Telephone scam attempt

  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 01, 2014 8:35 AM GMT
    Some people attempted to trick me into withdrawing $2500 from my bank account and wiring it to them.

    I got a 'phone call and the caller wanted me to guess his name. He was very insistent even though I said that I was no good at recognizing voices over the 'phone. When I did guess, he confirmed that it was he. Actually, as it turned out, he would have said that regardless of what name I had guessed.

    After conversing very briefly, he said that he was in the Culver City (a suburb of Los Angles) jail. His story was that he was riding in a car with friends and they were stopped because a brake light was burned out. When the police searched the car, they found marijuana under a seat and put everyone in jail. The caller asserted that the marijuana was not his but because the police could not determine whose it was, they arrested everyone.

    The caller went on to ask me for $$ to bail him out. Of course I'd do that for a friend, but being cautious, I wanted more information to confirm the situation. I told him that he had to get a lawyer whereupon he said that he already had one and would put him on. The "lawyer" said that he was doing pro bono work at the jail and that I could bail out my "friend" by sending $2,500. He told me that to send the $2,500, I'd have to withdraw $2,500 CASH from my bank account and take it to a CVS pharmacy to send it; he gave me some sort of routing information. When I told him that I'd prefer to take a bank check to the CVS pharmacy, he insisted that it had to be cash so that it could not be traced. That was an obvious red flag.

    When I asked the "lawyer" which legal firm he worked for, he said that it was a national firm headquartered in NYC. He became a bit testy when I insisted on knowing the name of the firm and its 'phone number so that I could verify that he worked for that firm. Finally he gave me the information but told me that he did not want me to call them. Of course I did check it out. It turned out that the name of the firm was fictional; it had been used in a TV series. The 'phone number was in Canada, not the U.S. That was a serious red flag.

    Obviously there were many red flags. However, I did 'phone the Culver City jail and they confirmed that it was a scam.

    What is amazing is that many people fall for that sort of thing. There are even worse scams, usually on the Internet, in which people lose their life savings. It is just about impossible to protect people from such scams.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 01, 2014 9:22 AM GMT
    Pretty clever.

    I'd have played along and told them no problem and that the money was on its way.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 01, 2014 12:23 PM GMT
    My late dad got a torrent of these and similar scam calls started as a result of him trying for the publisher's clearing house sweepstakes. From Nigerian 419 scams, to what you mention above, fake checks on stolen accounts ... you name it. In his later days, dad had dementia bad enough that he came very close to falling for it several times. In fact, close enough that he gave out most or all of the checking account number and a credit card number before I could get down there to get the phone out of his hand.

    The calls came in a 7-10 a day and still to this day it happens. I enjoy keeping them on line as long as I can figuring that keeps them from ripping off another senior.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 01, 2014 1:12 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree saidMy late dad got a torrent of these and similar scam calls started as a result of him trying for the publisher's clearing house sweepstakes. From Nigerian 419 scams, to what you mention above, fake checks on stolen accounts ... you name it. In his later days, dad had dementia bad enough that he came very close to falling for it several times. In fact, close enough that he gave out most or all of the checking account number and a credit card number before I could get down there to get the phone out of his hand.

    The calls came in a 7-10 a day and still to this day it happens. I enjoy keeping them on line as long as I can figuring that keeps them from ripping off another senior.

    I wish there was a way to contact authorities during these calls, but I'm not aware there is. We have 3 phone numbers (2 cell and 1 residential) and could be alerting the Feds on one number while keeping the other call live.

    We call-screen all our calls, don't answer any names or numbers we don't recognize, especially from non-Florida area codes. Our 3 phones take voice messages; if it's legitimate & important enough they'll let us know, and we'll get back to them.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 01, 2014 6:46 PM GMT
    I've received scam personal messages on this site from Ghana. The "sakawa" boys in Ghana will do anything in an attempt to get money. They quickly fall madly in love as a result of reading profiles. Some will send messages plagiarized from romantic novels. One wrote, "When I look deeply into your eyes....". By doing a google search, it took only a moment to find the source, but he insisted that it was original even though his command of English was clearly insufficient to write like that.

    On a recent TV program, victims of romantic scams told how they were scammed out of tens of thousands of dollars. Women seem especially vulnerable. The scammers use photos of very handsome men (or women, as the case may be). If the victims even did something so simple as insisting on a Skype conversation, the romantic scammers would be immediately revealed.

    It's amazing how gullible some people can be, and that includes even people whom one would expect to be intelligent and have good judgment.
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Nov 01, 2014 7:17 PM GMT
    If a caller insists that I guess who they are, I hang up.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 01, 2014 7:39 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidIf a caller insists that I guess who they are, I hang up.

    EXACTLY! Plus, if someone was in jail, I'm fairly certain he'd get to the point and say who he was and why he was calling right away.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 01, 2014 9:36 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidIf a caller insists that I guess who they are, I hang up.


    That's exactly what I shall do if it happens again. I shall tell the caller that I will not guess and that he must tell me who he is.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 02, 2014 9:24 AM GMT
    Unknown voice calls; Let them goto message
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 02, 2014 9:50 AM GMT
    I screen all my calls. If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 02, 2014 12:53 PM GMT
    FRE0 said

    What is amazing is that many people fall for that sort of thing. There are even worse scams, usually on the Internet, in which people lose their life savings. It is just about impossible to protect people from such scams.


    Amazing? I think it would be little short of a miracle if anyone fell for that particular scam. African orphans perhaps, but bail money?

    The best way not to fall for these sort of scams (apart from not being hopelessly naive) is to be aware of their existence. That said, there are some pretty clever scams around which almost anyone can fall for. Just be naturally suspicious. Remember, it's your phone. You don't have to answer it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 02, 2014 1:18 PM GMT
    I don't know if this applies to iPhone users, but there's an android app named Mr Number that does an excellent job of screening out bullshit calls, whether it be scams or telemarketing. It allows you to block and hang-up on all 800 type numbers and /or private unknown and/or by specific number.

    I'm all over the interwebs due to marketing for my business so I get a massive amount of bullshit calls. I got to be real careful regarding what I screen because I've had some 'almosts' that were indeed future clients.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 02, 2014 8:18 PM GMT
    freedomisntfree saidI don't know if this applies to iPhone users, but there's an android app named Mr Number that does an excellent job of screening out bullshit calls, whether it be scams or telemarketing. It allows you to block and hang-up on all 800 type numbers and /or private unknown and/or by specific number.

    I'm all over the interwebs due to marketing for my business so I get a massive amount of bullshit calls. I got to be real careful regarding what I screen because I've had some 'almosts' that were indeed future clients.


    That is the problem with not answering calls just because one does not recognize the number. Even some 800 calls are important to answer but it is often impossible to tell before answering. Also, sometimes people one knows call from a different phone.

    There have been scams for many decades. My father told me about the Spanish prison letter scam. These things go back at least to the 16th century. Here is a link to a few examples:

    http://www.fhando.com/spanish.html