Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 461312 times)

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CakeBeret

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1485 on: August 13, 2013, 02:48:58 PM »
We are on guard at the hotel for this latest scam.

The scammers (usually a couple) will be dressed nicely and will act like they are guests of the hotel. They will cruise around the hotel floors until they locate a housekeeper cleaning an occupied suite. Then they will walk right into the room, and say something like "Oh, hello. Don't mind me. You can keep working. I just needed to swing in and grab my laptop," or "If you would please excuse me, I need a few minutes of privacy here, please." They speak with such authority and seem so confident that it can trick the maid into assuming that this is the guest who is staying in the room, and they immediately comply with whatever they are asked. The end result is that a thief can brazenly walk out with a bag, electronics, and personal items, all within a matter of minutes, and the maid won't raise any alarm. The theft isn't discovered until later, when the real guests get back to their room.

We've alerted everyone on staff about this ruse. Housekeeping is now trained that if a guest returns to the room while the maid is servicing it, she needs to ask the guest to present their valid key card to the door before she can allow them into the room. Most of our guests really appreciate being asked to to verify themselves, actually. They are glad to know that the maid won't let just anyone come into their room while they are away.

I'm morbidly impressed with how brazen that is.
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Slartibartfast

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1486 on: August 13, 2013, 03:41:56 PM »
This could also go into the "things that make your brain hurt" folder, but search isn't working so it's going here  :)  I could edit out the bank in question, but I'm not feeling particularly charitable to them right now so it's staying in.

I got a suspicious email yesterday, something like this:

Quote
Dear Valued Merchant,

This notification is from your payments processor, Intuit Payment Solutions.  We are contacting you with respect to a recent case opened on your behalf.

Please open the attached Merchant Accounting notice.  It has detailed information regarding your case 112939046.  To inquire about your case, please find the contact information needed in the attachment.

Thank you for choosing Intuit Payment Solutions!

It came with an attached .pdf.  Now, I wasn't born yesterday - I don't open strange attachments from financial companies, especially when they only know me as "valued merchant."  And doubly so when the email comes from an address like "IMSDocumentation[AT]innovativemerchant.com" - which doesn't share any part of a domain name with the company I actually work through.

On the other hand, I *did* just use my account this weekend for the first time in months (it's a swipe account that lets me accept credit cards when I do craft fairs - I haven't sold my jewelry other than via Etsy for quite a while so my account just sat dormant).  And when I went digging, I discovered that I had received another email from the same address over the weekend telling me I had to add a bank account to my profile:

Quote
MERCHANT ACCOUNT NUMBER: [number]
Dear [my name],
Thanks for signing up with Intuit Payment Solutions. To make sure you get paid as fast as possible, enter your deposit bank account information.
Tell us where to send your money:
Visit the Merchant Service Center.  <--hyperlink
At the bottom of your account profile's Deposit Account Information section, add your bank account.
Sincerely,
The Intuit Payment Solutions Team
Please do not reply to this message.

That one came with a .pdf also.  Instead of clicking a strange link, I went to the site manually, and I did indeed have to add a bank to my account so they could make the deposit.

So yeah - timing was reasonable and the first email did include my real name and account number, but I wasn't expecting anything about a "case 112939046" and the email still smelled fishy (or phishy).  So I contacted the fraud department via their online form and asked if the email was legit.

I got a second email today, identical to the former one posted above.  So this time I called their customer support line.  You know what's even more fun than 15 minutes of a 1-minute muzak loop interrupted by someone telling me I could be doing this online right now?  Finding out that the fraud department replied to my email about sketchy .pdfs by sending their reply as another sketchy .pdf.

I did some more searching - their fraud site lists a handful of email addresses they send official correspondence from, but none use that particular domain name.  And there's no good way to get an actual email address to complain to - the CSR on the phone didn't have a clue (although she did agree that their system is pretty dumb), and the site only links you to contact forms instead of actual emails to real people.

It's not enough to make me refuse to use their company forever and ever, but if they want to reach me in the future they'll have to try snail mail  >:(
« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 03:43:31 PM by Slartibartfast »

Redwing

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1487 on: August 13, 2013, 04:52:02 PM »
I received a piece of spam today that started off trying to get me to buy life insurance.  After paging down a little, I found a long and detailed history of Elvis Presley's romantic history.  I almost posted the whole body of the message here, but it was really long. 

Very strange.

laud_shy_girl

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1488 on: August 14, 2013, 03:41:02 AM »
Not a scam, but leaves you wide open to fraud.

So I am with 9mobile (not real  >:D) and I am trying to cancil my account. called and they asked for my pin. Never had a pin so did what it said and went to my on line account to reset it.

All good so far.

I click the forgotten pin button and up pops two boxes asking for memorable name and memorable place.


Right below this is a section telling me what my... wait for it...  memorable name and memorable place are!  :o not reminders. The actual word spelled out.

I am calling this morning to cancel and I will ask to speak to their security department.   My brain hurts
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jayhawk

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1489 on: August 14, 2013, 09:46:26 AM »
Not sure if this is a scam attempt or not? Please let me know your thoughts!

I posted a purse on Craigslist - got a response asking if I'd take less. I said I would and gave a lower amount.  Then got a response saying she wanted to buy this as a gift and was concerned about making sure it was in good condition and was I able to take Paypal?  The English was not the best, not sure if that's am issue or not.

I responded by saying that I was not set up for Paypal and would prefer we meet in person so she could check the condition and that I preferred cash. Have not heard back, which kinds of leads me to believe that this was not an honest transaction. I can't really figure out how Paypal is used in this sort of scam?


VorFemme

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1490 on: August 14, 2013, 10:18:52 AM »
Not sure if this is a scam attempt or not? Please let me know your thoughts!

I posted a purse on Craigslist - got a response asking if I'd take less. I said I would and gave a lower amount.  Then got a response saying she wanted to buy this as a gift and was concerned about making sure it was in good condition and was I able to take Paypal?  The English was not the best, not sure if that's am issue or not.

I responded by saying that I was not set up for Paypal and would prefer we meet in person so she could check the condition and that I preferred cash. Have not heard back, which kinds of leads me to believe that this was not an honest transaction. I can't really figure out how Paypal is used in this sort of scam?



About two years ago, I had someone email ask if I would ship a laptop to them (Craigslist) and tell me that they were sending me the money by PayPal (they seem to have gotten my real email from my reply).  I got a notice of money being sent from "PayPal" - but when I checked my balance at PayPal.com - there was nothing deposited to it.  I sent all their emails to PayPal's fraud department.




Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Jones

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1491 on: August 14, 2013, 10:27:15 AM »
I've also heard of people using a stolen card on Paypal, and when the owner cancels the card and charges are reversed, it's too late for you to get your long-gone items back.

ica171

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1492 on: August 14, 2013, 10:53:42 AM »
DH got annoyed with me yesterday because I told him a car he found on Craigslist was a scam. He sent me an email from work telling me to email about this car RIGHT AWAY because it was such a fantastic deal. I clicked the link and it's a 2004 Honda Accord EX-L (or whatever the very top of the line version was) with 81k miles for $2067. The headline was written

=======like!======this!======

and it mentioned in at least three different places that it was a 3 liter engine. There was also a gmail address in the body of the text, which is not usual around here. I looked up the Kelly Blue Book value of the car and it was over $10k. I emailed him back and told him I thought that was a scam. He got annoyed with me and said that it wouldn't hurt to email, and I could just make a throwaway email address and use that. I didn't reply since I had just gotten the baby to sleep and that's when I work out, plus making a throwaway email address for an ad I knew was a scam was more work than I was willing to do. After I finished working out, I went back and clicked the link again and lo and behold, it had been flagged for removal.

I emailed DH and told him, and also told him a few things that are red flags for scams. The weird price, the excessive punctuation, restating a random piece of information over and over, the gmail address in the body of the ad, the fact that it was ridiculously cheap, etc. He replied that of course I could say that now, I had hindsight. I said no, these were immediate red flags for me and they should be for you, too. Later on when he was at home he saw a car priced at $2515 and said "I wonder if this is a scam too." After looking at the ad (almost no info, Yahoo email address in the body) I said probably. He thinks we should give these ads the benefit of the doubt, as "what if they just really need money?" I said "yeah, and what if the car is stolen?" He had no response for that.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1493 on: August 14, 2013, 10:55:14 AM »
I think that there should be a special circle of hell reserved for people who scam seniors.   >:(

I read an article (and it may have been mentioned earlier in this thread, too) that said that the part of your brain that is skeptical of scams and stuff like that deteriorates as you get older. That scares me, to think that you could be perfectly aware that something's not legit then get taken in by the same thing later in life.

I think (or I hope) that knowledge is power. If you /know/ what you just wrote here, you can keep it in mind and try to outweigh it by being extra alert, you know? And maybe by continuing to read a lot about scams as you grow older.

And when you get older, you can start to run financial decisions past younger, trusted members of your family first.  Not "going to buy a new dress at Kohl's," but, "going to send some money to this charity that called me last night."

My uncle said that in her later years, my grandmother was donating money to the opposite political party than what she'd staunchly supported most of her life. (she had Alzheimer's) One year she sent me 3 different birthday cards, each with $20 in it.  I had some mixed feelings about it and wanted to give it back to her but was told it would just embarrass her (very likely, she got embarrassed quite easily) so it was a kindness to just keep it. 

She's gone now but I wish I'd lived closer and could have taken her out to lunch with that $.
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darling

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1494 on: August 14, 2013, 01:08:21 PM »
Beggar story, brief, but annoying.

What do you do when you post on social media that you found a good deal on x-items, or you scored something awesome at a garage/yard/estate sale, and a relative consistently comments, "I want x item!" Like I had offered the item up for the taking? The thing is, some of the time, based on who it is, I know they are joking, but other times I can't tell if the person seriously thinks I should just give it to them because they asked for it...  ::) (I'm looking at you, Mom!)

For now, I just post back an LOL, but it's starting to make me hesitant about posting any "Scores", and it's taking some of the joy out of bargain hunting.

cwm

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1495 on: August 14, 2013, 01:14:21 PM »
Beggar story, brief, but annoying.

What do you do when you post on social media that you found a good deal on x-items, or you scored something awesome at a garage/yard/estate sale, and a relative consistently comments, "I want x item!" Like I had offered the item up for the taking? The thing is, some of the time, based on who it is, I know they are joking, but other times I can't tell if the person seriously thinks I should just give it to them because they asked for it...  ::) (I'm looking at you, Mom!)

For now, I just post back an LOL, but it's starting to make me hesitant about posting any "Scores", and it's taking some of the joy out of bargain hunting.

I'd offer to bring them with you next time you go to the garage sales. Sometimes that can be fun. And if they decline and keep commenting that they want X item, let them know that they'll be first on your list of people to notify when you decide to have your own garage sale and get rid of it. Then ignore.

VorFemme

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1496 on: August 14, 2013, 02:29:44 PM »
Beggar story, brief, but annoying.

What do you do when you post on social media that you found a good deal on x-items, or you scored something awesome at a garage/yard/estate sale, and a relative consistently comments, "I want x item!" Like I had offered the item up for the taking? The thing is, some of the time, based on who it is, I know they are joking, but other times I can't tell if the person seriously thinks I should just give it to them because they asked for it...  ::) (I'm looking at you, Mom!)

For now, I just post back an LOL, but it's starting to make me hesitant about posting any "Scores", and it's taking some of the joy out of bargain hunting.

"I didn't know that you were wanting one of them - I'll keep an eye out for another one & phone you if I find one - tell me what you were willing to pay, so I don't go over your budget!"

If they don't get back to you - don't look very hard.  If you do trip over one - call them to let them know that you found their item.  If it is a Singer Featherweight with the original table in good shape for only $100 - call ME, the table alone was running $300 (the tables got used to death as they were "card table size" with a cut out for the machine & a piece to fill in the cut out) a few years ago.

Quilters want Featherweights and the original tables.....
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mumma to KMC

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1497 on: August 14, 2013, 03:32:20 PM »
DH got annoyed with me yesterday because I told him a car he found on Craigslist was a scam. He sent me an email from work telling me to email about this car RIGHT AWAY because it was such a fantastic deal. I clicked the link and it's a 2004 Honda Accord EX-L (or whatever the very top of the line version was) with 81k miles for $2067. The headline was written

=======like!======this!======

and it mentioned in at least three different places that it was a 3 liter engine. There was also a gmail address in the body of the text, which is not usual around here. I looked up the Kelly Blue Book value of the car and it was over $10k. I emailed him back and told him I thought that was a scam. He got annoyed with me and said that it wouldn't hurt to email, and I could just make a throwaway email address and use that. I didn't reply since I had just gotten the baby to sleep and that's when I work out, plus making a throwaway email address for an ad I knew was a scam was more work than I was willing to do. After I finished working out, I went back and clicked the link again and lo and behold, it had been flagged for removal.

I emailed DH and told him, and also told him a few things that are red flags for scams. The weird price, the excessive punctuation, restating a random piece of information over and over, the gmail address in the body of the ad, the fact that it was ridiculously cheap, etc. He replied that of course I could say that now, I had hindsight. I said no, these were immediate red flags for me and they should be for you, too. Later on when he was at home he saw a car priced at $2515 and said "I wonder if this is a scam too." After looking at the ad (almost no info, Yahoo email address in the body) I said probably. He thinks we should give these ads the benefit of the doubt, as "what if they just really need money?" I said "yeah, and what if the car is stolen?" He had no response for that.

We moved to a new state, new part of the country, when my dh took a job here (we are midwesterners transplanted to the Deep South.) I took to craigslist to check out housing options and would send them to my dh. (He moved down while I took care of odds and ends and got our house ready for sale.) I quickly learned that anything below $600/month/rental was a scam or a house with out central air.  I had emailed about a house (via the craigslist reply button) and received an email back that the house I was looking at was rented, but if I'd fill out the attached form and email it back, they'd add me to their list and let me know when new houses become available.

The information requested: Names, DOB, SS #, address, birth city, etc. Stuff that you'd need to fill out for a credit check, but heck no I'm not sending that out when 1.  I have no idea who I'm actually emailing and 2. I've not even looked at a house.

Oh and after looking at a few ads on CL for rentals, I discovered that a lot of the "rentals available" had the same pictures.

magicdomino

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1498 on: August 15, 2013, 10:55:34 AM »
There's one intersection on my way to work that is the regular haunt of a rotating series of beggars.  There's even a couple of paths worn in the grass from people walking up and down the turn lanes, holding their handmade signs.  I've wondered if they know each other, is there a sign-up sheet or appointment book, do drivers keep handing out money when there is a beggar out there 4 days out of 5?   ???

This morning's beggar was a new one, a young woman who looked dressed for a cashier or waitress.  Perhaps she was picking up some spare change before going to her real job.

Margo

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #1499 on: August 15, 2013, 11:48:22 AM »
..Or maybe she is going for the 'dress for the job you want' approach