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An Encounter With The Necroscammer

, , , , , , | Legal | December 10, 2022

One morning, I had the following conversation via text messaging — word for word, with only the names changed.

Texter: “Hello, [My Name]. Let me know if you got my text. Thanks, [Coworker].”

Me: “And you are?”

Texter: “[Coworker]. CFO Emeritus [Current Employer].”

Me: “Wow, I didn’t realize that the dead could text.”

This person passed away shortly after he retired a couple of years ago.

Texter: “Oh, I see. Have you got a minute to complete a task for me discreetly?”

Texter: “Where are you at this moment?”

Me: “You are hilarious. [Coworker] is dead.”

Not that I would have believed them in the first place, but I just found it funny that they decided to use the name of a coworker who was deceased.

Caller ID Called Their Bluff

, , , , | Legal | December 1, 2022

My phone rings and the number comes up on my display.

Me: “Hello?”

Caller: *In English* “Hello, I’m calling from Europol. Your ID documents are involved in a crime, and in order to avoid criminal charges, I need you to follow my instructions.”

Europol, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, is headquartered in the Netherlands.

Me: “If you’re from Europol, why are you calling from a German mobile number?”

Caller: *Click*

Strangest scam call ever.

Welcome To The World; It Often Sucks

, , , , , | Working | November 30, 2022

While I was in college, I worked the closing shifts at a nearby sandwich place to earn a little extra scratch.

About an hour into my shift, my coworker, a high school student, answers the phone. No big deal — we take phone orders, so I figure there is nothing out of the ordinary.

Then, my coworker starts getting agitated before hanging up the receiver with a haunted look on his face.

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Coworker: “That was the Social Security Office. They said that for failing to comply with their directives, they are going to be contacting the Federal Authorities for an investigation.”

Yeah, right. And I’m the Queen of Sheba.

The kid was distraught, so I took him aside and told him the facts of life — namely, that no government employee is working past six on a Friday, and that Social Security will NEVER, EVER cold call you.

We spent a little bit talking about a few near-misses of me being scammed, and he felt a lot better about it after that.

You Might Be Bluffing, But It’s Not Worth Finding Out

, , , , , | Legal | September 10, 2022

There have been some break-ins in my area recently, and a rumour says that the thieves have been calling homes pretending to be salespeople to fish for information about when people are at work and the house will be empty. I’m at my parents’ house when they get a phone call.

Man: “Good afternoon, ma’am! I’m from [Security Company] and our company is looking to fit free roller shutters to houses in the area, for advertising purposes.”

I know my parents wouldn’t want that anyway due to how their windows are shaped.

Me: “Go on.”

Man: “Is there a good time we can come over to discuss it? Do you work during the day? Is there any time where no one would be home?”

Me: *Pauses* “You know, actually, I think roller shutters would be really good at our house. My parents and I rehabilitate former attack and guard dogs, and one of them is something of an escape artist. I’m unemployed at the moment so I’m home literally all the time, so you can come whenever. You would need to get really specific about what time you’re coming, though; we have eight dogs at the moment and I would need enough time—”

The man hung up.

My parents have one dog who is elderly and adores strangers. I just couldn’t believe how obvious this guy was being!

Double-Whammy Scammy

, , , , , , | Legal | August 5, 2022

Our state-sponsored health system, like plenty of services, has scammers who send fake emails coming from it to get people to give their personal information. One of the more frequent ones, which also makes it among those for which warnings are given by all channels available, are emails claiming that the personal card associated with it needs to be renewed.

While checking her email on her phone while in a park, my mother brain-farts her way into falling for the scam instead of deleting the email as she usually does. About ten minutes after she provides the scam with her credit card information, she gets a call.

Caller: “Hello, I’m from [Bank]. Are you in [City on the other side of the country]?”

Mother: “No.”

Caller: “Your card got charged there for [list of at least three different transactions].”

This is about the point at which my mother clicks that she has fallen for a scam.

Mother: “You don’t sound like the person who usually calls from [Bank].”

Caller: “I’m from the fraud department. Now, I’m going to walk you through using the [Bank] app to block your credit card.”

Mother: “I just gave a scammer my credit card information. I’m out of the house right now and I’d rather go home to block the card from the [Bank] website.”

After this, the caller kept insisting that she let them walk her through using the app to block her card immediately. She eventually gave them a firm “no,” hung up, and returned home to get things taken care of via her usual bank contact information. The insistence that she immediately use the app aside, several small details noticed in hindsight strongly hinted toward the caller being part of the scam but not ready to deal with someone newly on guard about sharing personal information.