Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scam! Scam! Scam! Scam!*

Well if Identity Theft, Internet Sock Puppets, Badgers and “Look at My Cooter” invites weren’t enough... Haiti Earthquake relief is now spawning fake scams to take advantage of those that want to help.

I was called the other night by a young sounding woman with a rather strong Russian accent (and a crying baby in the background). She was trying to sell me circus tickets. The circus she informed me would be in my town (although she had no idea where I lived...or what the venue was) over my children’s spring break... or was that my grandchildren? ... It was a great circus with lions and animals, trapeze artists and everything....

“No Thank you!” I said.

“But it’s such a great experience for young children” she insisted.

“Sweetie my youngest are teenagers and we don’t support circuses that use animal acts.”

“But we don’t have animal acts” she says

“But you just said you did.”

“No, I didn’t”

“Fine I’m still not interested. Good Bye.”

“WAIT!!! Would you like to donate to the fund the earthquake in Haiti fund?”

“No, they’ve already had a bad earthquake" I said, "they don’t need another one.”

*click*

*eye roll*

My Aunt was scammed a couple of weeks ago, right after her husband died. Poor dear is almost 89, partially deaf, and medicated with stuff that makes her kind of groggy at night... in the middle of the night a hysterically crying female who addressed her a “Grandma” (which should have tipped her off right away... cuz none of her grandkids call her that) called with a tale of woe – Stranded in a small town, car broke down, need money for towing, repairs, and hotel – my credit card isn’t working Grandma! Please wire me some money...

Sadly Aunty did send money and it wasn’t until the morning that she realized she’d been scammed.

I was channel surfing on the radio this morning when one of the morning shows was talking about this very scam – Police have been warning older people about this scam in particular. It’s apparently widely spread over North America – in the middle of the night a senior receives an urgent call from a desperate grandchild (usually a distraught female)asking them to wire money.

The radio announcer said that someone had called his mother-in-law and tried that scam. Unfortunately for the caller (a female) his Mother-in-law only has grandsons (all of whom were at her house that night) AND none of them would ever make the mistake of calling Nonna ‘grandma’.

I also have been getting those annoying “This is an Urgent call about your credit card” automated calls... arrrrgh.

If I have the time I mess with them...

“Thank you for staying on the line Ma’am! We’ve noticed some unusual activity on your card. Please confirm your full name, address, card number, and PIN number so that we can verify that this last purchase was yours...”

“Ummmm... what does it say was the last purchase?”

“Can you verify that information please?”

“Not unless you tell me what the purchase was...”

“Are you currently in Thailand? And staying at the Grand Hotel?”

“Yes”

“How can you be ma’am? I’m talking to you on the phone.”

“Thailand has phones - Heyyyyyyy... If you’re REALLY from the bank then you have all that information in your trusty little computer... I don’t need to confirm anything.”

*click*

Or the car insurance one.

“Hi! We’re calling to offer you an extension on the service warranty you have with us for your car.”

“Oh... okay”

“What kind of car do you have?”

“It’s still the same car.”

“What kind of car is it? And what year?”

“I dunno... the same car you’ve already got covered... we haven’t got a new one.”

“I know but I need the make and model...”

“Isn’t that already on the old warranty papers? ... I thought you were extending the coverage I already have?”

*click*




*sung to the tune of Spam! Spam! Spam! (by Monty Python).

6 comments:

Rabbit said...

"But I don't like SPAM!!!"

You are far more entertaining. I will have to try your route. When they call me they usually get Inga who speaks no English ("Yah" is about all she can muster); a drunken Robin Leach; and angry Chinese woman, Rolisheesha the harried and highly irritated Ghetto Gurrl, or a Basset Hound.

For some reason, I get hung up on quite often.

Nariane said...

Come now Rabbit! Everone loves Spam!! It fills our Inboxes and our bellies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE

Rich said...

You're at the Grand Hotel in Thailand? And you have teenage children? Wow, never knew that.

Nariane said...

I feel unmotivated to be completely honest with scam artists or telemarketers

Rabbit said...

I think there is a Super-Coiffed Texas housewife name Buffy, or Muffy, or perhaps Tiffy, that REALLY hates you right now. The Monty Python sketch was running through my head at the post office and I inadvertently blurted out "I DON'T LIKE SPAM!!!" without even thinking and scared the living batshit out of this poor woman... Whoops.

Blog about it all to follow.

Nariane said...

glad to do my part! *wink*