Following my previous article to warn y’all about the dangers of a scam that I had never heard of, and fell for, I feel compelled to provide you with an update. As I said previously, this burns my ass like a 4′ candle, since I used to do this for a living. But I just wanted to give you a graphic example as to just how sophisticated these fraudmeisters have become.
After posting the previous article, I was talking to Teri about the whole sad thing, and she provided additional information on her interaction with these goofballs that she hadn’t told me before. And it’s incredible as to just how far these losers have gone to play out their scam. And I want you to be warned.
Back in my stand up days, I had a stand up buddy named Chris who had a routine called Cannabis Capers. His schtick was that as federal penalties for possession with intent to distribute for pot became more severe, the street dealers had to raise the price to cover the additional risks. Which meant they had to come up with a richer line of bullsh*t. As I recall it went something like this;
Hey! Wadda ya got for me? I gotta go to a cousins wedding on Long Island, and I wanna get f*cked up. I got some primo sh*t right here. Friend price is $75 an ounce. $75 an ounce? What’s with all the seeds man?! Those aren’t seeds man, they’re tiny time capsules, keep you f*cked up for months.
And that’s what these guys are going, creating a better line of bullsh*t. One of my readers posted a comment in my last article, she got hit with the same kind of scam a few years ago. But when she called, the accent and lack of ability to speak coherent English tipped her, and she hung up. And she was right. These are the same creeps who invented the Nigerian Prince online scam looking for suckers via e-mail. But in order to survive, these guys have learned the lessons, and instead of e-mail, they use personal contact, with shills with better English speaking skills.
Let me give you an idea of just how intricate these computer based, personal contact scams can be, so that you’re well prepared if you get sucked into a variation.
Teri’s initial phone contact was an alleged Windows Defender tech named Derek. Since Derek had an asoan Indian accent, this was obviously false. But having worked for United Airlines, we both know that when companies outsource their reservations or customer service, they invite the outsourced workers to invent anglicized names to try to make the fact that they’re not in the US. Tje Scamsters use this.
Derek put Teri through the motions, and once he had access to her kaptop, ran some scans she could see on the screen, and then told her he saw something he needed to follow up on, and asked her to hold while he worked it. When he came back some 20 minutes later, he told her that he had discovered that someone had tried to make a hidden withdrawal from her B of A savings account. He had contacted B of A fraud operations, and provided her with a case number and a phone number so that B of A could assist her further.
Steve at B of A was equally professional and helpful. Teri didn’t see any $200 charge, but was assured that it was a hidden charge that would appear olater, and that he had put a stop collect on it. He said that it was a charge for an Indian online gambling site. Nice touch. Personally I think that’s true. They fund an account on an Indian gambling site, bet your money, and any profits they make come out to them in nice clean, laundered casino funds.
It was the next day, when she got a follow up call from Derek to finalize securing her laptop that Teri copped wise, when she found him again in the B of A account. I confirmed the fraud with the Geek Squad, and Teri immediately contacted the legitimate fraud department at B of a through the normal toll free number. They stopped the 2nd $200 charge, and the first one is up in the air. They filed a dispute with the vendor, and according to B of A, they have about a 50% recovery rate with that vendor. We shall know in about 60 days.
I bring you this cautionary tale for one simple reason. They snagged us with the Windows Defender scam. But I’m sure that there are at least 100 other scams out there, tailored directly to the method of delivery. And the more you know about the basic common underlying mechanics of these scams, the better the chances that you tip wise to one before you get hurt. Forewarned is forearmed.
I thank you for the privilege of your time.