The Scam of Fake Chip Collateral

Tom Venter
Follow me

A conversation begins to heat up in the early hours of the morning in Las Vegas, in a dim corner of a quiet bar, until it is put to rest by a simple agreement. However, when they all go their separate ways, one of them will have lost (at least) $1,000 that they were unaware they had lost.  I was surprised to learn that this old con was still circulating with a fresh (and clever) coat of paint in a world where con artists make money off of mundane ideas. While it is certainly uncommon, it does exist; however, I was surprised to learn that this old con was still going around with a new (and clever) coat of paint. 

The following is the sequence of events: 

  • They are offering to exchange high-value casino chips for cash, with a 20% bonus for each stack that players exchange, as well as recruiting players with clean accounts and player profiles at casinos.
  • This group of “businessmen” is looking for casino players with clean accounts and player profiles. 
  • As a result, the “businessmen” will pay $120 in real money for $100 in symbolic value. 
  • They propose a $1,200 for $1,000 price. 
  • The only question you should be asking yourself right now is why. 

The scam itself 

The explanations, like the people who make that kind of offer, tend to fall into a specific category. Whether it’s a potential member of a criminal organization, a street gang member, or a drug dealer; a shady stockbroker, a rogue dealer, or a casino employee; or even card cheaters looking to clean up their money, all of these setups have the same obvious goal: to launder money without actually going to a real casino. 

Whatever the story is, the fact that they don’t spill their money in person is due to the possibility of being identified or wanted by the law, etc., and that makes sense and helps allay any suspicions of a potential mark. 

The snag is as follows: There are large sums of money that must be sorted through and organized. We are looking for individuals who can increase the number of tokens they purchase while also holding a significant portion of the high-value tokens for at least a month before selling them for a healthy profit. 

We are able to handle millions of dollars in casinos each year with a few dozen players in a far more secure manner than if we did it ourselves. Even if we lost 20%, we would still make more money than if we managed our money in other ways and from other sources. 

You are free to do whatever you want with the money once it has been converted to an untraceable form, and all you have to do is bring us $10,000 in the form of black tokens every month. If you do not participate in the casino, you may be asked, “What are you going to do with the chips?” 

When a company falls for the con artist’s ploy, the response is simple and easy to believe: the con artist claims that other people are cashing in and depositing funds into accounts under their control, and there is no way to trace those funds back to their original source. the start and the source of the funds 

The event in question 

Scammers meet their target to exchange chips for cash somewhere off the Las Vegas Strip, away from the electronic eyes of casino surveillance cameras; however, there is more than one potential customer present.  The company has been offered the opportunity to participate in a profitable transaction; however, the agreement that will govern the transaction is clearly illegal. As a result, the company’s representative has been invited to a late-night meeting at a bar, where a second “player” will be present to confirm that the transaction will take place. 

When the target arrives, the “other player” joins them, presumably to benefit from the same deal. When they each give their chips, however, the accomplice has significantly more than the target. 

The second “player” gives the brand a sense of security by letting them know they are not alone in their proposition. The best part is that the second player has prepared difficult questions for the person who purchases chips and will not be afraid to ask them. 

Why don’t you just deal with it yourself? 

How can we be certain that the money in question is genuine? Where can we learn about the maximum amount that can be traded? Naturally, the answers to all of these questions are aimed at satisfying the brand’s suspicions in a way that has a direct and effective effect on that person. When we directly challenge someone, we are more likely to be wary or suspicious of them; however, when we are removed from the challenge (as an observer), we are more likely to listen to (and believe) the response that they provide. A psychologist could argue or explain this away with a $50 bucket of sentences, but as someone who has used this strategy hundreds of times in genuine scams, I can attest that using an accomplice to reduce expected suspicion is a tried-and-true strategy that is also extremely effective. The con artists will tell you where to play and where to buy chips, but the trick is quite subtle. 

The one-of-a-kind twist 

In this scenario, the “other actor” plays a more important role than an accomplice. In fact, they are critical to the outcome of the con because they will be the driving force behind everything that happens. The second “player” exhibits more suspicious behavior and may even accuse the brand of being involved in a scam in order to elicit a natural response to demonstrate their honesty, making them even easier to control as the deception continues. However, the second “player” brought in significantly more chips than Mark, and when the chips are totaled on the table, the “businessman” who appears to be laundering money informs his accomplice and Mark that he only has enough money to cover one of their stacks of chips in the game. When the businessman realizes what’s going on, the accomplice requests that his chips be covered because he brought more, and with a little sleight of hand, he decides to pay the accomplice rather than the mark. 

It’s not just for fun; there will be evaluations afterward. 

If the brand dives headfirst into this debate and insists on being compensated, there is a good chance that the buyer will pay much more than a thousand dollars for this brand (which they were instructed to bring black chips to a particular casino).  This is an important stage because it tells con artists whether they should just take the money and flee, or whether they should play their victim for more money.

It has a hook in it. 

So, what exactly is happening here? Because the businessman lacks the funds to pay the mark, his tokens are returned to him along with an invitation to meet the following evening to complete the transaction. The accomplice is paid in cash, and the businessman makes a 20% profit.  It’s also love at first sight if the con artists perceive the company to be too suspicious or unexpected for them to pull off more, which is undoubtedly the main goal of this scam game. 

If the company is persistent and it is clear that they are committed to the idea, there is a real possibility that they will earn $10,000 rather than $1,000. In this case, they would be allowed to keep the same chips they already had. took them to the bar with the instructions to spend another $9,000 of their hard-earned money on a lure, then lose it all and return to the same bar. brought them to the bar and instructed them to spend another $9,000 of their hard-earned money. 

However, con artists can still make $1,000 by using a devilishly simple swap of a brand’s genuine casino chips, even if the brand is unplayable due to being too complex or not worth playing. 

Chip replacement 

The transition is an example of a “non-move,” and (from what I’ve heard), it went something like this:  The tokens belonging to the brand (which are authentic) are counted and piled alongside the tokens belonging to the accomplice (which are counterfeit). Following the conclusion of the conversation (or argument), the mark is given a stack of phony chips from the combined stacks. The con will be successful every time because the mark is kept waiting by the accomplice’s queries and demands, unless the mark is especially suspicious. 

If the con artists are particularly cunning, they may be able to change the stacks at some point by using a tiny bit of additional directional inaccuracy to move a false stack to the spot previously occupied by the brand’s real tokens. 

Later on, the con artist is said to return the tokens to the brand after initially taking them from the brand, but even that step is unnecessary if the brand is completely convinced that each and every token is genuine. To begin, that was the astute part, and while it took me by surprise at first, I can see why it was done that way. 

While driving home, Mark receives a phone call from the businessman. The businessman accuses Mark of colluding with the other player and informs him that all of the chips are counterfeit during the call. 

Over the phone, the company received unfavorable information. 

Indeed, upon closer inspection, the tokens they took home with them appear to be a lot less convincing, and the brand now owns $5 worth of the legendary house tokens. The brand has nowhere to turn to report the crime, which is the biggest advantage of this lie. They are ineligible to turn themselves in to the police because it is obvious that they participated in the criminal activity. They are unable to visit the casino because any suspicious behavior on their part would be obvious. 

The best part (from the con artist’s point of view) is that the casino is never made aware of the counterfeit chips, which would almost certainly result in further investigation. 

The benefit of blowing is that it prevents the brand from discovering that they have counterfeit chips at the cashier’s desk and forces the casino to conduct additional investigation. Lesson Swindlers use this simple con to see if someone will bite on a larger bait, but even if the test fails, the victims still lose a significant amount of money to con artists. 

What difference does it make if the target bites on the lure and returns a hundred dollars? 

When the exchange is made – perhaps in the parking lot from the trunk of a car, which in the past has proven to be an excellent location for trading entire bags or suitcases – it could be anything from a straightforward theft to a cunning trade of tokens or money. It could go any number of ways, from simple theft to a devious trade. 

A clever, albeit unpleasant, strategy would be to exchange the cash for a duplicate bag containing a small amount of low-cost medications and harmless powder, but only enough to cause the brand to panic and refrain from reporting anything to authorities. It is less important how the scam begins and more important how it ends, which is with a credible story designed to entice a likely brand and then take them on a costly roller coaster ride. 

If you’re doing something obviously illegal, the harsh reality is that you’re probably just a bucket of buddies in shark-infested waters. This is the harsh truth.