Scam Phone Calls
*My comments in red.
Being part of an out-of-state phone/family plan, I have an out-of-state area code. I only know two family members from that state.
Why would the rest of the state be calling? So it seemed. Mostly from someone with a number very similar to mine? And so many. I get it, I’m supposed to be curios…and answer.
Years ago, when I first got the phone I answered a few calls. Who could it be? Behold! Each one, a FREE trip to Florida! For me! A FREE GIFT? Duh….I was actually on a walk with Hubby…in Florida.
Prior to the Internet, offers arrived via postcard, delivered in our mailbox. “You have won A Trip to Florida. A FREE GIFT! Call this 800 number to claim your FREE GIFT before it is too late.”
Uh…isn’t a gift…free?
Son noticed this same postcard, in our mailbox, when he was thirteen. “Mom! Look! You won a trip to Florida. Call them. We can go to Disney.”
“Son, it’s a scam. They want money. There is no free trip.”
“But it’s written right here: “A Free Gift. Call us to sign up for your Free Trip. They’re not asking for money. All you have to do is call.”
Okay. This was to be a teachable moment.
“I’ll call. You listen on the intercom.” His eyes widened, sparkling with excitement. I dialed. A lady’s super friendly voice answered.
“I have a postcard. It says I won a Free Trip to Florida.”
“Oh yes! What is your name?” she asked.
“You should know my name, you sent me the postcard. Or do you have thousands of people ‘winning’ the same prize?”
“We have to be sure it’s you. Can you verify please?”
“I’m Jane Jones.”
*This is the I-net – I’ll not give a name or address 😉 in a blog.
“What is your address please.”
“You already have it, remember? You sent the card to the winner.”
“We have to be sure it’s you. Can you verify please?”
“1234 Main Street, City, State, Zip”
“Thank you. Do you have a credit card?”
“Please read the number on the card with the expiration date.”
“This is a Free Gift. A free trip to Florida. Why do you need my credit card? When I deliver ‘free’ gifts, celebrating someone’s birthday, I don’t ask for a credit card number.”
“Over the phone, we have to be sure it’s you. Can you verify with the card please? This will guarantee you get your free trip.”
“I don’t know you. You are a stranger. Why should I give you my credit card number?”
“Because you called us for your trip. We need a credit card to guarantee the trip and to verify who you are.”
“Sorry, you have me confused with someone else. I have a Free Gift. A Free Trip to Florida. So I don’t see the need for my credit card if it’s free. And you sent the card. I called because I received the card. Ergo, I am verifying who I am by calling you, answering your card’s request, sent to me, the winner, to call.”
“Well, we have to be sure it’s you. Can you please verify with the credit card?”
The friendly voice grew slightly impatient, yet still civil. Was her objective a formulaic response disguised as customer relations expertise—to engender trust, to seduce the unaware, to rob?
“No. I don’t think I will do that. My son pointed out the post card doesn’t mention the need of a credit card. He was convinced we had been blessed—that you were sending a FREE Gift from some lottery in which I had participated. Which I did not. And from the look on his face, I think he has learned Free Gifts received in the mail are not ‘free’. Good bye.”
Son’s face no longer glowed, his brow furrowed. “She wanted you to pay for the trip?”
“No, Son. She wanted my credit card to buy what she wanted. There was no trip to Florida. It was a hoax.”
“That stinks.” His upper lip went up a little, Elvis Presley style. He was disappointed.
“Some day we’ll go to Florida.” And we did.
*Fast forward to 2018 + 2019 e-mail threats.
*My comments in red.
*I receive lots of mail from scammers who assume I am a man.
At the end of last year, I received three scam e-mails that were of the same vein.
Each gave me the low-down at how I was HACKED! I had better listen up, and was given the details.
Extortion scams. Each similarly worded.
*Grammar, syntax and typos indicated they were from another country, perhaps?
The three e-mail scams:
After skimming the first sentence I immediately sent the first two extortion e-mails to spam. I’ve rejected tons of e-mails as spam and junk for years. I’ve reported a few to e-mail scam detective services. Do they really work? The National Do-Not-Call Registry service the government provides to Americans doesn’t work.
Where are these people? The hours spent creating mahem could, instead, be used to save the planet—and themselves. Why hide under the guise of scammer wearing a hoodie, in a dark corner, suffering from low self-esteem.
Smile, scammer. You too can do good. And be proud! Stand up! Take off that hoodie, cut it up, make a hoody quilt, donate it to the poor! Start a fad and make an honest living in broad daylight.
Okay, okay. About that third e-mail, which I also sent to spam…
Here it is:
Kinnie Linsley <email@example.com>
* Is this the real Kinnie? or was the name culled from someone’s contacts folder?
To: “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>
*They found my e-mail somewhere, someone’s contact folder?
jo mylinkedin one of your passwords.
*AND I had cancelled mylinkedin account a month prior because I never used it.
Lets get right to purpose. No person has compensated me to check about you. You do not know me and you’re probably thinking why you’re getting this mail?
in fact, i placed a software on the adult streaming (sex sites) website and guess what, you visited this website to experience fun (you know what i mean). When you were viewing video clips, your internet browser started operating as a RDP having a key logger which gave me access to your display as well as web cam. immediately after that, my software obtained all your contacts from your Messenger, FB, as well as e-mail . Next i created a double video. 1st part displays the video you were viewing (you’ve got a nice taste ; )), and second part shows the view of your webcam, & its you.
*Well, that is strange, since I have two layers of tape covering my web-cam. Always have.
You actually have two different options. Lets take a look at these types of options in details:
1st choice is to ignore this e-mail. in this case, i most certainly will send out your very own video recording to each one of your contacts and just consider concerning the shame you feel. Not to forget should you be in a loving relationship, precisely how it is going to affect?
Second choice is to pay me 3000 USD. We are going to describe it as a donation. Then, i most certainly will instantaneously discard your video recording. You could keep on going daily life like this never took place and you surely will never hear back again from me.
You’ll make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search ‘how to buy bitcoin’ in Google search engine).
BTC address to send to: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX[case-sensitive so copy and paste it] *This was a complicated collection of digits and characters. I “XXX” the address to protect the reader.
if you may be making plans for going to the law enforcement, surely, this mail cannot be traced back to me. I have taken care of my moves. i am not looking to demand a whole lot, i would like to be rewarded. You now have two days in order to pay. i have a special pixel within this message, and right now i know that you have read through this email. if i do not get the BitCoins, i will send out your video recording to all of your contacts including family members, colleagues, and many others. Having said that, if i receive the payment, i will destroy the video immediately. This is the non-negotiable offer, and so do not waste my personal time and yours by replying to this e mail. if you really want proof, reply Yes! and i will certainly send out your video to your 12 friends.
This is a new year, and I get reminders to pay up, or else!
They come from a different address.
Clever “subject” in the e-mail.
I hover mouse over the “from” field. If I don’t know who it is, it is sent to spam.
I do NOT open e-mail from an unknown source.
*An e-mail I did not request is always suspicious. I am leery of strange e-mail addresses. And send them to spam.
*If I am uncertain, I copy text and paste to Google. Most times they come up as scam.
A week ago, I received an e-mail from a male whose name I did not know.
Subject: “I need to speak with you.”
*That subject may sound innocent enough, however, I felt it was a ruse to get me to connect, to infect my PC. I sent it to Spam.
Then I traveled down my list of e-mails and there he was again…same name but as a company instead of a person.
*Delete to Spam.