Boiler Room Slang, Jargon, and Definitions
Have you ever heard a conversation between a couple of boiler room guys, and you wonder what it all means?
John: “Well, we just hired three loaders, and put on a new admin, we are still on slopping, but it’s a living”.
Steve: “I’m with you on that, but I’m gonna try my hand at a new start-up, and roll out an opening room, I got some fresh leads and a good banker”.
John: “You didn’t buy your data from that stinkin’ bottom-feeder now did ya”?
Steve: “No, how could I”? “He got caught slingin’ plastic and the FBI grabbed him” ! !
What did these guys just say? What are they talking about? Perhaps these definitions will help:
ABC – – “Always Be Closing” (See: “Closer”)
Admin – – The room administrator, responsible for paperwork, files, databases, FAX’s, and emails.
Banker – – The lucky stiff who handles the money, and/or opens the bank accounts, and/or operates the bank accounts. See also ‘Money Laundering’.
Bells and Whistles – – Additional props for show.
Bird Dog – – Anyone who sniffs around, keeps tabs on each boiler room, sells information and leads from one room to another, steals leads, recruits salesmen, raids salesmen from one room and places them in another room, and sells information about the rooms and their employees to the police and to other professional extortionists, kidnappers, and robbers. (see also, ‘Bottom Feeder’)
Blow-Up – – (1.)When a bank account, or a web site, or any other service is compromised by a client complaint or by an LE investigation; (2.)Taking an action to disrupt the activity of a competitor’s bank account or other service (This is generally recognized as “unfair competition” and may result in reprisals and enforcement actions.)
Boiler Room – – Refers to both the physical room as well as the organization that deals in unregulated investment practices.
Bottom-Feeder – – Parasites and scavengers who exist on the periphery of the Boiler Room Trade and who make a living by profiting from the misfortune of others, or selling information, or selling introductions, or dealing in stolen leads, or lying, or begging, or cheating people out of front money, or conducting small scams on E-Bay or Craigs List, or selling their wives and girlfriends as prostitutes, or dealing in drugs, etc., etc.
Bullet Magnet – – Anyone who is likely to get whacked as the result of his bad business dealings. See also ‘Fish Food’.
Burning Wood – – (AKA “Making Wood”) When a salesmen goes through literally stacks of ‘Paper’ (Leads, Data) and never lands a client.
Buyer’s Remorse – – A natural “Oh Shit I’ve Been Fucked” response made by investors when it occurs to them, a few days after closing a deal, that ‘just maybe’ they have been conned by a securities fraudster.
CBD – – “Central Business District”. Boiler rooms invariably use unregulated virtual offices and mail drops to make it appear as if they are located at prestigious addresses like Canary Wharf or Wall Street, in the “Central Business District” of a major financial community, when in fact the salesman is calling from Sukhumvit Soi 13.
Chop Shop – – (AKA “Slop Shop”) Original usage and origin unknown; The expression is frequently overused, especially by neophytes and wannabees, and has become trite and hackneyed. (1.)General use, taken to mean any Boiler Room; (2.)Specific use, taken to mean a particular type of ‘Phase Two’ operation where the game is replayed using ‘Restrictions’, ‘Options’, ‘Warrants’, ‘Stock Swaps’ and ‘Taxes’ to rescue clients who are holding worthless stocks; (3.)Also intended as a derogatory reference, i.e., while you run a professional room, your competition is merely ‘Slopping’.
Closer – – A gifted telephone salesman that is skilled at sensing and answering the client’s doubts, and finally pushing the client to ‘close’ the sale or transaction.
Close – – To close a sale.
Commissions – – The splits, pay-offs, percentages, and earnings that salesmen earn after a successful sale.
Cold Call – – An unsolicited telephone call made to a perspective client.
Cooling – – To keep a client “cool”, to discourage the client from having doubts or complaining, to keep the client blissfully believing that the entire arrangement is legitimate and ‘real’.
Crack – – (1.)Crystal Cocaine, generally consumed by smoking the drug; (2.)A stolen serial number or product code used to activate or register pirated software; (3.)The target zone in the centre of the furry thing between her legs.
Crazy Glue Fuming – – The use of an Alpha-Cyanoacrylate adhesive, boiled in a volatile solvent, to produce a fuming agent that will permeate paper and cause latent images to appear for the purposes of: (1.)Advanced dumpster diving – – Reading the impression left inside a discarded envelope which previously contained either a PIN code or a bank statement; (2.)Revealing fingerprints on paper. Lifting fingerprints from paper is actually very difficult. However, in boiler room folklore, this somewhat over-rated piece of technical wizardry is used to explain how a false-name banking document was traced by LE to its real applicant, when, in fact, the most likely explanation is that a bottom-feeder, who was loosely associated with the room, was caught by the police slinging drugs, and made a deal, ratting out his brothers and sisters. (See also “LE”, “Five Words” and “Fish Food”)
CRD Number – – The CRD number corresponds to a legitimate broker’s record in the ‘Central Registration Depository’, a computer database jointly owned by USA’s state regulators and NASDAQ. These numbers are frequently purloined and used by clever Boiler Room salesmen to thwart first-level due-diligence checks performed by perspective clients.
Data – – (see “Leads”)
Dealer – – (1.)A licensed broker-dealer in the real world; (2.)A drug dealer.
Don’t Eat Where You Shit – – Your boiler room, your home, and your banker should ideally be in three separate jurisdictions.
Don’t Pitch the Bitch – – (See “Pitch”) i.e., Don’t waste your time trying to sell your phoney stocks and worthless investment services to women. The explanation offered by the (mostly male) boiler room workers for this admonition is that women invest emotionally, and you obviously can’t sell your services to anyone who is illogical. The real reason is that women can smell a liar a mile away, they are more in touch with the subtle clues of your voice and tone, and they are generally smarter than men and therefore more difficult to con.
Done – – Literally, ‘Finished’, or ‘Killed’. e.g., “We caught our security guy breaking into our room and stealing paper, so we had him done by our cop buddies”.
Draws – – Advance payments made to starving and homeless telephone guys by kindly room owners and managers. The ‘Draws’ will later be withdrawn from future commission earnings. Draws plus Drugs generally exceed commissions thus keeping telephone guys highly motivated, on the treadmill, and owing the company store. See also ‘Gerbil Wheel.’
Driving ‘em to the Bank – – Frenzied motivational telephone calls made by salesmen to clients who have been invoiced but have not yet paid.
Drugs – – Motivational candy. Amphetamines, Cocaine.
DMW – – “Dead Man Walking” (see also “Fish Food”)
Enforcer – – See ‘Security’.
Enforcement Action – – (1.)An action taken by the SEC to de-certify or restrict trading in a listed stock; (2.)In the Boiler Room Trade, taken to mean: (a.)Administering punishment; (b.)Collecting a debt; (c.)Eliminating a troublesome Bottom Feeder; (d.)Eliminating competition from a competing room.
Face to Face – – Actually meeting a client in person to conduct a business meeting. Not for the timid or shy.
Fish Food – – Appropriately, refers to the final disposition and repository for ‘Bottom Feeders’, extortionists, and others who have preyed on their brothers and sisters in the industry for far too long.
Five Words – – Taken from a popular White Supremacist gang motto, criminals are taught that if they are captured by Law Enforcement, that they should repeat only ‘Five Words’ – – “I have nothing to say”. This brave posturing works pretty well until the beatings and shock therapy is initiated.
Flashy Life Style – – Living the Boiler Room Lifestyle: (1.)Owning more than one Irish Pub; (2.)Owning more than two high-end luxury condos; (3.)Having more than three model-quality 18-year old 38-Kilo girlfriends; (4.)Owning a red Ferrari. (See also ‘Kidnap Magnet’, and ‘Shark Bait’).
Flash Cash; Walking Around Money – – Using cash, perhaps not even your own, as a prop to impress others in business or entertainment settings.
Franchise – – (1.)In the real world, licensing a business or a method of doing business; licensing trademarks and names; The franchisee generally pays a deposit to the franchisor in the real world; (2.)In the boiler room trade, a method of sub-contracting where an existing room gives the support of its set-up to another room for running the same scam.
Fronts – – (1.)The initial invoice sent to a new client; (2.)The first payment received from a new client.
Gerbil Wheel – – Refers to the seemingly endless cycle or treadmill effect of break-even debts and repayments, wherein Salesmen rarely get ahead of the game in their earnings. See also “Draws’.
Go Fast – – Amphetamines.
Hardware – – (1.)Computers, telephones, and equipment; (2.)Drugs.
Hacking – – (1.)The use of Internet and other computer techniques to gain access to another computer, especially a bank computer; (2.)The sound made by junkies coughing up phlegm after a long night of smoking crack.
Innovator, Inventor – – Anyone credited with devising a new and clever scam. Every third old-timer who you meet in the boiler room crowd claims to have ‘invented’ the Rule 144 ‘Restrictions’ Scam. Perhaps they all thought of it at the same time.
Investor – – Client. The target being conned.
IPO – – Initial Public Offering. The first sale of a new stock in a new corporation.
Investment – – What the client believes that he is buying.
John and Steve – – Every third person that you meet in the Boiler Room Trade is named either ‘John’ or ‘Steve’. There seems to be no logical genetic or cultural explanation for this phenomenon.
Jungle Drums – – The coconut telegraph. The rumour mill.
Kidnap Magnet – – Anyone who has too much money and who has no protection or security. See also ‘Shark Bait’.
Lay Down – – An easy sale, a sure sale.
LE – – “Law Enforcement”, including Agents from INTERPOL, SEC, FBI, DHS, DEA, ICE, and etc., etc.,
Lead – – The name, address, telephone, email and holdings of a perspective client.
Listed – – (1.)When a real stock is listed on a stock exchange; (2.)When a false stock or a fake investment advisor is listed on a warnings list.
Load – – After a client has been ‘Opened’, either for an initial investment or for a service, the next step is further gain the client’s confidence and continually take more money from him, i.e., “To Load Him”.
Loader – – A telephone salesman that specializes in calling established clients, and introducing him to additional deals, or to new phases of an existing deal, for the purpose of ‘Loading’ the client.
Manager – – Generally refers to an older telephone guy who could no longer sell girl scout cookies to his own mom, but whose job it is to baby sit the room, where younger and more productive telephone salesmen work (under their own initiative and self-direction) while the ‘Manager’ slowly dies from excessive drug and alcohol consumption.
Money Laundering – – Generally taken to include: Client deposit to an input account; bounce to a second offshore account in a protected jurisdiction; and finally cash extraction from a third local account, thus breaking the electronic trail.
Money Run – – Physically carrying large amounts of cash over long distances, often crossing international jurisdictions.
Mooch – – (1.)Older meaning, someone always begging or borrowing; (2.)In the Boiler Room trade, a ‘mooch’ is any eager client with an open wallet who is always first in line and just begging to be conned (see also ‘Whale’)
Number Two Book – – A counterfeit passport.
Open – – (1.)First contact with a client; (2.)First invoice to a client; (3.)First sale to a client. (See also related term, ‘Front’)
Opening Room – – A Boiler Room where cold calls are made to fresh clients to introduce them to bogus IPO’s, stocks, commodities, futures, options and investment funds.
Pamps or Pampers – – Taken literally from the brand name of diapers. Refers to having sex with anyone underage. Common usage, “packing the pampers”, or “splitting the pampers”. No longer considered a politically correct sport, but still quite popular with the Boiler Room crowd in places like Makati.
Paper – – See “leads” or “data”.
Percentages – – Generally a negotiated split of the entire take; For example, salesmen generally earn as little as 8 to 10 percent of the entire take, while everyone else is really in the money and is driving new and flashy cars.
Phase Two – – “P2” – – (1.)Any second phase of an existing con; (2.)Also taken to mean the rather specialized practice of finding lists of clients who were drained in “Phase One” rooms, or opening rooms, and taking them again with Rule 144 Scams, Tax Scams, and Stock Swap Scams.
Pikers – – Losers.
Plastic – – Credit Cards. Especially used in reference to stolen credit cards or hacked credit card numbers.
Protection, Protector – – (See “Security”)
Points – – (See “Percentages”) “Ten-Points” equals “Ten Percentage Points”.
Pitch – – The talk. The sale. Often read from a canned script by the telephone salesmen. (see also ‘Scripts’)
Plant – – Generally a salesman, or ideally an admin, intentionally planted in a competing room for the purpose of stealing leads or for gathering information to profile a room for future extortions and robberies.
Pre-IPO – – A private offering made to select group of investors before the IPO is offered to the general public. (See ‘IPO’) In the real world, Pre-IPO offerings are generally available only as a restricted special class of stock to insiders who were part of the actual original project or business development effort. In the scam world, Pre-IPO’s are offered to anyone stupid enough to answer an unsolicited telephone call.
Product – – What the Boiler Room sells. The ‘Product’ may include stock, options, futures, commodities, or services.
Pump and Dump – – A scheme that involves a real stock of a real company in which the boiler room has purchased shares (typically microcap companies or ‘Penny Stocks’) The Boiler Room then touts or ‘pumps’ the stock through false and misleading statements to the marketplace. After pumping the stock, the fraudsters make huge profits by selling their cheap stock holdings back into the market.
Rip – – To “steal; Also “Rips”, sometimes taken to mean “Commissions”.
Reload List – – A list of clients that may be susceptible to endless phases and can be easily conned numerous times. See also ‘Mooch’ and “Whale’.
Rescam – – Going into the same client again, with the same deal, and conning him again. See also “Reload” and “Whale”.
Roll-Out – – The process of finalizing, debugging, and putting a scam online and in operation. See also ‘Start-Up’.
Rule 144 Scam – – The process of convincing a client that: (a.)His worthless stock has value; (b.)That a mystery buyer exists who wants to purchase the stock for some astronomical figure; (c.)Making an offer to purchase on behalf of the mystery third-party; (d.)Going back into the client with “bad news”, and convincing him that his stock is ‘Restricted’ under SEC Rule 144, and that the stock cannot be legally sold until the buyer pays a fee to ‘Lift the Restriction’.
Salesmen – – Telephone salesmen. Used collectively to include openers, closers and loaders.
Scripts – – Literally the words or lines memorized for acting in a play. The script is a pre-written, and well-rehearsed written summary of dialogue, often with selections of “if-then” choices and decision-trees used by the telephone salesman as a guide while speaking on the phone to a perspective client.
Scum – – ‘Other’ boiler room guys, but not you, of course, certainly not you.
Security – – Comes in numerous flavours: (1.)Local cops on the take; (2.)Standard-issue English-speaking white guys discharged from the Armed Forces, invariably with a ‘Rambo’ complex; (3.)Ex-Spetsnaz types with Russian or Slovak accents; (4.)Drugged-up British junkies who think they are tough; (5.)Friends and associates of any of the above; The purpose of security is to allegedly “protect” the boiler room and its workers from theft, coercion, intimidation, arrest, or kidnapping; Don’t kid yourself. The real purpose of security is to run an old-fashioned mafia-style protection scheme wherein you are protected from the protectors as long as you pay protection money to the protectors.
Set-Up – – A complete ‘Set-Up’, for operating a boiler room, includes: (a.)physical location, (b.)Internet and VoIP phones, (c.)staff, (d.)false I.D.’s, (e.)corporations, (f.)bank accounts, (g.)security, (h.)Fax and Email accounts (i.)virtual addresses, (j.)Leads, (k.)an initial operating budget, (l.)admin documents, (m.)pitches, and perhaps numerous other bells and whistles, depending on the complexity and nature of the scam. Every telephone monkey dreams of running his own room, because “he could do it so much better”, but most of them don’t have a clue what it takes to get a complete ‘Set-Up’ into operation.
Shark Bait – – (See also “Kidnap Magnet”) anyone who has been in the trade too long and who has either (1.)squirreled away too much money or has (2.)spent too much money living a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, and has therefore attracted the attention of protectors, enforcers, cops, and bottom-feeders. (See also “Flashy Life Style”)
Slamming – – (1.)To close. To deliver; (2.)To show disrespect to anyone
Slapping – – As in “slapping him around”, (1.)To verbally abuse a meek, timid, and submissive client in a telephone conversation; (2.)To push anyone into a deal; (3.)To show disrespect to anyone.
Slopping – – To run a ‘Slop Shop’ or to otherwise engage specifically in “rescuing” clients from a previous bad investments by using a ‘Phase Two’ con. (See also ‘Chop Shop’)
Splits – – Splitting a shared commission between two salesman who worked a client together, or splitting a commission between an opener and a loader who worked the same client at different times.
Slinging – – Moving, delivering, selling.
Stage Name – – Made-up false names used by Boiler Room salesmen in verbal and written communications with clients.
Start-Up – – Initiation of a new business venture.
Steve and John – – Every third person that you meet in the Boiler Room Trade is named either ‘Steve’ or ‘John’. There seems to be no logical genetic or cultural explanation for this phenomenon.
Stock Swap Scam – – A variation of an advance fee scam wherein the client is made to believe that he can cash in the face value of an otherwise poorly performing or worthless stock, if he will pay a fee in order to trade his worthless stock for what is simply more worthless stock. See also “Phase Two”.
Tackle – – Drugs.
Tax Scam – – Both a variation and a load on the ‘Phase Two’ scam, wherein the client is led to believe that even though his ‘Rule 144 Restrictions’ have been successfully lifted, that the client must still pay taxes on his stock before his shares can be sold.
Tombstoning – – The use of the names and data of dead persons to commit fraud or identity theft.
TQ – – Telephone Qualifier. The starting position in a Boiler Room, wherein the caller simply checks the pulse of the target, and tries to find out his net worth and holdings.
Telling’s Not Selling – – Unsuccessful sales guys read a script with no conviction, no enthusiasm, and no excitement. However, to truly “sell”, you have to pretend to believe in what you are selling, and have enthusiasm in your voice.
The Industry – – Refers to the Boiler Room Trade. Easier to say and sounds more respectable than saying “Guys Like Us Who Are Engaged in Securities Fraud”.
The Fourteen Baht Solution – – Taken literally from the average price of a round of 9mm ammunition, meaning literally to kill someone or to have them killed.
Ticket – – (1.)A chit or receipt used to keep track of anticipated payouts that are due to a salesmen after the money is laundered; (2.)An offering of money to have someone ‘Done’, a hit contract.
Triangulation – – The use of signal response time from cell phone towers in order to precisely pinpoint the location of a cell phone and its user. In boil room folklore, this somewhat over-rated piece of technical wizardry is used to explain how a room was located and subsequently “taken down” or raided by Law Enforcement. When, in fact, the most likely explanation is that a bottom-feeder, who was loosely associated with the room, was caught by the police slinging plastic, and made a deal, ratting out his brothers and sisters. (See also “Five Words” and “Fish Food”)
TT – – Telegraphic transfer. Since it is unlikely that clients will pay via Western Union, or mail a shoe box full of cash, and since you don’t want to accept cheques, the client must ‘wire’ his money, via Telegraphic Transfer, to the Client Deposit Account. See also ‘Banker’ and ‘Money Laundering’.
TA – – Transfer Agent – – In the real world, ‘Transfer Agents’ are responsible for stock transfers and registrations, as well as for financial transfers. In the Boiler Room Trade, mythical TA’s are created to support transactions, especially in the Phase Two Rule 144 ‘Restrictions’ Scam, since it is the TA’s role to accept the client’s payment, and to ‘Lift the Restrictions’.
Under the Ether – – When a client is under the almost mystical spell of a highly qualified telephone salesman, the client is said to be ‘Under the Ether’, as if paralyzed by an anaesthetic.
UTR – – “Under the Radar” – – The practice of keeping physical locations, travel routines, and identities well-hidden.
Visa Run – – Since it is difficult for Boiler Rooms to obtain legitimate work visas and work permits for their employees, the salesmen must learn how to live semi-legally using tourist visas and retirement permits, all of which require frequent and sometimes creative ‘Visa Runs’.
Wall Street – – (1.)A loose reference to the Stock Market in general; (2.)Where you aren’t but where you pretend to be. See also “CBD”.
Warrant – – (1.)In the real world, a transaction involving a derivative; (2.)In a Boiler Room ‘Phase Two’ scam, ‘Warrants’ are frequently part of the Capital Gains Tax Load; (3.)A piece of paper held by an FBI officer, with your name and address on it.
Whale – – Big investor, big client; A genuine idiot easily and repeatedly conned.
Whipsaw – – To lose money in a volatile market by buying before rapid drops and selling before rapid rises. e.g., “Man, you got whipsawed, but, hey, you’re a savvy investor, you know that the commodities and options market swings both ways, right”?
[And I probably left out a few buzz words and definitions]
So now when we hear them mouthing off on the skytrain we will know what they are on about.