Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 601036 times)

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Lindenharp

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2295 on: February 17, 2014, 01:26:13 AM »
I received an email this morning informing me that I'd won the Spanish National Lottery.  The email was covered with all kinds of official-looking government seals and emblems, it came from an office with a street address in Madrid, and it was signed by Don Jose Gomez.  The most interesting thing about it was that all of the text was in German.

I showed it to a friend in Germany, who informed me that the Spanish lottery officials write very bad German, almost as if they'd run the text through Google Translate. 

That reminded me of another email I'd received years ago, from a Sgt. Brown of the U.S. Army.  He was stationed in Iraq, and he wanted my help getting Saddam's gold out of the country.  Sgt. Brown also wrote very bad German.

Why German?  I have no idea.

onikenbai

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2296 on: February 17, 2014, 05:29:20 AM »
My family has been plagued with the "Congratulations, you've won a tropical vacation!" phone calls.  I get them all the time, but I get the autobot.  I can't seem to get rid of it... for every number I block on my phone, another one just takes its place.  Occasionally, my parents get actual people.  The other day my father had some time to kill when the spammers called with the good news of his imminent tropical travel, pending the receipt of his credit card number to secure choice seating on the airplane.  The conversation did not go as planned:

Spammer:  You've won!
Da:  Fabulous!  Come get me.
Spammer:  What?
Da:  I'll be ready in 10 minutes.  Actually, make that 20... If I'm getting on a plane I don't like airplane bathrooms.  They really weren't constructed for people more than 6ft tall.  I can pack in 5 minutes; tropical isn't all that hard to do.
Spammer:  But...
Da:  If it's too hard to come get me, I'm only 5km from the airport.  I don't mind taking a cab.  A $20 cab ride to the airport really does seem a reasonable tradeoff for a free vacation.
Spammer:  We will need your credit card number...
Da:  Why do you need that?  A free vacation, by its very definition, does not require the use of my credit card.  If I have indeed won this vacation, then I think your credit card is in order.  So come get me.  I'll be ready by the time you get here.

The spammer then hung up on him.  Hopefully he's been placed on the spammer's personal do not call list.

ladyknight1

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2297 on: February 17, 2014, 08:37:24 AM »
^ Love it!

Snooks

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2298 on: February 17, 2014, 01:17:43 PM »
I got an email from Kickstarter.Com (fund raising website) today saying their data was hacked.  They said email addresses and passwords were taken so if you used the same password for any other site it was advisable to change it. 

Since they included a link to change your data I assumed it was a scam.  Hours later, I went to the official website and they DID have a warning about stolen data.

Because I'm lazy about passwords (Paypal, Amazon, etc.) I spent a frantic 20 minutes changing each an every one.  Then I deleted my Kickstarter account.  If a friend or relative launches a project, I (might) send a check.

Thanks, you've reminded me of places I used my kickstarter password.

lilfox

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2299 on: February 17, 2014, 01:27:23 PM »
My MIL also humored one of those "you've won a cruise!" calls, just to see how it played out.  First she had to answer some survey questions that seemed harmless enough, and then the guy said congratulations, you're all set up for your free cruise. We just need you to pay the port taxes of $78. MIl said no, you said it was a free cruise, why would I be paying anything? After a little back and forth, she was bumped up to the supervisor.

She said he explained why she would have to pay the taxes, but then it comes out that a) the cruise leaves from Miami, which is about as far from where MIL lives as you can get in the US, and b) it's a one night cruise. So she said, in addition to the port taxes, I would need to fly 3000 miles on my own dime to go on my "free" cruise for one night? No thanks.

Much like a time share spiel, the cruise might have actually been free, with lots of pressure to extend at your cost and/or be bombarded with sales pitches the whole time.

artk2002

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2300 on: February 17, 2014, 03:11:07 PM »
I've gotten several phone calls this week from "Microsoft Technical Department". For those who don't know, this scam involves people who claim to be from Microsoft or an affiliated company.  Viruses/corrupted files have been detected on your computer.  To fix the problem, you just have to follow instructions and type some simple commands into your computer.

I hang up as soon as the scammer introduces himself, so I only know about what comes next because I've read explanations on the Web. The scammer directs you to look at a certain file which is full of error messages.  These are all normal, minor errors, but the scammer claims that they are proof that Terrible Things will happen if you don't follow his instructions. Next, he has you download some software that will allow him to control your computer remotely.  Then he "fixes" your computer and badgers you into buying an expensive "software warranty".  Naturally he needs your credit card information for that.  The scariest part is that the scammer now has access to your computer.  He can introduce viruses, steal personal information, or delete all your files.

From what I've read, most of these scammers operate out of large call centers in India.  They use various techniques to conceal their phone numbers from Caller ID, and they target people in English-speaking countries: U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia.
http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

You are correct. I walked one through the process up to the point that they wanted me to download software and pay them money. It was fairly amusing. I ended the call, somewhat snarkily, pointing out that I had likely forgotten more about computers and software then they or their script actually knew. I've often wanted to ask these scammers how they felt about lying to people and conning them out of money.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

artk2002

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2301 on: February 17, 2014, 03:21:52 PM »
I don't know if it was a scammer, but it was certainly someone very persistent in the face of overwhelming evidence...

My younger son got a smart phone a few months ago. Since he got it, he'd been receiving calls for a "Ryan Finglehoffer". It seemed as if these calls were coming from the same source.  Every time, he told them that there was no "Ryan Finglehoffer" at that number. One day, he got one while I was there and I got on the phone with the person, trying to find out what was up. It turns out that this number was entered on a fast loan site by someone using the "Ryan Finglehoffer" name. Despite my pointing out that my son was a minor and unable to enter into a contract, that his name wasn't "Ryan Finglehoffer," and that we weren't interested in a loan anyway, the caller kept repeating that the information was in their web site as if that were some kind of magical spell that would get us to talk to him.

I asked for a supervisor and the supervisor called back a few minutes later, again repeating that the information was in their web site. The idea that perhaps that number had been reissued and that it was clear that we didn't want a loan seemed to be lost on the supervisor. Threats to report them to the FTC had no effect. The funny thing is that I can't recall exactly what I said that got them to stop, but it was something very minor. All of a sudden they were "ok, we'll stop."
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

aiki

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2302 on: February 17, 2014, 03:32:37 PM »
I can't recall exactly what I said that got them to stop, but it was something very minor. All of a sudden they were "ok, we'll stop."

I can tell you what got collections to stop calling our place looking for a less than honest former flatmate. It was me asking them politely to please call back if they ever found him, as we'd like a wee word with him too.

"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde

Queen of Clubs

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2303 on: February 18, 2014, 09:45:40 AM »
I received an email this morning informing me that I'd won the Spanish National Lottery.  The email was covered with all kinds of official-looking government seals and emblems, it came from an office with a street address in Madrid, and it was signed by Don Jose Gomez.  The most interesting thing about it was that all of the text was in German.

A friend of mine in the US keeps on getting emails from the queen (Queen Elizabeth II) telling her she's won the national lottery.  I think she's won 3 or more times by now.  I'm rather sad because the queen's never emailed me and I'm British. :(

On the plus side, I did have three separate men email me from the same bank offering me millions if I gave them my bank details.  Between them and the ladies who are looking for unselfish people to look after their millions, I think I'll be set for life.

MrTango

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2304 on: February 18, 2014, 11:11:13 AM »
I got a phone call this morning from the 585 area code (Rochester, NY).  Not recognizing the number, I let it go to voicemail. Apparently, I owe the IRS money and they need me to "not play games" and return their call right away. I think the caller gave his callback number twice, but his accent was so thick (and his English so terrible) that I couldn't quite make it out.

Maybe this is wrong, but I would think that if I owed the IRS money, they'd have someone who actually speaks English clearly be the one to contact me.  Also, wouldn't they have an 800 number, or at least a local number with a DC area code?

pwv

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2305 on: February 18, 2014, 11:14:25 AM »
I received an email this morning informing me that I'd won the Spanish National Lottery.  The email was covered with all kinds of official-looking government seals and emblems, it came from an office with a street address in Madrid, and it was signed by Don Jose Gomez.  The most interesting thing about it was that all of the text was in German.

A friend of mine in the US keeps on getting emails from the queen (Queen Elizabeth II) telling her she's won the national lottery.  I think she's won 3 or more times by now.  I'm rather sad because the queen's never emailed me and I'm British. :(

On the plus side, I did have three separate men email me from the same bank offering me millions if I gave them my bank details.  Between them and the ladies who are looking for unselfish people to look after their millions, I think I'll be set for life.

I just got this in my spam folder:

You have won 800,000.00 British pound lottery February promo, fill in the form below for your prize claim.  Contact Evans Brian for your claims at this Email:evmoore6@gmail.com; Write your information below.  Full name/Address /Sex/Date of Birth/occupation/Country.  Waiting to receive your email. Regards

jmarvellous

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2306 on: February 18, 2014, 11:18:55 AM »
MrTango, the IRS has plenty of offices nationally. It's possible to get a call from one of those. But this page has some good information about what they will and won't ask you: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Identity-Protection-Tips

I don't think an accent or an area code was your tip-off; the language about playing games probably was.

The IRS office in Rochester, NY: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Contact-My-Local-Office-in-New-York

Virg

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2307 on: February 18, 2014, 12:14:04 PM »
MrTango wrote:

"Maybe this is wrong, but I would think that if I owed the IRS money, they'd have someone who actually speaks English clearly be the one to contact me.  Also, wouldn't they have an 800 number, or at least a local number with a DC area code?"

If the IRS wanted to talk to you, they'd mail you a letter.  If they really wanted to talk to you, they'd send a sheriff to deliver it.

Virg

wolfie

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2308 on: February 18, 2014, 12:16:02 PM »
I got a phone call this morning from the 585 area code (Rochester, NY).  Not recognizing the number, I let it go to voicemail. Apparently, I owe the IRS money and they need me to "not play games" and return their call right away. I think the caller gave his callback number twice, but his accent was so thick (and his English so terrible) that I couldn't quite make it out.

Maybe this is wrong, but I would think that if I owed the IRS money, they'd have someone who actually speaks English clearly be the one to contact me.  Also, wouldn't they have an 800 number, or at least a local number with a DC area code?

When the IRS mistakenly thought I owed them money they sent me a letter. No phone calls at all. The letter was nice - i could send it to  my accountant as is so he could prove why the money wasn't actually owned. If I had to write the info from a phone call down who knows what info would have been missed.

Alli8098

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #2309 on: February 18, 2014, 12:23:46 PM »
I got a phone call this morning from the 585 area code (Rochester, NY).  Not recognizing the number, I let it go to voicemail. Apparently, I owe the IRS money and they need me to "not play games" and return their call right away. I think the caller gave his callback number twice, but his accent was so thick (and his English so terrible) that I couldn't quite make it out.

Maybe this is wrong, but I would think that if I owed the IRS money, they'd have someone who actually speaks English clearly be the one to contact me.  Also, wouldn't they have an 800 number, or at least a local number with a DC area code?

That sounds like the same area code with the call I got last year trying to extort money out of me saying I owed a debt.  BTW, apparently we've had a snafu with our 2012 filing and the IRS is trying to collect money.  However they sent me a letter in the mail with the details.  I didn't get a pushy call from someone trying to collect the debt.  Luckily for us filing an amended return should fix our problem.  They say we never reported my husband's unemployment income when we in fact did report it.  It could be a figure is off somewhere and according to my CPA friend the IRS can get very picky and/or confused (I'm leaning toward confused) if something doesn't match up exactly. 

Anyway back to that voicemail, ignore it.  If you owe the IRS they will contact you by mail or possibly from your local office.  If they call again and you answer get their info and let them know you are reporting them to the Attorney General.  In my case with the phone call from that area code it is a known scam and the Attorney General (usually your local one) wants to know if you are getting phone calls like that so they can try to take action.