10 short stories about people who managed to fool state and financial structures.
Against the bank by banking methods
Former law enforcement officer Dmitry Agarkov, 42, has found worldwide fame for his joke at Tinkoff Bank. Credit Systems ". He scanned the contract sent to him by mail and made his changes in small print, adding that the interest rate for using the loan and the commission for issuing cash is 0%. The bank signed this document simply because none of the employees began to re-read the contract. After two years of using a bank credit card by Agarkov, a lawsuit was filed against him, which the court refused to satisfy. Agarkov himself began to pump his rights through the court, deciding to sue the credit institution for 24 million rubles, but after long proceedings, both sides went to peace.
Free year of VIP service
Chinese Kwong Yif Yi Po was a client of the airport's VIP zone for a whole year, although he never flew anywhere. The airport service for business class customers offered a range of services, the cost of which was supposed to be already included in the ticket. Among them were first-class food, a bar, a relaxation area - and everything was completely free. Kwong Yif, having once bought a business class ticket on a China Eastern Airlines plane, postponed it every time, thus extending his "membership" in the VIP club of Yushu Xian Airport. He checked in every day to dine on the highest level, and then, postponing his flight the next day, he returned home safely. This was repeated every day for a whole year, until he was finally exposed: the fact is that his name was never on the list of passengers on board, and he transferred the flight about 300 times.
Hired programmers from China
The security department of an American company once discovered that an employee was spending too much Internet traffic searching for videos, as well as Internet browsing on Reddit and eBay, regardless of the company's activities. It turned out that the 40-year-old software specialist simply outsourced all his work to specialists from China. By the way, only a fifth of his personal earnings were spent on paying for the services of Shanghai workers, so he was also paid quite good extra for watching videos with cats and online shopping.
Bypassing Minnesota Anti-Tobacco Law
In 2007, the state of Minnesota in the United States passed an anti-tobacco law that prohibited smoking in bars. In winter, none of the bar visitors wanted to go outside for a smoke because of the severe frosts, so the smoking audience stayed at home, and the owners of bars and restaurants lost profits. The loophole in the legislation was found rather unusual. By law, you are exempt from liability for smoking in the wrong place if you are an actor and play a role that involves smoking cigarettes and tobacco. Since the law did not specify if this was only for professional artists or amateurs, the owners of the local Barnacle began to put on evening theater performances, where all staff and visitors became actors. The format of such "actors" parties went far beyond the state, to the delight of American tobacco lovers and to spite the guardians of the law.
On vacation at the expense of the pudding maker
In 1999, California engineer David Phillips stumbled upon a joint promotion for a dessert maker and a new airline. The terms of the promotion stated that for every 10 promotional codes from a pack of pudding, the buyer will receive 1, 000 miles, which he can spend at any time using the services of the same airline. After some simple calculations, David Phillips figured that, having accumulated a sufficient number of miles, he would be able to fly for free, and if the price of the pudding is several times less than the airline's services, then the offer is unusually profitable. As a result, he bought 12, 150 packs of pudding, which cost him $ 3, 140. He managed to accumulate as much miles as if he had spent $ 25, 000 on tickets. Since David himself could not cope with so much pudding, the product was donated to the Army salvation. Thus, the charity saved him $ 800 in taxes. As a result, the Phillips family flew for free for three years.
Teenagers who profit from strawberry lovers
Two young men from New Jersey posted an ad in the New York Post for the sale of a set of top 10 XXX films for only $ 49.95. Usually a set of 10 cassettes cost at least $ 100, and the offer seemed very profitable for fans of the genre. The main condition of the transaction was payment by money order or check by mail - cash and bank cards were not accepted. There were a lot of buyers. The enterprising guys opened a bank account, where they transferred funds from the received checks. They assigned the loud name CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VIDEOS INCORPORATED to their company, which opened an account. After that, the teenagers sent a return letter stating that, due to the large number of people willing, they were not able to satisfy all orders. The apology letter included a check for $ 49.95 from CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VIDEOS INCORPORATED, but no one was in a hurry to cash them, so as not to arouse suspicion. Although all checks and invoices were completely legal, clients did not fight for their rights out of ethical considerations.
Breach in CitiBank credit card system
CitiBank has a credit card that allows you to return 5% of purchases to the phone account of Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone and others. The telecom service is checked on the basis of the Merchant Category Codes, and the delivery of finance and the determination of their status is carried out by MasterCard and Visa. Airtel has launched its e-wallet, which can be replenished with a credit card, internet banking and used for online purchases. Airtel and CitiBank have the same MCC (a 4-digit number that classifies the type of merchant's activity in payment by bank cards), so a percentage of transactions with a bank card can be transferred to the phone operator's wallet, and then sent back to the card account. Many Americans managed to take advantage of this loophole.
Australian principality of 30 people
In the late 60s, Australian farmer Leonard Kasley got a very large wheat crop. Given the agricultural quotas imposed by the state, this could be a problem for him. The government did not intend to increase the volume of the legal sale of grain and, on the contrary, threatened to take away the "extra" land. Desperate from such injustice, Leonard made an attempt to secede from Australia and declare his land an independent country. Thus, five families from the Hutt River Province united into a principality with an independent currency, symbols and a ruler in the person of His Highness Prince Hut Leonard I. Due to protracted proceedings, the Australian government was unable to prevent this separation process, as the appeal period expired. Thus, in 1972 the province stopped paying taxes, and to this day 30 people live in an independent state (although about 14, 000 passports have been issued). By the way, Casley's example inspired the creation of many micronations around the world.
Tax-free Seattle houseboats
Many years ago, the mass relocation of residents of the American Seattle inside the city dramatically changed its appearance. It all started with the fact that at the beginning of the 20th century, one of the most enterprising townspeople discovered that, according to the law, movable property, such as boats, rafts and other water transport, is not taxed, which means that you can build a house on the water and nothing pay the state for it. So, washed by the Gulf of the Pacific on one side and Lake Washington on the other, Seattle quickly overgrown with houses on rafts and boats. These dwellings were built mainly by those who could not afford to buy land. Over time, floating houses filled the entire lake, which led to pollution of the ecosystem of the reservoir and government intervention. The number of water structures was limited, the houses were supplied with electricity, and the status of raft houses was equated to ordinary buildings. From shelters for the poor, these houses have turned into dwellings for especially wealthy citizens.
Plane tickets at the expense of the US Mint
It is known that a $ 1 bill is more expensive for the United States than a $ 1 coin, which can remain in circulation for much longer. In 2010, the mint decided to increase circulation of dollar coins by inviting everyone to buy them online using credit cards. Moreover, there were no restrictions on the number of purchased coins that everyone can order for themselves. Jane Liau Liau was one of the few who guessed to make money on this according to the following scheme. She ordered huge quantities of coins using her Cash Back card, which allows her to receive a small percentage refund of the purchase in the form of bonus miles from the airline. Then she received coins with free delivery, carried them to the bank to a deposit account, extinguished the credit balance. Thanks to a flaw in the system, Jane was able to save on tickets and fly for free on vacation.