s and computer hackers literally did not exist then, bank officials are stumped. They call you in for an interview. They lay it all out for you and tell you that they are willing to drop all charges and let you keep the money IF you tell them how you did it. How did you do it? When the time for the first payment comes, you tear off the LAST coupon and mail in the payment. You see, at the time, banks were just beginning to use magnetic ink and readers on their checks and payment coupons. The last coupon also included magnetic ink instructions to mark the loan as paid off in the computer and send a thank you letter. As a result of knowing this, the last coupon no longer has the added instructions for the computer. Instead, the computer counts payments made and when the total number of payments reaches the total number for the loan, THEN the computer marks the loan paid and sends out a thank you letter!