Detective Placido Winokur specialized in fraud and scams of all sorts, including insurance, investment and marketing scams. Most of his clients were ripped off by some very sophisticated con artists, like those who had made an art form out of fast-talking mages into buying magic insurance.
A magic insurance salesman claims their insurance will cover a mage in case they miscast a dangerous spell. It isn’t until the mage forks over thousands of credits and gets the final contact does the mage learn the truth. The insurance only covers a mage if they correctly cast a spell but there were “anomalies in the divine energies” which caused the spell to miscast. The odds of this occurring were around one in four hundred trillion. By the time the mage realizes they have been scammed, the insurance company has vanished.
Then there were clients like Estelle Domino.
The elderly human with silver hair and a wrinkled complexion sat across from Placido in his small wood-paneled office.
“It started three days ago when I received an email from a Mr. Alumooney,” Estelle began, “who said he was a manager in charge of a defunct robotics program at Cybrix. He said he still had access to the program’s budget, which totaled twenty million credits. He said that due to some accounting error, the research money was still in a Cybrix account but had been marked as spent in the system. He wanted to transfer the money out by using my bank account and would allow me to keep two million out of the twenty. I sent him my information, “she wiped tears from her eyes, “but he stole all my money instead. My daughter had to bail me out.”
“What is Mr. Alumooney’s first name?”
“I believe it was Iwisteel. Yes, his name was Iwisteel Alumooney.”
Placido was utterly in shock.
“You do know you gave your back account information to a man named Iwisteel Alumooney?”
“What’s wrong with his name?”
“Mr. I-will-steal All-your-money!”
Estelle went pale. “I thought he was a Deltan elf.”
Placido kept his contempt in check. “Beyond that, you really thought some Cybrix manager would transfer twenty million credits to some random woman he didn’t know.”
“I was an Ashram-Uriah accountant for thirty years—“
He sighed. “Thank you for coming. I cannot be of service to you.”
“I’m not going to help a woman who should’ve known better.”
She started to sob. “But he scammed me. You help people who were scammed.”
“I help people who were legitimately taken advantage of by very sophisticated outfits. For example, I just got fifty thousand back for a couple who lost it to an investment scammer who had hired an entire office full of desperately-unemployed goblins. The goblins didn’t actually do anything other than make it look like there was a legitimate business in need of investment. I don’t help greedy old ladies who fell for the most obvious kind of scam there is.”
Estelle stood up, rage flashing in her eyes. “The megacorps have trillions of credits and horde it all for themselves. I should know, I spent my life counting it. If somebody offered you a piece of that, you wouldn’t turn it down and you know it!” She walked out and slammed the door.
“Maybe if they were named Mr. Iwisenu Allotamooney,” Placido muttered.
Time to work on a real case.
Like what you read? Please check out the K23 Detectives novellas.