Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Art scams: invisible sculptures and blank canvases—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Devin takes the wheel this episode to talk about two stories that have been bothering him for some time. Are these art scams really scams? Or schemes to take money from people with too much in the first place? $18,000 is about how much Devin has left to pay for the college degree he earned twenty years ago, but some people spend that much on “invisible sculptures” in Italy.

Onicia talks him off the ledge for the next story about a Danish artist who literally called his show “Take the Money and Run.” A lot has happened since this story was trending last year, but we’re still not sure how to categorize it.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to the scampaign, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us what kind of art you’d buy if you had the money.

Invisible sculptures bought with real money

An artist in Italy managed to sell empty space for $18,000, but with a certificate “proving” it exists. Onicia and Devin wonder if they can photoshop one of those certificates to pretend to have one of these sculptures and then sell that.

Question: What would you make a sculpture of if you wanted to sell it?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Blank canvases may not be an art scam

“Take the Money and Run” was an art show in Denmark, but at least that had some tangible results! Devin understands that art is hard, and Onicia has plenty of sympathy, too.

Question: What’s your favorite work of art?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Comedian Janíce V. Rodriguez on microdosing drugs and multivitamins—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Comedian and producer Janíce V. Rodriguez joins Onicia this week to discuss how microdosing is a swindle but with two different case studies with very different outcomes. Devin shares his thoughts, too, about how drugs were only made illegal because the government wanted to police communities of color. And hippies.

Pivoting to a different kind of drug that actually has fewer benefits than the fun kind, Onicia and Devin talk about multivitamins. They’re poorly regulated and not nearly as good for you as we’ve been led to believe all these years. But it’s a huge industry and people spend way too much money on them.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to the scampaign, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us what drugs you think should be legal.

Multivitamins won’t make you healthier

Onicia revisits her old nemesis: MLM’s! Turns out multivitamins aren’t just unregulated and bad for you, they’re also used in pyramid schemes to trick you into thinking they’ll make you healthier. Then you end up with a bunch of multivitamins to sell. Devin tries not to yell too much about how all you need is a balanced diet. Eat more leafy greens!

Question: Have you ever taken multivitamins that weren’t prescribed by a doctor?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Welcome special guest Janíce V. Rodriguez!

Janice Rodriguez - chicago comedian - las locas

Comedian and writer Janíce V. Rodriguez is the co-producer of Las Locas Comedy and the president of Adelante Live. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @jvrspeaks. Her name rhymes with Denise.

Microdosing drugs only “legal” for white people 

Janíce V. Rodriguez talks with Onicia about two very different people who shared in very public ways about doing drugs, only one of whom knew what he was talking about. When Black and brown people do drugs, it’s “crime”; when white people do drugs, it’s “liberating and creative.” Carl Hart gets a plug (he’s the guy who knew what he was talking about), and everybody has a friendly time.

Question: Do you think drugs should be legalized or decriminalized?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Joyce Hagen-McIntosh defends libraries + Squibler writing app review —Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Podcaster, librarian, and consultant Joyce Hagen-McIntosh joins Onicia and Devin this week because she and Devin have a lot in common and all three of them love books. They were so appalled at the idea of privatizing libraries that it threatened to take over the episode, but they managed to pull it back, play a game, and have a fun time as always.

Squibler is a writing app where if you stop typing for more than five seconds, everything you’ve written disappears. This seems less like a writing exercise and more of a way for criminals to get stuff off their chest without confessing to the police. It advertises itself as the Most Dangerous Writing App, and we believe it based on the anxiety it causes.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us your favorite part about going to the library.

Squibler writing app gives Devin a panic attack

Onicia made the mistake of going on Twitter again, where this time she discovered someone talking about Squibler. It’s a writing app that generates a prompt or allows you to start free writing, but if you stop for more than five seconds everything you’ve written is erased. Just the idea of that made Devin start to sweat and check his pulse. It’s taken him ten minutes just to write this paragraph!

Question: Would you use Squibler?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Welcome special guest Joyce Hagen-McIntosh!

Joyce Hagen-McIntosh

Comedian, mom, librarian, and lover of life Joyce Hagen-McIntosh can talk to anyone about anything. She is the host of the podcast Books, Bible, Beer, and Queer, and can be found on Twitter at @jmclibrarian and on Instagram at @joycestandup.

Comedian Joyce Hagen-McIntosh: Public Libraries are NOT a scam

Joyce Hagen-McIntosh discusses a Forbes op-ed that was recent at the time of recording that suggested libraries should be privatized and run by corporations like Amazon. This is such a terrible idea in so many ways, Joyce and Devin almost forgot to rank the story a scam, swindle, or scheme! Finally, Joyce pitches her scam as a romance novelist and everybody plays a new game.  

Question: What’s your favorite romance novel and did you find it at the library?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Personnel Concepts scamming new LLCs? Klaviyo review—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Onicia and Devin are by themselves this week to puzzle over two different business ideas that look like they’re supposed to help but at what cost? In Personnel Concepts’ case, ten dollars! But that $10 is the result of being scared into thinking they’re the government when they’re just an ordinary business trying to sell posters and lecturing unsuspecting people about labor laws.

Our listeners who are stuck being office drones for eight hours a day might be familiar with Klaviyo. It’s one of a hundred similar marketing or project management software designed to make our lives easier, and we all know that the internet is free because it’s mining our data. Klaviyo takes it a step further by mining your data and the data of your friends and family!

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us what you would do if you got anything in the mail from Personnel Concepts.

Is Personnel Concepts legit?

There’s a company out there preying on small business owners, making them think they have to send in $10 for a poster otherwise they’re in violation of labor laws. Devin and Onicia are surprised that this blatant posing as the government isn’t illegal in some way. Some people might spend more than that for a poster at a music festival, but at least they aren’t tricked into buying it because they think their business requires it!

Question: How much would you spend on a poster?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

More data thieves?! Klaviyo is sneaky

Everybody needs help organizing stuff. Even Onicia uses mailchimp to keep all our subscribers updated on the latest Scams news. But Klaviyo takes it a step further by pulling your name and email address just from you visiting a website. Doesn’t matter what your permission settings are or how you feel about getting updates from some random site you visited once. Onicia shares her strategy for using multiple accounts and incognito browsers, which used to sound like overkill to Devin but now he’s not so sure.

Question: What steps do you take to protect your data?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Comedian Angie McMahon on the dark side of tipping culture—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Onicia and Devin are joined by comedian Angie McMahon this week to discuss all kinds of food scams, like cooking, restaurant culture, and tipping. Angie knows what it’s like to work in service, and Devin has worked in too many restaurants, so they had plenty to commiserate about! From drunk customers to cheap customers, they cover all the bases.

But this episode is more than just complaining about old jobs and continuing to foment the ongoing work revolution! Devin attacks restaurants themselves as a scam, since they’re the only business you can open with zero qualifications, and Onicia calls out the trending idea that cooking is a scam when takeout and delivery cost so much and are being taken over by apps run by greedy tech bros.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our scampaign, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us how much you tip when you go out so we can shame you if it’s too low.

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Welcome special guest Angie McMahon!

Chicago Comedian Angie McMahon wisecrackin

Angie McMahon is the executive producer and host of Wisecrackin Comedy. She is the founder of the CIC Theater and Under The Gun Theater, is a faculty member at Second City, and has produced storefront theater in Chicago for 20 years.

Tipping is a scam that restaurants force us to buy into

And if cooking is a scheme, that doesn’t leave much room for the alternative! From delivery apps to unqualified restaurant managers and owners, there’s no shortage of scammers trying to convince you not to cook. But their biggest scam is how they get away with not paying their workers and put that burden on us! Angie plays a new game called “Tip or No Tip?” to answer once and for all who we’re supposed to tip. It’s the return of the biggest villain on this show: math!

Question: What jobs do you think deserve tips instead of a living wage?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Moxie Robot review and filmmaker Kafi Kareem talks bad film franchises —Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Writer, director, and producer Kafi Kareem joins Onicia and Devin from Trinidad and Tobago this week to discuss why some movies deserve to have ten (10!) entries in their franchises. Is that a scam? Or just savvy business? But before they get into all that, Devin and Onicia discuss a terrifying new technological wonder designed to entertain children and steal your data.

Moxie the Robot sounds like a good idea in theory. Who wouldn’t want a little robot helper to teach kids how to socialize and/or learn things? But we’ve seen this movie, too. And even if we hadn’t, the robot gets your data and you’re technically only renting it. Who wants to explain to their kid where their robot friend disappeared to when you can no longer afford the payments?

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us what you would do with a robot or robot movie franchise.

Moxie Robot review: calming kids or stealing data?

Onicia stumbled across an ad on YouTube, which is how the best stories always start. Designed to teach children soft skills, Moxie does look like it provides legit services like keeping the kid calm and learning how to interact with other people. But there were too many red flags for either Onicia or Devin to take this incredibly expensive therapy doll seriously.

Question: What would you do with a robot servant, and would you let it near your kids?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Welcome special guest Kafi Kareem!

Filmmaker Kafi Kareem is the founder of storyplay.tv, a Caribbean family movie company. She is the winner of the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival Caribbean Film Mart Best Pitch Prize and a CaribbeanTales Incubator Big Pitch Award.

Film franchises are a scam (unless we’re making them)

Speaking of killer robots, how many Terminator movies are there gonna be, anyway? Kafi Kareem joins Onicia and Devin to discuss Harry Potter, Fast and Furious, Star Wars, and plenty more! Do we need ten movies in a film franchise? Who gets to decide what movies have franchise potential and how many films they get? We know the answer to those questions, as Kafi, Onicia, and Devin play a fun game and discuss what movies are near and dear to their hearts.

Question: What’s your favorite film franchise, and has it gone too far?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Travel scams: fake AirBnB hosts and shady car rentals—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Onicia and Devin go back to basics this week with no new guests, but plenty of stories. First up, somebody tried to scam Onicia! Good thing she knew better. Later, they look into fake AirBnB hosts. This is exactly how the housing bubble crisis happened. (We think. Allegedly. LOL)

The pandemic rears its ugly head again, because those AirBnB scammers were the first hit when it got out of control. Nobody wanted to stay in someone else’s house when they couldn’t leave their own! But we keep it light and friendly on Scams, Swindles, and Schemes and this is no different.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us how you plan to get ahead in your career.

Local car rental tries to scam a local

Onicia was visiting family and had to rent a car, but the renting service tried to squeeze more money out of her. She knew what was going on, though! Ultimately, she couldn’t fault these scammers from trying to get ahead. Too bad Devin doesn’t drive, so he could barely relate to any of what she was talking about.

Question: Do you think Onicia damaged that car or was the car rental company trying to pull a fast one?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Fake AirBnB host get rich quick scam

Special thanks to Remigio Torres for bringing this scam to the show’s attention! Because subletting an apartment isn’t complicated enough, some people have decided to list properties they don’t own on AirBnB and hope nobody asks questions. Onicia and Devin talk about the logistics of this, how it was affected by the pandemic, and why it’s a terrible idea all around.

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) to tell us your favorite AirBnB stories!

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Daniel Rosehill on annual rent increases and landlords picking your roommates—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

More scams! More guests! Onicia was scrolling through apartment listings recently at the time of recording, and Devin has lived in way too many apartments over a short period of time. Thankfully, that’s all behind them, but they have a few questions! In addition to their highly misinformed opinions, you’ll also get to hear the respected opinions of Daniel Rosehill.

The pandemic revealed a lot of systemic failures about housing in America, but has anything been solved? If that sounds deeper than Devin and Onicia usually get on this show, that’s because it is. They wonder briefly if the subjects are too depressing this week, but keep it light by talking about the worst roommates they’ve ever had.

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us how you plan to get ahead in your career.

Raising the rent for maintenance that never happens

Onicia and Devin talk about how every landlord seems to think that everybody gets a big raise every year. Why else would they think that rent should just keep going up every year? Doesn’t matter how small it is, what is it actually paying for? And that’s before they start in on the landlords who get old tenants out so they can charge new, unsuspecting tenants hundreds of dollars more!

Question: What was the worst rent increase you’ve suffered?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Welcome special guest Daniel Rosehill!

Daniel Rosehill - Freelance writer in Israel - technology, marketing communication

Writer Daniel Rosehill posts about Israel, technology, and marketing communications, and you can read his work on Medium here and watch his YouTube channel here.

$1300 for one room and no say in your roommate(s)

Onicia found a listing on Zillow that looked like it was a great deal: $1300 for a 3-bedroom apartment! Turns out, that was $1300 for one bedroom in the 3-bedroom apartment, and the landlord would be the one to pick who goes into the other two. This turns into an exchange of roommate horror stories, because if we can’t trust ourselves to find a good roommate why would we trust the guy overcharging for a single room?

Question: What’s the nicest thing a roommate has ever done for you?

Shout at @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller on Twitter.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Ada Cheng on sleeping with your boss and $1000 resume services—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

In our second episode of season 2, Scams, Swindles, and Schemes has our first guest! You won’t just get to hear Onicia and Devin’s highly misinformed opinions, you’ll also get to hear the respected opinions of Dr. Ada Cheng.

Social media has once more inspired awful ideas about what it takes or means to get ahead in the workplace, and Devin and Onicia aren’t afraid to possibly get controversial. Is having an affair with a higher up a good idea for a promotion? Is any resume service worth $1000? What does someone who’s qualified have to say?

You can reach out to us on Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and tell us how you plan to get ahead in your career.

Fun fact: wonderful Chicago web developer erica dreisbach designed both OniciaMuller.com and RenegadeAdaCheng.com

Sleeping with your boss as a career move?

Onicia and Devin discuss whether it might actually be beneficial to sleep with your boss. Sure, every woman at every level of business gets accused of this regardless of the job or the context because of the patriarchy, but could it work if done right? And how could it be done right? Onicia considers the possibilities while Devin looks at history and everybody has a good time and a lively discussion that may or may not make you think.

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) and tell us about your last job promotion; what do you recommend to get ahead?

Welcome special guest Dr. Ada Cheng!

Ada Cheng - Chicago Storyteller - comedian - scams swindles schemes

Performer, storyteller, and speaker Dr. Ada Cheng can be found on Instagram at @sjadacheng and at renegadeadacheng.com.

$1000 for a resume service but no guarantee?!

After Ada recovers from her horror at the first topic, she discusses with Devin if it’d be worth spending $1000 to have someone punch up a resume. And there’s no guarantee you’ll get the job! If you can spend that kind of money on a resume service, how badly do you need whatever job you’re looking for in the first place? Ada is nicer than our hosts, though, but she knows a scam when she hears one!

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) and share your resume and job hunting hacks.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Lace front wigs are still sus and you need body lotion—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

We’re back! Scams, Swindles, and Schemes season 2 has officially begun! And we’re picking back up right where we left off, with topics that are definitely not a trap for Devin. Especially since he is a veteran lotion user and has plenty of advice for those looking to buy one that’s right for them!

But that’s not all, Onicia invites him to take a second, longer look at weaves after a brief explanation of the different kinds of “fake hair” one might encounter. And Devin shares how he first learned about all this in a mall food court while babysitting.

Shout at us on Twitter using #scamsss, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE

Give us money to see our ashy skin and cracked lips

Devin and Onicia discuss the different lotions they’ve used and why, and Onicia shares her misadventures with the worst body lotion out there (you can google it, this brand is that infamous). Also, Onicia details a good alternative to expensive lotions that won’t break the bank, provides a final take on Kevin Durant’s legs, and we start a new fundraising effort!

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) to tell us your go-to brand of lotion! Do you use different lotions for different areas?

Talking about weaves is only a trap if you make it one

Season 1 ended with a close (maybe too close) look at a particular weave to determine if it was a scam, swindle, or scheme, and now Devin and Onicia are zooming out to look at extensions and wigs! It’s not as fraught a conversation this time, and it turns out Devin has a history with this subject that predates his time in Chicago.

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) to tell us your favorite weave stories!

We’ll always be real with you!