Author Topic: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers  (Read 712733 times)

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Shalamar

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #315 on: January 09, 2013, 01:41:24 PM »
A friend of mine got targeted by that Windows scam. She had a wonderful story:

The guy told her to sign on to her computer, hit this key, look at that screen, etc. etc.  She pretended to do everything he was telling her to do (she was actually sweeping the floor).  Finally, he asked "What do you see on the screen?"  She said "Huh - a warning message just popped up."  He was obviously not expecting that and asked "Really?  What does it say?"

"WARNING:  THE A****** ON THE PHONE IS TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF."

There was a brief pause followed by a very rude exclamation, then he hung up.   ;D

RebeccainGA

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #316 on: January 09, 2013, 01:52:34 PM »
A friend of mine got targeted by that Windows scam. She had a wonderful story:

The guy told her to sign on to her computer, hit this key, look at that screen, etc. etc.  She pretended to do everything he was telling her to do (she was actually sweeping the floor).  Finally, he asked "What do you see on the screen?"  She said "Huh - a warning message just popped up."  He was obviously not expecting that and asked "Really?  What does it say?"

"WARNING:  THE A****** ON THE PHONE IS TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF."

There was a brief pause followed by a very rude exclamation, then he hung up.   ;D

Where's the LOVE button for this post? Language aside, this is the best way to handle these sort of scammers - takes away their time to harass others, and gives them no money.

SoCalVal

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #317 on: January 09, 2013, 02:07:57 PM »
We noticed we were paying repair insurance on our phone lines through our phone bill every month, so I stopped it after about 2 years. Then 30 years later, we had a problem. The service representative was rather stern with me when pointing out that if the problem was in the home, we would have to pay for the service call, but if we had been paying this free repair item it would be no charge. I pointed out how long ago we had stopped the fee and that we never had a problem. so paying for the service call would still be money ahead. I simply said, "You do the math." His answer was, "Oh." ( I do realize that if we had, for example, a mouse probem, the fee would have been worth it.)

A few weeks ago, the heater in the house stopped working so DF called a repair company.  The rep got there early and since I was still at my house 25 minutes away, when I arrived at the house, rather than get there before the rep arrived, I got there just as the rep was doing paperwork with DF.

I walked into the house, and DF says, "I'm signing us up for a maintenance agreement that'll be $XX.XX every month, and it can be canceled at any time so it's not a contract."  Service guy (notice the change in words) "confirms," "Yes, the service agreement can be CHANGED at any time and, with this service agreement, you get two air vent cleanings 'free' twice a year and a XX% discount on repairs when your heater gives out, which it will be 'cause it's so old and dirty." :o  >:(

Red flags immediately went off in my head since I'd heard about scams when I lived in SD from someone whose elderly mother was talked into paying $XXX to have her vents cleaned when they didn't need to be (and weren't).  I looked at DF and said, "We need to discuss it first."

DF's face fell, and the rep offered, "I could go outside while you discuss it."  I said no and asked if we could fax the agreement to them should we change our minds.  The rep (I really was amazed he said this) then said, "No, if you fax it, then it just creates additional work for HR." (how HR was involved in this is beyond me so I figured he was a dumb-bunny who was pulling tales out of his butt -- anything to make the sale).  He also went through this whole spiel about how to return to pick up the agreement would cost the company extra money so it was in THEIR best interest for us to sign the agreement right then (again, couldn't believe someone trying to sell us something would think I would care that THEY would be "inconvenienced" to have to close the sale).

I stood my ground and, as soon as the rep left, asked DF to call his brother (who would know whether or not a maintenance agreement would be necessary).  I explained to DF that that is why I wanted to wait; I simply wanted him to check with FBIL and get his expert opinion.

FBIL said it wouldn't be a bad idea so DF called the service guy immediately and said we'd sign the agreement.  Fortunately (for us), the guy wasn't interested in coming back and said to go ahead and mail it in.  Well, upon closer reading of this agreement, I discovered that this was a CONTRACT and that there was a penalty for terminating earlier than one year (I pointed out that while DF said "cancel," the service guy said "change" -- he KNEW it was a contract and deliberately didn't correct DF's notion that there was no time commitment).  I'd also pointed out that those cleanings wouldn't be "free" as we would be paying for them every month.  I pointed out a lot of things wrong with the whole mess.  DF realized the next day that I was right and thanked me for not letting him proceed with the agreement.

The service guy really screwed his company out of future business because we'll never go back to them.
 



hjaye

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #318 on: January 10, 2013, 12:26:23 AM »
Talking about the service contracts made me think of these two things that are legitimate, but I think a little on the shady side the way the companies promote them like they are doing you such a great big favor:
Rental car companies, prepaying for the gas you will use so you don't have to worry about filling up the car when you bring it back, just bring it back empty.  They will tell you it's such a great deal because they are charging you a cheaper rate per gallon of gas.  They will point out how a gallon of gas in the local area will cost x.xx per gallon, and their price is x-20cents.xx per gallon, what a great deal!!!!
However, if it's a twenty gallon gas tank, they are charging you for twenty gallons of gas.  So say a gallon of gas costs 3.20cents, and they charge you for a full tank at 3.00 per gallon they will charge you 60.00 dollars.
However, very few people are going to be able to bring the car back with it just sucking gas fumes to get back.  More likely than not there will be a few gallons of gas in the tank.  So if you filled it yourself , and it took 18 gallons at 3.20 per gallon, that's 57.60 to fill the tank.  If you just have a gallon then it will cost you  60.80 so it cost you an extra .80 cents.  Personally I think there is a better chance of having two or more gallons left in the tank than bringing it back bone dry, and in the scheme of things five dollars, or ten dollars or even twenty dollars is not that big a deal, but it bugs me when they try to convince me about what a great deal they're offering.  Actually it's not, so even though most of travel is business related, and the company pays for it, and it would be a convenience for me to prepay, I refuse to do it.

The other one is the service contract for my cable or satellite TV service.  For just an additional 6.00 a month I can get a service contract so if there is any problem with the equipment, a service call will only cost me twenty dollars, other wise I have to pay the full price of 85.00.  I told one person who tried to sell me on this that the problem they had is that I knew how to do simple math.
6.00 a month was 72.00 dollars a year, a service call would cost me 20.00 so the first service call would actually cost me 92.00, as opposed to the 85.00 I would have to pay if I did not have the contract.  I would need to have two service calls in one year before it would be beneficial, I never take them up on it.

Elfmama

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #319 on: January 10, 2013, 12:34:27 AM »
There was a lady who was renting a Princess Phone from a phone company since the '50s. When she died in the '90s, she still had the phone but was paying $2.50 a month for all those years. (That was a news story - I can't site the source.)
If she had been renting a phone in the 50's, then she was about the age of my MIL. She may have thought that she didn't have a choice, that phones were still hardwired into the wall. 

MIL was absolutely LIVID when we told her that she'd save money by buying her own phone instead of renting one from the phone company.  "Why would I want to buy a phone and pay them to install it, only to leave it behind when we move?"  We explained that she didn't have to pay installation or leave it behind. She blew up at us again for "lying to her", and I had enough.  "You walk over to the phone like *this*, you reach down and unplug it like *this*, you wrap the cord around it like *this* to hold the handset in place, you put it in a box and you take it with you."  And I unwrapped the cord, plugged it back in, and sat down again.  Took the wind right out of her sails!
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #320 on: January 10, 2013, 09:48:41 AM »
However, very few people are going to be able to bring the car back with it just sucking gas fumes to get back.

I managed it.  We got lost on the way back to the rental agency.  The low fuel light came on before we got lost.  When we dropped it off, I let them know that if their gas pump wasn't really close by, they might need a jerry can to put some gas in to get it there.   ;D
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Ontario

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #321 on: January 10, 2013, 10:27:11 AM »
I just received a call from a heavily accented man who said his name was Bryan and he was calling from Windows Computers.  I've had a call like that before when the caller said there was a problem with my computer and they would need me to boot it up for them.  When I said I wanted to call my ISP, they hung up.  Anyhow, I didn't even give Bryan the chance to tell me about my computer problems.  Even if it weren't a scam, I wouldn't trust a stranger who told me to boot up my computer and give them access.

http://www.informationweek.com/security/management/microsoft-windows-support-call-scams-7-f/240005023

Julian

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #322 on: January 10, 2013, 05:05:03 PM »
My home number gets a lot of those 'you have a computer problem' calls, so both me and Housemate are well clued in to how to respond.  But a call I got a few months ago totally flummoxed me.

It was a lady with a very heavy accent, and the line was a bit crackly, so I did have some trouble understanding her.  It started off as a 'survey'.

L: "what do you think is best - breast or bottle feeding"  (well, I think that's what she said...  hard to understand her)
J:  "Umm...  the first?"
L:  "OK, now, if you chop down a tree with a kookaburra in it, will the bird die?"
J:   :o :o :o :o  "What?!"
L:  "If you chop down a tree with a kookaburra in it, will the bird die?"
J:  "No, of course not, the bird will fly away."
L:  "But what if it's wings had been chopped off?"
J:  "Seriously, what a silly question.  Is this some sort of prank?  Who are you?"
L:  "Just answer the question."
J:  "No, it is a very silly question and I don't want to answer any more questions.  I'm going to hang up now."
L:  <loud yelling of abuse>
J: hangs up.

Then the phone rang again.  Same woman.

L:  "How rude of you to hang up on me!!!  argle blargle blah blah more abuse"
J:  "Really?  And you're yelling at me like that to tell me I'm rude??  Don't call me again."  <hang up>

After the second call I was shaking and angry.  It takes a lot to get me to that stage, but this woman managed it.  I still have no idea what the point was.

Garden Goblin

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #323 on: January 10, 2013, 09:59:56 PM »
After the second call I was shaking and angry.  It takes a lot to get me to that stage, but this woman managed it.  I still have no idea what the point was.

Probably to get you to say certain phrases, so they could make an edit tape of you agreeing to whatever service they had in mind to start charging you for.

For a while, dealing with a particular set of callers, I'd inform them at the beginning of the call that I was recording them and if they had a problem with that, they were welcome to have all correspondence be in writing.  It was amazing how quickly they'd hang up on me and yet nothing ever came in the mail.

jedikaiti

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #324 on: January 10, 2013, 11:41:48 PM »
The other one is the service contract for my cable or satellite TV service.  For just an additional 6.00 a month I can get a service contract so if there is any problem with the equipment, a service call will only cost me twenty dollars, other wise I have to pay the full price of 85.00.  I told one person who tried to sell me on this that the problem they had is that I knew how to do simple math.
6.00 a month was 72.00 dollars a year, a service call would cost me 20.00 so the first service call would actually cost me 92.00, as opposed to the 85.00 I would have to pay if I did not have the contract.  I would need to have two service calls in one year before it would be beneficial, I never take them up on it.

Of course, if you suddenly develop, say, a mouse problem that makes it likely you'll need those service calls to fix nibbled wiring until you get rid of the mice, you can add it on until the mice have been relocated, then take if off again when you're back to not needing it. I actually had a CSR from my local service company suggest that once when we were having trouble and couldn't yet tell if it was at the street, or in the house. They suggested adding the plan right then, getting the service call, and if the problem were at our end, we'd be covered. If it was at their end, we'd only be out $2 for the month, and could cancel the coverage the next month.
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siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #325 on: January 11, 2013, 12:51:41 PM »
I just thought of this one, not so much a scam, but defintiely designed to take advantage of folks who might not realize it isn't really such a good deal after all.

A handfull of years ago, a certain car manufacturer was running a deal, no money down, and no payments for a year. At first glance, wow, great deal, right? Nope. Said brand of car didn't hold their value, so let's say you bought a car costing $20K, and put nothing down. And didn't have gap insurance.  You drive it for a year, make no payments, yay, but at the end of that year, car is now only worth, let's say $12-13K. But your loan is for 20. Something happens to it, insurance will pay you the value of the car, NOT what you owe.

I had a friend who just oculdn't understand why this was such a bad deal, as it, according to her "allowed you to get a car with no monies" well yes, but the better alternative might be to buy one that costs less, and fits your budget better.

doodlemor

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #326 on: January 11, 2013, 01:55:24 PM »
Regarding the gas rip off scheme........

A few years back I answered the phone to a telemarketer offering some sort of a gas card "bargain."  I told her quite truthfully that.....

"I never buy gas in the US, and I always pay cash."

The telemarketer got off the phone after that strange statement. 

This was true, and still is.  We buy our gas on the lands of the Seneca Nation.

phred246

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #327 on: January 11, 2013, 02:34:24 PM »
In August (2012), I bought DD2 a laptop for her use as a college freshman.  I set it up for her in her dorm room.  She called me up after a week because the keys were not working right. I told her to call tech support, she did, all they told her was that she had to buy a software maintenance contract, on a week old system, under warranty! I went to her dorm (60 miles round trip), determined that the keyboard was bad, and that it was a known h/w issue with that particular brand! I drove back to the store I bought it from and requested a different brand  with the same features, even if I had to pay a bit more! I got a different brand, same price, took it back up to her, and set it up. It has been working just fine, so when I buy a new one, I will buy that same brand.
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SoCalVal

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #328 on: January 11, 2013, 03:15:21 PM »
I don't know if I could call this a scam, but the manager definitely tried to pull one over on me.

I used to live in north San Diego and would drive to visit a friend in northern CA.  I didn't have a car so I would rent one to visit him.  I usually went to the car rental agency near my work because a) they ALWAYS provided excellent service and b) it was more convenient to take care of the car pick-up and return during my lunch hour.

One day, I decided to do use the location near my apartment since it was just down the street and I was off from work the day I was to leave.  That company usually offered a rental special for the weekend for compact cars -- if you rented for Fri/Sat/Sun returning Monday, then the rate was $9.99/day with unlimited mileage.  With insurance (also $9.99/day for the compact), this was a great deal for me, and I didn't mind driving long distances so-o-o-o-o I rented the car to make a quick trip to northern CA to see my friend...about a 1,000-mile round-trip.

When I brought the car back, the employee checking in the car, I think, freaked out a little at the number of miles and referred my transaction to the manager.  This is where this location forever lost my business and became scammers -- the manager tried to convince me that the employee who checked the car out to me had made an error and gave me the wrong rate.  Yeah, right.  He tried saying this to me about 2-3 times.  I pointed out that it was a rental CONTRACT I signed and that the employee had provided it to me with the authorization of the company and said nothing more (the contract mention making it very clear to him that I knew EXACTLY what he was trying to pull, which was charge me at a higher rate or for the # of miles I drove the car).  Manager backed off, and I only paid my $60+tax that I owed them.

I never went back to that location, and I think I submitted a complaint on the company's website praising the location near my work and condemning the location near my apartment for what they just tried to do.



snowflake

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Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Reply #329 on: January 11, 2013, 03:19:08 PM »
Regarding the gas rip off scheme........

A few years back I answered the phone to a telemarketer offering some sort of a gas card "bargain."  I told her quite truthfully that.....

"I never buy gas in the US, and I always pay cash."

The telemarketer got off the phone after that strange statement. 

This was true, and still is.  We buy our gas on the lands of the Seneca Nation.

About 20 years ago I was targeted by an car insurance sales company. I told them that I didn't have a car (I was in grad school and lived in a large city with good public transit.) They kept telling me that it was common for people without cars to buy the insurance first and I was being a negligent human by not paying for it.  At that point I figured it was a scam.

One day they called me up and offered me $50 of free gas if I bought their insurance.  I said, "I don't own a car and don't plan to buy one!  I don't want your insurance so please stop calling me!"

The woman said, "Well don't you want the gas certificate to fill up your riding lawn mower?"

The sheer inanity of that made me laugh for a good ten minutes.