View Full Version : I stopped a scam today

05-15-2019, 01:41 AM
Or as I'd like to title this I AM A HERO! :D

Today at work I was paged to photo to help a woman send money using Western Union. Her niece was in Jamaica and needed $1000 for a death in the family. :eek: I helped her set things up until it came time to put in the senders name. I pretty much told her that people get scammed this way and after a few tries she decided not to send the money. She kept thanking me and said that she was going to put the money back in the bank.

I really hope that's what she did and didn't go to another place to send the money. She was 88 years old and seemed like a nice lady. :(

05-15-2019, 10:41 AM
Well done. That particular scam is such an annoying one because it pulls at the heartstrings to bypass your common sense, and isn't for a huge sum compared to many such scams - still a lot more than many can afford to lose though!

I had one come through and had to think twice, and then I went on Facebook and saw the person "in peril" was happily NOT where the email had claimed nor in any form of distress. If she or someone else does come back in, that would be my first suggestion: ask if they've tried contacting the alleged victim or their more immediate family.

05-15-2019, 11:55 PM
My grandmother on my dad's side (M) recently got a decently convincing telephone scam; it said that they were looking for a Mrs. (Dreamstalker) because her son and his daughter (my dad and myself) had been in a car accident...

...while the scammer did get my dad's name partly right--they assumed his nickname was his given name and there was another missing critical piece of info--my dad's father remarried late in life, so while M does have our last name we are not blood relatives. The only living son she has does not have any children and his name is nowhere close to my dad's. M didn't give the scammer any information and ended the call, but not before they told her they would come to her house :eek: M alerted the property manager (this elderly community has 24-hour surveillance) had her "real" son stay over for a few days, nobody ever showed up. We suspect that the scammer didn't actually have her address and was banking on her panicking and giving it. The woman is 97 years old and still sharp enough to recognize stuff like that.

05-16-2019, 02:41 PM
I helped a customer avoid a similar scam a few months back. The scammer convinced her that her son owed them several thousand dollars, and she needed to wire them funds that day or else there would be consequences for her son. (I don't remember what consequences they threatened.) They made a three-way call to me at the bank to try to get the wire sent. I got as much information as I could from them on the premise that I needed it to send the wire, which I would have had I actually intended to send the wire. They argued and yelled, but I got the info.

After I got off the phone with them, I called the customer back. I told her it was a scam and that I wouldn't be sending the wire. I encouraged her to talk with her son directly. Then I typed up the information I had so that she could deliver it to the police. Which she did. I doubt it went any farther than that, but at least she didn't send them any money.

05-16-2019, 03:09 PM
We've been able to stop a few little old ladies from getting scammed. And been able to stop a few others that were doing shady things with there transactions. We still have a few come in that are questionable. We can "ask the right questions" but if they believe what they're doing is okay, there's nothing we can do.

05-16-2019, 08:00 PM
mentioned it before, the names i use real and online are not difficult to link up if you know what you are doing, but most people don't care enough to try.

i got an email to my real name email from my gamer online name saying i was stranded in london and needed the funds for a ticket home. i think what happened is my gamer name is linked most notedly with my eve online buddies, one of whom is a geordie living just outside london and we had been talking about what to do and see in london for someone who is handicapped.

i obviously had no desire to send 'myself' the funds to get home =)

05-16-2019, 10:31 PM
I've seen a few of those scams come around, and they usually prey upon the OMG PANIC response that most people will have (and act on) before realizing that there's not enough of the person's mannerisms/personality to be legitimate.
And, of course, there's the need for this money to be sent by a nice anonymous, hard to track method, instead of bank accounts and/or traceable card information.

05-17-2019, 10:02 AM
Hmm, I think if I was "stranded" in London I probably wouldn't send myself money either. I mean it can't be the worst place to get stuck. Maybe it's just too early in the morning but I found that pretty funny.

05-21-2019, 05:22 PM
I've seen a few of those scams come around, and they usually prey upon the OMG PANIC response that most people will have (and act on) ....That was the reaction of a panicky tax client. He got a scam call supposedly from the IRS:rolleyes:
SIDE NOTE: These scammers are spoofing actual IRS offices now.:eek:

I instructed him to come into our office. He was visibly nervous when he replayed the voice mail. I assured him that it was a scam and helped him file a report with the Treasury Inspector General (https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml) and pointed out our megachain's audit assistance service (free with paid return preparation).
By the time he left, I was wishing that I could prescribe anti-anxiety pills--that man needed them!!