Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 618993 times)

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Jules1980

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #75 on: October 17, 2012, 01:39:04 PM »
I once got an email that said:

Help!  I'm stuck in Mexico and I can't get home.  I am at my wit's end and I have no one else to turn to.  Things are getting really bad.  Please help me, you are my last resort.

Love,
Shaun.

Out of area phone number

Well, since I didn't know any Shauns, I didn't respond.  Especially since I was eating ramen noodles for breakfast, rolling pennies for gas money broke at the time and couldn't have helped anyone get home from Mexico anyway.  Guess they never counted on sending it to someone even more broke than poor Shaun.

magician5

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #76 on: October 17, 2012, 02:05:47 PM »
I read a news article about an elderly couple who spent their life savings and took out a second mortgage on their home because they fell for one of those scams. By the time their children caught on, the elderly couple were over $100,000 in debt, had a lot of "final notice" bills due, and were behind in their mortgage to the point that they nearly got foreclosed on.

This is going to make me unpopular, I fear.

I'd love to be more outraged at crooks targeting the vulnerable, but in most traditions aren't elders supposed to be wiser than younger folks? There's a certain level of "savvy" you have to have to be out there in the marketplace without supervision.

OF COURSE it's cruel and outrageous, but we all, young and old, are responsible for defending ourselves daily from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". There have always been wolves lurking around, always.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 02:10:32 PM by magician5 »
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wolfie

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #77 on: October 17, 2012, 02:11:53 PM »
I once got an email that said:

Help!  I'm stuck in Mexico and I can't get home.  I am at my wit's end and I have no one else to turn to.  Things are getting really bad.  Please help me, you are my last resort.

Love,
Shaun.

Out of area phone number

Well, since I didn't know any Shauns, I didn't respond.  Especially since I was eating ramen noodles for breakfast, rolling pennies for gas money broke at the time and couldn't have helped anyone get home from Mexico anyway.  Guess they never counted on sending it to someone even more broke than poor Shaun.

I want to know how come Shaun can get access to a computer, but can't make a phone call. Granted all my knowledge of Mexican prisons is from tv shows but I didn't get the feeling that there was a computer and internet service readily available there.

CharlieBraun

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #78 on: October 17, 2012, 02:13:47 PM »
A scam that has been going around in my neck of the woods is teenagers/young adults calling elderly folks and saying 'Hi, Grandma(pa).  I'm stuck in (whatever) town and need money to fix my car.  Can you wire it to me?'  Then Grandma(pa) says, 'Is that you, Billy?' and the scammer now has a name to latch onto and manages to get the money sent.

My parents got caught in that.  Both, college educated, mom has a master's in mathematics.  Instead of it being a car needing fixing, it was that he was arrested in a foreign country, ashamed to call his parents, and needed the money to get bailed out.  A "special agent" then called my parents to give them the particulars of the arrest, saying that he had a way to get him bailed out early, otherwise it was a 6 month backlog of court cases and he would be in prison in Foreign Country for that whole time.

Their opening line?  "Hi Grandma, this is your favorite grandson."  From there they got the name, as mom said "Ted!  How are you?" *  I pointed out to my mother that we don't use "Grandma" in our family, but a different word that is pretty much only used in Philadelphia and the Delaware River Valley.

They lost $2,000.  Once we (the kids) demanded that it be reported to the police, they found out that others had lost thousands or tens of thousands.


*My parents only have one grandson, so it wasn't favoritism....
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Jules1980

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2012, 04:01:58 PM »
I once got an email that said:

Help!  I'm stuck in Mexico and I can't get home.  I am at my wit's end and I have no one else to turn to.  Things are getting really bad.  Please help me, you are my last resort.

Love,
Shaun.

Out of area phone number

Well, since I didn't know any Shauns, I didn't respond.  Especially since I was eating ramen noodles for breakfast, rolling pennies for gas money broke at the time and couldn't have helped anyone get home from Mexico anyway.  Guess they never counted on sending it to someone even more broke than poor Shaun.

I want to know how come Shaun can get access to a computer, but can't make a phone call. Granted all my knowledge of Mexican prisons is from tv shows but I didn't get the feeling that there was a computer and internet service readily available there.

You know, I wondered that too.  If he had a phone number for me to call, why didn't he just call me, or whoever he was intending to call?  I just wrote it off as a phishing scam and forgot about it till this thread.

I have also won millions of dollars from dead Nigerian princes and foriegn lotteries.  Too bad I never have the spare thousands to send them for taxes.
LOL.

Pippen

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #80 on: October 17, 2012, 04:20:56 PM »
A couple of months after I moved back from the UK I got an email from my old landlord and next door neighbour but it was actually one of the 419 scammers using his name and details so the coincidence was spooky to say the least. He was a Queens Council in the UK and a High Court judge in his home country and was extremely well known there.

The email was a total fraud but the info they had on him and his activities was all legit so they must have done a bit of research on him. I emailed him at his Chambers to let him know what they were up to. He wasn't pleased but there is nothing you could do about it. I had always thought they used made up people but clearly not.


Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #81 on: October 17, 2012, 04:36:48 PM »
The "Hey grandma, it's your grandson!" Makes me chuckle, because I don't know many people who would call and just say "It's your grandson" instead of identifying themselves by name, so that would sound sketchy to me right off the bat.
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Sirius

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #82 on: October 17, 2012, 04:42:51 PM »
It would be like someone calling me and saying, "It's your favorite brother."  Not going to fool me.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2012, 04:52:25 PM »
Right. I mean, it's something my brother would say jokingly because he's my only brother, but I also recognize his voice. 

If my boys called mil saying "It's your grandson!" She'd say "Which one?"  (the older two are close in age and do sound rather similar on the phone) so the scam wouldn't work on her. :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Twik

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #84 on: October 17, 2012, 05:02:27 PM »
I once got an email that said:

Help!  I'm stuck in Mexico and I can't get home.  I am at my wit's end and I have no one else to turn to.  Things are getting really bad.  Please help me, you are my last resort.

Love,
Shaun.

Out of area phone number

Well, since I didn't know any Shauns, I didn't respond.  Especially since I was eating ramen noodles for breakfast, rolling pennies for gas money broke at the time and couldn't have helped anyone get home from Mexico anyway.  Guess they never counted on sending it to someone even more broke than poor Shaun.

I got one from my boss, who was supposedly stuck in England without a passport, and needed $2,000 dollars to straighten things out. Before the penny dropped, I thought, "Why on earth would he think I would have it? He knows how much he pays me!"

Of course, the scammers think, "It only takes one...."
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LilacRosey

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers, lilacrosey
« Reply #85 on: October 17, 2012, 06:10:54 PM »
I was a ta gas station once and someone came up asking me for money for gas for his car and as he was pointing over at his car a lady came out of the gas station stor and got in and drove off. Tried not to laugh and went into the store instead because that probably would have been rude even though I was being scammed. Some people!  ;)

tiff019

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #86 on: October 17, 2012, 07:43:23 PM »
I once got an email that said:

Help!  I'm stuck in Mexico and I can't get home.  I am at my wit's end and I have no one else to turn to.  Things are getting really bad.  Please help me, you are my last resort.

Love,
Shaun.

Out of area phone number

Well, since I didn't know any Shauns, I didn't respond.  Especially since I was eating ramen noodles for breakfast, rolling pennies for gas money broke at the time and couldn't have helped anyone get home from Mexico anyway.  Guess they never counted on sending it to someone even more broke than poor Shaun.

I got one from my boss, who was supposedly stuck in England without a passport, and needed $2,000 dollars to straighten things out. Before the penny dropped, I thought, "Why on earth would he think I would have it? He knows how much he pays me!"

Of course, the scammers think, "It only takes one...."

With these, they hack into someone's email account and send the email out to the entire address book hoping to catch someone. It happened to a friend of mine - and he had a hell of a time cleaning his email account up after that (they changed his password so he couldn't get back in to block them out of it!)

NutellaNut

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #87 on: October 17, 2012, 07:55:41 PM »
I was once the "please help me, I have no money to get home!" person.

My boyfriend of the time called me late-ish one evening.  He was diabetic and had just had a fairly major blood sugar episode - where he drove, hallucinating, to the grocery store, and came to himself gobbling cookies in the parking lot.  He told me not to come out to him, but, frantic, I raced across town, taking two buses to get to his place.  I checked on him and we talked a bit, but then he rather firmly sent me home - he wasn't about to have me fussing unnecessarily over him.  I took the first bus I needed to get home, but then, at the bus stop, the second bus never came.  By now it was around midnight in a big city, and apparently the buses had stopped. I had hardly any money - just enough for a bus ride, in fact - and this was before cell phones.  The area I was in was residential, with no cabs in sight.  In tears, I started trying to walk home (a ridiculously long walk).  At some point, I came across a middle-aged man sitting on his front porch having a smoke, and I poured out my whole sob story as only a melodramatic college student could.   He called a cab for me and gave me $5 to pay for it.  He wouldn't hear of me trying to pay him back.   I went back to the area the next day but couldn't figure which house it was, so was never able to give him cookies or thank him otherwise.  I hope he doesn't think I was a scammer - I was so grateful for his kindness.

RegionMom

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #88 on: October 17, 2012, 09:46:39 PM »
But see, he paid the cabbie, he did not give you the cash.  Well, he saw you get in the cab. 

That would have to a a pretty elaborate ruse--
have a friend paint a car like a cab, print up business cards, get the victim to call only that number, and then you get the cash and drive off one block, to locate another victim to scam with teh fake cabbie ruse!

 ;D

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Minmom3

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #89 on: October 17, 2012, 10:41:04 PM »
I read a news article about an elderly couple who spent their life savings and took out a second mortgage on their home because they fell for one of those scams. By the time their children caught on, the elderly couple were over $100,000 in debt, had a lot of "final notice" bills due, and were behind in their mortgage to the point that they nearly got foreclosed on.

This is going to make me unpopular, I fear.

I'd love to be more outraged at crooks targeting the vulnerable, but in most traditions aren't elders supposed to be wiser than younger folks? There's a certain level of "savvy" you have to have to be out there in the marketplace without supervision.

OF COURSE it's cruel and outrageous, but we all, young and old, are responsible for defending ourselves daily from "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune". There have always been wolves lurking around, always.

Elders in the prime of life, with no mental deficits may well be wiser.  The elderly being targeted by these creeps are NOT at their full mental capacity.  They are mentally debilitated, and as such, not capable of the reasoning to know that the plea for help/money/whatever is spurious, that the person ONLY wants their money.  When people are starting to lose cognition and memory, all kinds of things go wrong, and they are no longer wiser than even my cat!  Sometimes it takes an event to make the family aware of how the person's mentation has deteriorated.

At the point where I discovered my mother's new inability to live on her own - she had paid Vanity Fair ahead for the next 3 FULL years, because the magazine, as they so FREQUENTLY DO, sent her a bill to renew every time she paid the last bill.  She had no IDEA she'd paid it three times in 2 months...  Vanity Fair was not trying to be deceitful, that's just how most magazines do business these days.  When I get such a bill, I get annoyed and I tear it up and throw it away.  When Mom got it, she paid it.  It runs out some time next summer...  She also was subject to many UTI's, which severely impair *her* cognition.  Frighteningly so.  She sometimes can't finish a sentence because she can't remember how it started.  She lost track of her check book pretty badly.  Her handwriting deteriorated until it looked like spider on crack cocaine, and nobody could read it, let alone her.  She lost track of check numbers and dates and who she wrote the checks TO.  All this was without anybody at all trying deliberately to take advantage of her. 

Add into that mental mix somebody actively TRYING to trick an old person, and that old person is either up a creek with no paddle in sight, or if they're really lucky, they have family keeping tabs on things and the plan is discovered before it results in a damaged house or an empty bank account.  They have passed the stage of living alone safely, but nobody may yet realize that fact.
Mother to children and fuzz butts....