First, about a month ago one of my friends on facebook started chatting with me on instant messenger. I know this friend because he and his wife (before she passed away) served as missionaries in my singles ward back home... so he is an older gentleman who writes LDS books. Well he starts talking to me on instant messenger on facebook and tells me he needs my help because he was trapped in London, he was held at gunpoint and someone had taken all of his money and he needed me to send him some. Right... I have heard of that type of email going around before, but never had I talked to a hacker on instant message. CREEPY! He was swearing up a storm and so I knew it wasn't my friend... also, my friend would never ask me for money. So I reported it to facebook and he got kicked off for a little while and I wrote him and told him what happened and they got it taken care of and he is back on.
Well... I got a whole new scam via mail the other day. This one looked legit at first. Because they were claiming to be a secret shopper/paid survey company... which we have all heard of and know exist. And they sent me a check for my first assignment! But wait... it was for a large amount of money! $3,199.00 to be exact. But after my assignment was over, I would only have $600 left and $100 of that I would have to spend at Wal-Mart. Well... that is still not a bad deal, who doesn't want $600 bucks given to them. The thing is... if it looks "Too good to be true" then it usually is.
It is actually a real check, everyone that I showed it to, their first reaction was "wow, can you refer me? I could use that money". But lets all be honest with ourselves, there is no money, if you tried to cash the check, you wouldn't get anything. Take a look at the letter and "My assignment"....
I didn't scan the envelope, but first thing, there was no return address. Second, it was postmarked in Canada, the company is supposedly in Georgia... although I looked up the company "Info Research Services" and nothing came up. Then the "Frost Bank" and "Eagle Contracting" which is who wrote the check is in Texas and I am supposed to trasfer the money to people in the UK. Then if you read the letter, you will notice that the English is not professional, in fact English may not be their first language AND there are spelling errors! The companies are spelled wrong. Then if you look up the area codes... I am supposed to fax my assignment to California, but need to call a Canadian number to tell them I am going to deposit the check. I tried calling this scam in to the state, but they didn't care and said there was nothing they could do. So we decided to have some fun with it. This new guy Josh at work called the number and talked to this lady with an accent who didn't sound professional at all and he noticed that she said "IF the check goes through", when he caught her on it she got defensive and tried to back herself up. As soon as she knew that we were not going to be depositing the money she was short and rudely said goodbye and hung up.
That was enough for me... but when I was telling Brent last night everything we noticed while at work that made the letter obviously a scam, he wanted to have fun with it too. Even though it was midnight... he called the Canadian number to see if anyone would pick up (I made sure he *69 first so his number was blocked, I didn't want to creepers to have Brent's number). Someone did! I was told today at work that they are two hours ahead of us. Brent asked for Daniel Fargo (as mentioned in the letter) and he said it was him. Brent continued to ask questions about it acting excited to be a part of this assignment. Daniel asked Brent for his name, he told him it was John and asked for the ID number on the letter, Brent gave him a bogus number that kind of looked like the one I had on the letter. Conversation continued kind of like this;
Daniel- "Great John, looks like we have you here on file"
Brent- "Really? That is strange because my name really isn't John and I just made up the number that I gave you"
Daniel - Silence
Brent - "I know this is a scam"
Daniel - "If you knew it was a scam then why did you call?" ** totally not denying that it is in fact a scam! ***
Brent - "To call you on your crap and give you a hard time. By the way I notice you have an accent, where are you from? That is not a Canadian accent."
Daniel - " I am from Haiti"
Brent - "Well, hope I didn't wake you up or anything. Have a good one and think of a better scam next time"
Something like that. It made me laugh. We made a joke about it, but we are smart enough to see when we are being scammed, the sad thing is that there are a lot of people that do fall for this stuff. Which is terrible to think about. It makes me mad that people think they can trick people into giving them money and get away with it. Anyway, beware of scams. If it seems too good to be true... most likely IT IS!