“Corporate” – A Scammer’s Least Favorite Word

, , , , , | Working | August 7, 2019

(I am temporarily answering the company phone for the receptionist when I get a call that, according to caller ID, comes from “Illegal scammer.” Slightly curious, I pick it up.)

Caller: “Is [Former Owner] there?”

Me: “No, he sold the company two years ago.”

Caller: “Is the current owner available?”

Me: “No.”

Caller: “When will the owner be available?”

Me: “We’re owned by a company in Ohio. You can’t reach them with this number.”

Caller: “Oh, so you’re corporate owned. Thank you. You’ve been really helpful and really, really rude.” *click*

(I’ll concede that I was a little rude, since I was so thrown by the caller ID, but the way the caller talked you’d think I’d viciously cussed her out. Even weirder, she was perfectly friendly up until the sudden accusation of rudeness.)

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You Bruise, You Lose

, , , , | Right | August 6, 2019

(At about 7:00 one night, a well-dressed woman in her thirties approaches me.)

Customer: “I need to speak to your manager.”

Me: “I’m the manager on duty; how can I help you?”

Customer: “I was in an accident outside your store last night, and I needed to know if you have any video cameras of the parking lot. I also need to know who owns the parking lot and how to reach them.”

Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t have any cameras for outside our store, but it’s possible that the property manager does. Let me contact my boss and see if we can find out who you need to contact.”

(I send a text to my boss about how a customer was in an accident and needs to contact the owner of the parking lot, but he doesn’t answer. I peruse the office for any phone numbers for the property manager, but I can’t find anything. After a few more minutes, I go back to the customer.)

Me: “Well, we have a couple of different options. I’m still waiting for my boss to get back to me, so if you’re willing to wait around, we can see if he has an answer. There’s also another manager who will be in tomorrow morning at 6:00 am. He has a bit more experience than I do, so he probably knows where to look to find the property manager’s number. If you don’t want to wait around any longer, you could call him in the morning.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I think I’ll call in the morning. You see, the lights in the parking lot weren’t on last night, so I couldn’t see where I was going. I hit my leg against the curb while walking toward your store, and now I have a bruise. I just wanted to make sure that whoever is responsible will pay for my medical expenses.”

Me: “…”

(My boss finally called me after the lady left, frantic, until I explained that the lady had tripped on the curb and wanted someone to pay her medical bills. The weirdest part: even if the parking lot lights had somehow malfunctioned that one night, our doors and vestibule are made of glass. The lights from inside the store would have lit up our curb clearly. We never got a call in the morning, and we never heard from her again.)

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An In-Console-able Crime

, , , | Right | August 6, 2019

I work at a chain gaming store that allows trade-ins on games and consoles. With consoles, we have to run the serial number through a third-party app to make sure it isn’t stolen. This almost never happens, until today. 

A customer comes in and we go through the usual process. I inform him that we will have to test the console and tell him to return in an hour. I run the serial number through the app and it comes up as stolen. I’m honestly not sure what to do. This never happens. 

My manager has me tell the customer when he comes back that the console is registered as stolen, so he will have to take it back. As a store, we don’t have the authority to confiscate it. He flips out, saying it wasn’t stolen, to which I say that he should contact the police to contest it. 

There at the till, in front of a long queue, he calls emergency services. All I can do is stand there, flabbergasted, as he wastes emergency service time complaining about the console, while the lady on the other end repeatedly tells him he needs to hang up and dial the non-emergency number. 

He left in a huff. Whatever happened, he never traded that console in with us.

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The Bieber Falling On Hard Times

, , , , , | Right | August 6, 2019

(I work for an online company and help those who sell on the website. This includes taking phone calls and answering emails. I get a gem of a phone call one morning.)

Customer: “My verification isn’t going through. I’ve called in about every day for the last two weeks.”

(Those who want to sell on the website have to go through an identity verification that includes a copy of their driver’s license. It’s not much different than an employer asking for it. Plus, in the shady market of online selling, it’s best to make extra certain.)

Me: “Okay. Let me pull up your case to take a look at any notes those associates may have. I can’t see the documentation as I don’t have permission to see it.”

Customer: “I’ve already attached it to the case. Also, they keep responding in French and the last response said I can’t sell on the website.”

(I find this a little odd, as this team isn’t the one to tell people they can’t sell here anymore, but I look into the case. The customer is being responded to in French and has received a notice saying he can’t sell. Usually, if the verification doesn’t go through, it has something to do with another document they sent us. For example, if we can click and highlight anything on a PDF, we immediately reject it as not being genuine. I find nothing wrong with that document. I pull up the driver’s license and have to do a double-take. The picture for the ID matches that of Justin Bieber. This guy sounds twice the age of Justin Bieber. I put the customer on hold to “look into things.” I get the help of a coworker and we end up finding a website teaching you how to fake a Quebec driver’s license. The picture is that of Justin Bieber. After I decide what to do, I get back on the phone.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we can’t accept this as a valid form of ID.”

Customer: “What do you mean?”

(He must really think I’m stupid.)

Me: “It’s a picture of Justin Bieber.”

Customer: *click*

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Putting All The Scams Out On The Table(t)

, , , , , , | Working | August 5, 2019

I’m talking to my sister about computers. Recently, our grandpa bought a new computer and needed help setting it up. He was surprised when my very tech-savvy sister offered to help. Upon setting up his computer, she found he had been sold a bunch of add-on programs that my sister could have downloaded legitimate open-source copies of for free.

He also happened to show her the receipt. On the receipt, there was a £20 charge for “tablet set-up.” My grandpa doesn’t own a tablet, and the store didn’t offer computer set-ups, so this was quite obviously the store hoping he wouldn’t notice.

Upon noticing when he got home, he rang up the national helpline for this store and demanded a refund for a service he had never received. In the end, after much arguing, the helpline agreed to refund his card manually — they tried to say that it could only be done if my grandpa took the 40-minute drive to the store and they refunded him at the till. In the end, my sister decided not to tell him that they had also scammed him in terms of the add-on programs he had been sold. Regardless, my grandpa has vowed never to shop there again and to ask for my sister’s advice the next time he needs computer help!

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