Search This Blog

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 fiancĂ©, 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.


Jordan Summers said...

Holy crap! I wouldn't go to the bank if I got one of those calls, but I know it would freak me out. I'd also immediately call the police.

BernardL said...

They really messed up my Mother-In-Law. If anyone gets a call like that, Jordan, call the local FBI number. The police don't have the means to pursue it. The FBI does with their data mining system already in place. Whether they do or not is anyone's guess. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

The complete "scum" nature of some humans never ceases to depress me.

BernardL said...

Low down dirty dogs comes to mind as a descriptive phrase for these clowns, Charles - but that would be an insult to dogs. :)

whydibuy said...

Thats why I have NO facebook page or any personal info out on me over the internet.

It is surprising what people disclose with a internet site but wouldn't remotely consider doing in person.

Everything, save for secure, corp sites that I use for business purposes, has a phony name and personal details attached to it.

Who I am and where I am is none of your damn business. Nor the scammers.

Ebay has seen more and more scammers in its ranks and is a big reason its declined in popularity.
And don't get me started with craigslist. People inviting strangers to their homes to look at valuble items. C'mon folks. Meet at a public place or consign it to an auction. Never your private address.

People are trusting. Like that American Pickers show. Two guys knock on someones door and the people let them in and wander among their property.
It would be a great ruse for a distraction burglary which happens often to trusting seniors. A team of thieves come in while the " picker" is keeping the homeowner occupied.

Maybe I'm paranoid but I was in Detroit for 20 years and I have seen all kinds of cons and scams attempted where I worked. I trust no one.

BernardL said...

All good points, whydibuy. The main plus with Facebook is being able to stay easily in touch with family spread out all over the country - but it is one of the most dangerous personal information sites on the Internet, used by scammers, predators, and burglars.