Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes

Comic Books Are a Scam! (But Not Really)—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

We’re back! Scams, Swindles, and Schemes returns for season 2 and we’re coming out fighting. Are comic books a scam? Don’t come at us until you watch the whole clip, nerds! Devin provides a full-throated defense of a legitimate art form while also admitting to fatigue with the Big Two and their domination of the market share. Full season 2 starts in April!

You can still reach out to us on Twitter (we never left, even though that’s a great idea!), donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels–and help us avoid a copyright infringement lawsuit when we try to get the movie rights to a superhero with “Marvel” in the name.

Comic Book Movie Scams!

Devin and Onicia have very different opinions on this subject, but they do agree that there are too many superheroes out there making people think that’s what comic books are all about. Meeting in the middle is sometimes the key to a lasting friendship.

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) to tell us your favorite comic book or comic book movie franchise!

You’re all superheroes to us!

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Sketchy hair restoration treatment is a better investment than most altcoins—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

It’s our tenth celebration of Scamageddon. We’re happy this series, ‘Scam, Swindles, and Schemes’ is bringing so much joy. Wouldn’t you agree that spreading joy is better than spreading the gospel of Multi-Level Marketing schemes? Anyway, here episode 10!

To celebrate episode 10 we’re considering hosting a giveaway. That’s right, we think bribery is the best way to get you all to like, comment, subscribe. Seriously y’all, we need the engagement to feel good about ourselves. So email HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller[dot]com telling us how much money we should put on the line.

As always, reach out to us via Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels—and tell us how to access your retirement savings before they get stolen by a shady executive or funneled into a Ponzi scheme.

Sugar Bear Hair is a SCAM???

Devin and Onicia advise a dear listener on whether hair growth pills (such as SugarBearHair) are a scam. As non-licensed hair gurus and humans who have no issues growing their hair we say, stop being bald and just love yourself. 

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) a photo of your hairline. Best hairline wins…cash???

Crypto secrets: this altcoin going to the moon 🚀

Since October 2020, reports on cryptocurrencies and altcoins have skyrocketed. Nearly 7,000 people reported losses of more than $80 million on crypto-related scams. That’s a median loss of $1900! We’re not gonna go so far as to say crypto is a scam. We actually think blockchain technology is a huge technological advancement. 

Question: Tweet us (@devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) the name of your (fake) altcoin that’s scam-ranteed to ‘go to the moon’. *WRONG* answers only / “not financial advice”

Interested in crypto, the blockchain, and the future of technology? Check out David Orban’s YouTube series ‘The Context’. Onicia knows David personally and thinks he’s smart because he’s good at asking questions—not just pretending to have answers.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Your job benefits are a scam!—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Health care is a human right, but even those of us lucky enough to qualify for it through our jobs wonder how it got so complicated! Welcome to episode nine, where Devin shares some of the recent trials from his day job to make sure he stays healthy and keeps all of his teeth. (We mean literally, nobody’s threatening to knock his teeth out. Yet.) We close out talking about the scam of retirement benefits.

Reach out to us via Twitter, donate to our sleazy lawyer fund, subscribe to Devin’s and Onicia’s YouTube channels—and tell us how to access your retirement savings before they get stolen by a shady executive or funneled into a Ponzi scheme.

A whole lotta work to keep the same doctor

Devin’s company recently got acquired by a bigger company, and that meant changing insurance plans! After so many years with the same doctor, Devin had to cancel appointments, make sure he wasn’t charged for them, then fill out more paperwork to make sure that doctor accepted his new insurance. Fortunately, that was the case! It may not come through in the episode, but Devin does realize he’s at least lucky enough to have this problem instead of being stuck with no insurance.

Question: Tweet us your insurance nightmare story. Not into writing? Be messy and tag us ( @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller) and that insurance company in an FU tweet. 

Dental plan! (Nobody needs braces)

Of course, benefits aren’t complete if you can’t take of your teeth! Devin had to sift through 39 different customer service options before figuring out how to get a dentist appointment, because dental coverage is separate from medical coverage. Thankfully, after a few different phone calls and some curiosity about tax codes (how does a company in North Carolina have its headquarters in California?), Devin was also able to keep his dentist and schedule a cleaning. We’ll just have to wait and see how much he has to pay for anything else he might need.

Question: Rate your teeth: scam, swindle, or scheme!

Retirement benefits that you’ll never use

Finally, and maybe most annoying, Devin has the nerve to complain about his 401(K) plan as if anybody can relate to that anymore. Devin admits that he’s never gonna be able to use it, though! Math has never been his thing, but he does more this episode than all our previous episodes combined to show how the “updates” to his retirement “savings” are little more than a cruel joke, taunting him with impossible goals. Is that too mean? You be the judge!

Question: What’s your retirement plan? Wrong answers only.

Categories
News Onicia Updates

Yes, we’re still exposing cons — Onicia Update

ICYMI: Devin Whitlock (@devinagonistes) and I (@OniciaMuller) created a web show about scams and it’s hilarious!

Predatory M.F.A. programs peddling student loans. Sarah Palin’s sketchy plan to make America rich again. Meagan McCain’s wretched hair. Life hacks that don’t work. We cover these topics and more on ‘Scams, Swindles, and Schemes.’  

Season one of our web show friendship thingy only has 10 episodes. We’re taking a mini break to up the production value, then we’ll be back with 10 more episodes for season 2! 

Check out OniciaMuller.com/scamsss for full episodes and bonus clips. 

Keep sharing and sending us your scam stories. Thanks for the love and ice cream money.

XO

Devin and Onicia

Want to own an original Onicia Greetings? Buy a greeting card from my online store. Cards not your thing? Consider sending me ice cream money. Full disclosure: sometimes I buy cookies instead of ice cream.

Lastly, I want to thank the GOOD web developer erica dreisbach for creating my new WordPress website. Holla at her. 

Looking for a content writer or editor? Hire me to write snappy blogs, articles or witty social media posts! HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller[dot]com

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Girl, your “invisible” lace front wig can be seen from space—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Billionaires are going into the stratosphere, and even they can report back on the wig lace featured in today’s video! It’s our eighth episode, and we’ve got another lifehack that actually works and more people inflating perceived value to desperately try and create actual value. Another “devoted listener” who will remain anonymous sent in a story about using a $5 birthday coupon for a salad bar to basically get a week’s worth of food. And Gretta van Riel uses marketing psychology to sell watches that don’t look like they’re worth the asking price. Reach out to us via Twitter, buy us a coffee, subscribe to our YouTube channels—and let us know your favorite vacation spot according to security questions down in the comments.

Gretta van Riel’s cool watch scarcity scam

Who wears a watch when our phones tell us what time it is, anyway? Onicia discovered another Instagram influencer/salesperson trying to peddle wares on social media, and the results may or may not be exactly as you expect! The asking price is pretty high, and we’re not sure they hold up under scrutiny but you can be the judge and let us know what you think. If you thought last week’s scammer’s claims of half a million dollars on Fiverr were unreal, wait until you see someone claim they got a cool million off Shopify!

Question: Who is your fave jewelry influencer? Tweet us @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller

Lifehack: flip a $5 birthday coupon into $50 in condiments

Another “dedicated subscriber” who may or may not be one of our illustrious hosts contacted us with a great idea on how to get free condiments. A birthday coupon for a subway shop included a salad bar trip for only five dollars. You’d better believe that salad bar container was fit to burst by the time this person was done stuffing it with pickles, olives, and whatever they knew wasn’t gonna spoil too quickly!

Question: Tell us your best scam *cough* “life hack” for getting discounts.

Um, your HairVivi wig lace is visible. PERIOD.

Onicia had to promise Devin multiple times that this story wasn’t a trap to trick him into saying something racist. Once she finally convinced him, he listened to her point and had no choice but to agree with her! There’s awkward hair moments, and there’s whatever is going on in the video embedded in this week’s episode. Wait until you see Devin’s reactions this time!

Question: Can YOU see da lace, or naw???

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Making $378K A Year As A Fiverr Freelancer, Alexandra Fasulo—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Whatever kind of hot summer it is, it’s too hot for more than one story! This week, we take an extended look at the outrageous claims of a social media influencer who claims to make six figures while working freelance jobs. And she got CNBC to repeat her lies without any kind of followup questions! Aren’t the people who work there supposed to be journalists?

“Make a Fortune Writing on Fiverr”

Alex Fasulos claims to make six figures working as a proofreader/ghost writer on Fiverr. She presents all the usual materialistic “life goals” that finance gurus and other scam artists present: fancy cars, exotic trips, dream houses, etc. Devin and Onicia have both worked freelance gigs before, and neither of them think the math adds up here. Whenever you work as a full-time freelancer, you have a second full-time job: trying to get paid for freelance work! We owe a debt of gratitude for Daniel Rosehill for doing a lot of the leg work, and getting Alex to admit she uses a team to meet her ridiculous work claims (even if she doubles down on her ridiculous money claims). We’ve also got bonus content recorded for this episode! Make sure to check it all out!

Why I Have Suspicions About Alex Fasulo’s Claimed Fiverr Income (Or Methods) — Daniel Rosehill, Medium

Questions: 

  • Are you a slave to the gig economy? Plug your side hustle!
  • Is Alexandra Fasulo’s math mathing?
Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Chloe Ting workouts DON’T work! Gained 15 pounds—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

We’re vaxxed, relaxed, and ready to discuss hacks! We made it to our sixth episode, and thought about celebrating with a workout before realizing it was pointless. Also, one of our loyal viewers wrote in with a story about a lifehack that was actually brilliant as it was useful! After buying a stroller at a yard sale two years ago, she was able to get a brand new frame from the manufacturer. All without telling a single lie! Reach out to us via Twitter, buy us a coffee, subscribe to our YouTube channels—and let us know what the make and model of the first car you drove down in the comments.

Chloe Ting tricked Onicia into exercising

Onicia discovered Chloe Ting and has some surprising news. She has lost +15 pounds since January! Devin became upset because this forced him to do math, but they were able to (mostly) objectively discuss the pros and cons of workout regimens and their promises. The thumbnail that originally piqued Onicia’s interest promised abs in ten minutes. She decides this is a scam for good, but that hasn’t stopped her muscles from screaming in rebellion. Remember to engage your core!

Share this clip in Chloe Ting’s comment section.

Question: Who is your fave fitness influencer. Tweet us @devinagonistes and @OniciaMuller

Lifehack: 90% discount on fancy $200 baby stroller!

One of our dedicated subscribers contacted us to tell us a pretty cool story. She bought a used stroller at a yard sale (retail value $200) for $20. It may have been about a year old at the time, and she was able to get a couple of years of use out of it. She’d been taking some vigorous pandemic walks in Chicago in the winter, so you know they were the real workout from this episode. Unfortunately, the handle broke off when she pushed the kid up a snowbank! But after contacting the manufacturer, blacking out a serial number, and sending in some pictures as proof, a brand new stroller frame was delivered!

Share this clip with new parents who need a cheap baby stroller.

Question: Have you ever gotten something brand new from something you bought used?

Is that toothpaste or is that soap?

Our adventures in social media hacks continue! After discovering a video on Instagram, Onicia had to see Devin’s reaction and he did not disappoint. Someone had the bright idea of putting toothpaste into soap containers to make life easier, because squeezing a toothpaste tube is so hard? After discussing the practical ramifications of this supposed innovation, we get over our confusion and revulsion to render a judgment in our customary fashion.

Share this clip with someone who has bad breath.

Question: Have you ever gotten confused by multiple soap containers in a person’s bathroom?

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Story Time: Burning the hotel down with an iron—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

We’re having a smoother ride than most cyclists in the Tour de France! It’s our fifth episode, and we celebrate by complaining about how our internet providers are scamming us and taking a closer look at business management “theories” that are basically common sense to any employee who’s worked a non-executive job for more than a week. We also look at some horrifying uses of a hotel room coffee pot. Tweet us your thoughts, comment on the video—and tell us how many different passwords you use for all your different accounts.

“Treat your employees like people! That’ll be $30.”

Devin’s boss bought a book, read the whole thing, and liked it so much he bought a ton more to give away to employees! If Devin had been forced to pay for it, this might have been a pyramid scheme. The whole industry of “business management books” follows the same pattern of telling people in charge to treat those below them like human beings while making no systemic changes to anything and using painful metaphors. Are bosses scamming their employees? Are these writers scamming bosses? Both?

Forward this clip to 10 friends to jump start your business management career.

Question: Share the title of your NYT Bestseller business advice book. Wrong answers only.

Your internet is brought to you by…a monopoly!

The Five Families carved up New York City to prevent gang wars, and it looks like AT&T, RCN, and Comcast have done the same thing with Chicago (and probably everywhere else). Devin relates his own experiences trying to navigate moving from territory to territory to try and get more bandwidth, only to have any idea of more than one option thwarted at every turn. No wonder customer service sucks! They have no need to treat the customer right, since we can’t go anywhere else. Tell us your ISP horror stories below!

Share this clip to get 000% off your next Internet bill. (That’s not a typo. This deal is that good!)

Question: Name something that should be a monopoly but isn’t. Healthcare! But only if it’s accessible to all.

Deadly lifehacks sponsored by Tastemade

We take a look at another YouTuber, one who tries to convince us poor people can go on luxury vacations by saving money on food with disgusting “travel hacks” like cooking in a hotel coffee pot and using an iron as a skillet. It’s gross, it’s funny, but it’s also playing into a bigger scam about how people with no budget are somehow gonna magically be able to take fancy vacations if they “want it badly enough.” Minimum wage barely covers living expenses! No one should cook ramen in a coffee pot!

Share this clip to liven up your group chats.

Question: Tag us in your favorite (read: most useless) lifehack videos.

Categories
Comedy Scams Swindles Schemes Web Series

Lil Nas X’s SNL Wardrobe Malfunction. Just call him Big Nas XXX—Scams, Swindles, and Schemes

Praise Elon Musk; we live to scam another day! In our fourth episode, we’re taking a closer look at Lil Nas X on SNL (but not too close–Devin is married and we respect personal space here). We also look at whether or not focus groups have gotten in on stealing your data, and revisit a story from our premiere. Tweet us your thoughts, comment on the video—and leave us the city your honeymoon was in and the make and model of your first car for good measure.

Lil Nas X’s SNL Wardrobe Malfunction

Lil Nas X performed “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on Saturday Night Live recently, and was supposed to do a pole dance number, but had to cut it short because of an unfortunately placed pants rip that may or may not have been deliberate, as far as Onicia and Devin are concerned. Was this a publicity stunt?

Make Lil Nas X stans mad by dropping out hot takes on the timeline [ smiling devil emoji]

Question: What do you think about Lil Nas X possibly pulling a Lenny Kravitz on live television?

Focus Groups Stealing Data?

Focus groups have long been an easy way to make some quick cash. Watching bad sitcom pilots, eating questionable new food flavors, or filling out a questionnaire are all good schemes and everybody wins (maybe), but what if they’re taking more than your opinion? What if today’s focus groups are stealing your personal info like so many other notorious internet scammers?

Share this clip on Facebook to get targeted ads inviting you to sell your data to a focus group

Question: Have you ever participated in a focus group?

Maybe The Bachelor Isn’t a Scam? Or Colby’s Reality Show Isn’t?

In our first episode, we asked if The Bachelor was a scam because of its poor track record of matching couples with any lasting chemistry. We briefly touched on “Gay Bachelor” Colton and whether his upcoming Netflix show was a scam. Devin feels bad about his reaction, but stands by his assertion that all reality shows are a scam. Full stop.

Get Colton trending so he can get a show

Question: Is the gay Bachelor’s reality show legit? Does it matter when he made the deal with Netflix?

Categories
News Onicia Updates

My new web show about scams is hilarious — Onicia Update

As a former crime reporter turned comedic screenwriter, a lot of my personal interests reside at the intersection of crime and comedy. Today, I’m happy to announce that Devin Whitlock and I have launched a new web show!

‘Scams, Swindles, and Schemes’ is a friendship web show thingy where we look at internet culture stuff, everyday problems, and ideas that may be more pervasive than you thought. Then we determine if something is a Scam, a Swindle, or a Scheme!

Each episode is under 15 minutes, and we cover 2 to 3 topics. Get ready for snarky comments about MLMs, get rich quick schemes, so-called ‘lifehacks,’ and whatever is trending on the internet.

Special shout out to our super talented video editor Shawn York of Shawn York Media for producing our videos and graphics.

Click over to OniciaMuller.com/Scamsss to watch full episodes and bonus content.

A heartfelt THANKS to Eunice, Shatoria, and erica for being super generous supporters of the ice cream fund.

P.S.: Is there a possible scam or allegedly scammy person you think we should feature on ‘Scams, Swindles, and Scheme,’ email me at HeyOnicia[at]OniciaMuller[dot]com.

P.S.S.: erica Dreisbach is still the best web developer in Chicago —nay, the universe!