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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Conman clients

Wide-spread perception is that  working girls are prone to cheating their clients out of their hard-earned money... Complaints range from girls misrepresenting themselves in advertising to taking the money and not delivering the service and everything in between.
I am not going to deny that it happens and I am not going to explain girls behaviors or to defend/condemn them-this post is not about that.

There are serious predators out there-they are like great big sharks-slowly cruising the murky waters and methodically choosing their victims. Their cons involve planning and certain brazenness. They are not without a skill. They choose the industry that is illegal in most countries and un-regulated in others, so that the victim has no recourse and can't file a complaint with the police.

First story involves myself-it happened in Las Vegas quite a few years back.
I was still very young and somewhat naive (not entirely, but I definitely didn't have the experience and knowledge I have today).
I just started working for a new agency: it was a husband-and-wife business, which they run from their home (as prostitution in Las Vegas is ILLEGAL, all agencies are "outcall" ONLY, which means that all you need to start one is a phone,some girls "on call" and a newspaper ad).
The people who owned the agency had a clever gimmick-they were advertising nude cleaning service, which was perfectly legal. It was implied that sexual services could be obtained from the provider at additional cost.
I've talked about how tedious it was to work in Vegas before: agencies would only discuss "companionship" or, in this case, "cleaning services" with  clients, making sure they never spoke of sex for money. So it was up to us, girls, to go to the location and negotiate services and fees (all of which were in addition to what agency already quoted the guy-we didn't get ANY cut of that). This way agencies were always "in the clear" with the police and us,girls, were under constant threat of arrest by undercover cop-it was nerve racking.
Anyway, I've done a couple of jobs for that outfit and it was OK-some guy actually had me clean his bloody bathroom for real (and it was disgusting,too) before we moved on to "sex" aspect of the booking..

So one day  the owner calls me and tells me that he was contacted by a limo driver who is driving around a "whale" (Las Vegas term for a big spender). Limo driver is trying to arrange a multi-hour booking for his client in one of the major Las Vegas hotels.
Apparently, that "limo driver" called several times and gave information in little bits and pieces.
Long story short, it was requested that the girl was "intelligent","well-educated and well-mannered", "able to carry  a conversation on a variety of subjects"... I'll come back to this particular bit later, but most conmen of that ilk ask for intelligent,educated girls-there is a reason for that-it's the way they structure their cons, it requires certain level of intelligence for the girl to "buy into it",as strange as it sounds.
The guy then proceeded to tell the owner that a hotel room should be booked by either agency or the girl herself (he didn't care which),as the "whale" is quite famous and well-known and he is staying in another hotel, but cannot have girls seen coming into his room and cannot just go into a hotel himself and book a basic room-it'll raise questions.
OK, so I was told by the owner to book a room (even back then I've always been savvy with my money and investments and had a fairly high-limit credit card, so it wasn't a problem).
There I was, in the room at the Treasure Island Hotel,waiting for the "whale" to turn up. In the meantime, the "limo driver" has called the owner again and requested that a package of cigarettes of specific brand was waiting in the room. The owner purchased  and delivered it to my room. More phone calls ensued, more hype was build up, more talk of how extremely important the client was,the booking was postponed, but then I heard the knock on the door.
Now, by then I've been with my share of different clients and I know wealth when I see it (the way the clothes are cut, brands of watches,whether or not they fake,etc).
The guy who entered the room did NOT look like a "whale" to me. At all.
He wore ill-fitting (JC Penney bought,probably) black pants, white shirt and no jacket. Immediately upon entering the room he started grabbing,fondling and kissing  me (right by the door). He had his hand in my panties inside 10 seconds!
I was trying to be coy and telling him to make his way to the bed-which he did eventually only to get straight into sex.
The policy is always to collect the money first and this was a multi-hour booking, presumably, so a lot of money was involved.
As the guy didn't give me a chance to discuss anything, much less collect the money BEFORE we had sex, I breached the subject right after.
He explained that he doesn't want to "nickle-and-dime" and will pay me in the end "for everything",as he was too afraid to carry such a large sum with him to some hotel room to meet unknown prostitute-what if it was a set-up and I had my "pimp" laying in wait and all we wanted to do is rob him (it all made perfect sense,too).
We talked for a while-he told me about his family,his children and grandchildren (I think parts of that were actually true). He appeared to be relaxed and not in any hurry. He didn't ask for more sex, either. All of that prompted me to relax as well-although I had a funny little gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach, I thought  maybe I was being paranoid.
Guy asked for the cigarettes he requested, and in about an hour asked me to go downstairs to the shops  with him (most major Las Vegas Hotels have some sort of shopping mall on the ground level).
While in the shops, he selected some items for his grandchildren and asked me to pay for those, citing, again, not bringing his wallet in fear of being robbed and saying that all the money will be paid at the end of booking. He said it would be delivered in a briefcase by his trusted limo driver, who's been driving him for over a decade every time he came to Vegas.
After the shopping expedition he wanted to eat. Again, plenty of restaurants right there, on the ground level. He wanted to go into a very expensive Steak House, but I pointed out that we are not likely to get a table this late without a reservation. He still wanted to try and get in, but, sure enough-they didn't have any tables for us.
So we ended up in the coffee shop (no reservation required) which is still pretty nice at the Treasure Island.
By then I knew that I was , most likely, duped, and this guy is full of shit. But he kept on spinning the web and was pretty convincing.
At the end of the dinner I've decided to go with my gut feeling-I knew I should cut my losses. Besides, I wasn't sure how he would react if I tried to confront him-he was a pretty big dude and people act differently when cornered-I didn't want to get hurt.
So I've paid the bill and told him that I was going to the bathroom (bathrooms were in the main casino area, outside of the restaurant). Instead, I run into the garage, got in my car and high-tailed it out of there.
He never called the agency to find out where his "escort" was,etc-funny that.
At the end of the day, I was out a little more than $400 and I had sex with some slimy dude for free.
Clearly, there never was any "limo driver"-the guy was calling the agency himself, trying to build a convincing plot. He also chose a small agency vs. one of the bigger ones, as those would probably look for him and do him some harm.
At the end of the day, even if I could go to the police, what would I say: I did have sex with him willingly, he certainly didn't rape me, I did pay for the purchases myself and signed the credit card receipt in my own hand...
Later, after talking to some other girls, I found out that that same guy was "making rounds" with several other agencies and private girls.
The agency agreed to "split" the damage with me and gave me half of what I've spent (but nothing for the actual service I provided to that scumbag)..
But at least I got off lightly- my friend who lives in Australia wasn't so lucky. And now we come to story number two.
It began much the same: the parlour where my friend worked received a number of calls from the guy who had a lot of requirements: intelligent,well-educated girl, capable of conversation,etc,etc. He wanted "outcall" to one of the nicest (and most popular) hotels in Melbourne (those who live there or visited would know exactly which one I mean).
Again, the guy kept calling and building himself up. Finally, the manager called my friend (who happens to be highly intelligent, educated, successful,etc) into the office, gave her guy's number and told her to talk to him. She also told my friend to keep it a secret from other girls. I know that manager and I believe that she genuinely was trying to do something nice for my friend, a "reward" of sorts,as Kate (my friend) is very popular, has a huge following of regulars and makes the parlour a good deal of money.
As this "encounter" was to take place outside of the parlour, nothing would be "on the books" and Kate could potentially have a nice chunk of change in her bank account.
So Kate rang the guy and met him in executive, "members only" lounge of that particular hotel. Straight away, she knew that he doesn't really look the part of a wealthy businessman-his Rolex was fake, to begin with and his clothes didn't seem that expensive.
But he "talked the talk"-told her about his investments (vague outline, nothing specific) and his phone kept on ringing and he would tell someone on the other end of the line to "just sell it" or engage in what seemed like a serious business negotiations. He even got into argument with a waitress,as he wanted to be seated at a particular table and wouldn't take "No" for an answer (table was reserved).
He proceeded to tell Kate that he was actually looking for PA (personal assistant) who can handle his business affairs and who was willing to provide sexual services as well, as he was "too busy for nonsense"-so basically needed "all-in-one" package deal.
He told her that she would be provided with a company car and an expense account. He even asked her what sort of car she preferred (colour, make and model).
Eventually, he asked Kate to book a room in that hotel (same excuse-too well-known,busy,blah,blah,blah). She did as requested. No sooner had they entered the room, he had sex with her. He then promptly fell asleep.
His phone kept ringing in the meantime and Kate wasn't sure whether or not she should answer it-she WAS hired as a PA,after all...
After an hour or so the guy woke up and they've decided that he'd call her tomorrow to "set everything up". No money exchanged hands,as it was understood that she would get paid salary and expenses once they ironed out the details.
The next day Kate wasn't sure what to do: should she go to work at the parlour or should she wait for the guy to ring?... He finally rang, in the afternoon, saying that he just "dinged his Jag" and could she pick him up from a body shop. She did so (he was waiting for her outside). He then received more phone calls-one of them supposedly from his sister, whom he needed to see. He asked Kate if he could have her car while his was being repaired. She said no, as she needed her car to get around-she didn't have another one.
The guy then suggested they "sit down somewhere" and discuss the details of her employment. But before they did that, he had her drive him into "his" bank to take some money out, "for expenses". Then they went to a cafe.
In a cafe he proceeded to tell her that since she'd be given a  company car, she had to produce a bond, to "secure the asset"-after all, he hardly knew her and she could just drive away to never be seen again (it all made sense). While having that discussion, he carefully asked various questions re. her friends and family situation (divorced and single), her approximate worth (she is not poor), her previous "legitimate" employment (she was a manager for a very big and very serious company),etc. It was very cleverly done, all under disguise of "employment assessment".
Finally, the guy declared that she would need to pay $20K (yes, twenty THOUSAND) as a bond.
You have to understand, these people have certain abilities, they are not amateurs. Writing this, it seems so obvious that the situation was extremely dodgy, but if you'd been there, you'd understand that it was not so "cut and dry"-it's almost as if these guys "put a spell on you". You know something is not quite right, but you can't put your finger on it and you don't want to look stupid and miss out on a good opportunity. Also, after a while, you feel that you are in danger, as well, physical danger.
Anyway, they went to Kate's bank. The guy was waiting outside while Kate went in. She remembers asking for $20K cash withdrawal and, of course, manager had to be called. It so happened that Kate knew that particular manager personally and she remembers her (the manager) asking her if she was SURE she wanted to take such a large sum out in cash (Kate just sold her house, that's why the money was in her account). Kate gave a feeble excuse, saying that she was buying a new car. She told me she felt she was in danger if she didn't give the guy the money. After some consideration, she did ask for $15K instead.
She took the money, carefully packaged in a bag for her and got in the car. The guy told her to drive him to his "office" (he gave her a very well known posh business building address smack in the middle of Melbourne CBD which houses hundreds of offices). He said he just needed to drop her bond off at the office, so his secretary can get "the ball rolling"-he told her not to park, but rather just wait for him at the curb with the car on idle. "I'll be back in 2 min" were his last words. She's never seen him or her $15K again.
Quite a few months later she got a call from the police: apparently, the guy was caught (he perpetrated similar scams all over Australia) and they were calling all the numbers they could find on his cellphone to identify victims or possible accomplices.
Kate was asked to testify and the guy was subsequently locked up. Kate had to go into protective custody for a few years (as no one was sure whether or not that guy operated alone or if he had accomplices) and had to conceal her personal details.

These stories are not unique or isolated incidents: crimes perpetrated against sex workers are many,as we are often perceived as "easy prey".

1 comment:

  1. so sad... these scamster guys are parasites ... hurting the most vulnerable members of society ...

    ReplyDelete