Thursday, July 22, 2010
Phone Terror Scam
Yesterday my Mother-In-Law back in Ohio called my wife in a panic. She had received a call from police supposedly in Mexico claiming my Daughter, her fiancé, and my grandson had been in an accident. They were okay but it would take $5,000 to get them released. My M.I.L. was to get the money transferred immediately from her bank – all of this while my Daughter is supposedly screaming for Grandma in the background not to call us. They said they would call back in forty-five minutes. The wife’s Mom fell for it and went to her bank where the real heroine of the day, a bank employee, told her not to do anything until she received more information including calling my wife.
I apprise my wife of all the scams going on, including the E-mail scam where dirtbags hijack a person’s E-mail address and send out help pleas from foreign countries to loved ones saying they had an accident and lost their money, begging for money transfers they’ll pay back. My wife immediately told her Mom not to do anything, that it was a scam, and she would prove it. She called my Daughter who of course was at work - then called me. I got the Cleveland, Ohio FBI number off the Internet and my M.I.L. called them. We may or may not find out if they manage to get these people in the follow-up but their phone number had Indonesian and Southern USA threads. These scammers may have garnered the family info off of any number of places like My Space, Facebook, Twitter… whatever. I’m betting it was my Daughter’s Facebook page.
I’m posting this because it’s important to let family and friends know about all the fraud ploys stemming from the Internet. They’ve expanded the fraud to physical phone calls with imitators crying for help in the background, preying on older folks like my M.I.L. who don’t know what’s going on. Don’t ask me why an otherwise intelligent woman would immediately go to her bank rather than call my wife – that will have to remain a mystery. :) Thankfully a woman at the bank saved my M.I.L. from doing something really stupid.