Monday, 14 September 2015

Telephone Scammers (Part 1)         

I, and no doubt millions of other people are continuously being bombarded by telemarketer scum sucking scammers who are oozing into our homes via our telephones. When they phone me with their scams, they don’t know that many years ago, I was an investigator who investigated over a hundred insurance and bank frauds and in almost all cases I investigated, I was successful in establishing that the fraud artists I investigated had really committed frauds against my clients. In one case, I even found a million dollars that had been pilfered by an investment advisor by fraudulent means from his employer. Further, I was also a guest speaker at an international bank credit conference in London which in my speech, I had advised the bank’s leaders in attendance on how to avoid being defrauded. 

Winning a large sweepstake prize is a dream come true for some people. However, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if the winning notification was actually a sweepstakes scam. Here is a clue that something is wrong when you get a call from this kind of scum sucking scammer telling you that you won a large prize. Legitimate sweepstakes will never ask you to pay fees of any kind to receive a prize. That includes handling charges, service fees, or any other kind of charges up front to receive a winning award.  Being asked to pay up front are sure signs of sweepstakes scams.

The name, Nndugu and other names he uses should be a warning to the minds of your average Internet user–or at least get their eyes rolling. Millions of e-mails each year are sent by this assiduous Nigerian, and his jobs are generally changing.  One day he’ll be an ousted prince struggling to free his people, the next he’ll be a Nigerian charity president, then he’ll be the sweetest little boy trying to survive amidst African poverty. Nndugu always needs money, no matter how many people help him with his plight.

Secondly, Nndugu actually doesn’t exist since that name is just the cover for one of the longest running and efficacious internet scams—the 419 Advance Fee Scam. The number 419 isn’t a Nigerian area code, it’s the penal code for which this crime falls under. The 419 scam may be the oldest mass-communications scam there is, because during the 1980’s it was done via fax machines, but due to the fact that the design of the 419 scam has been one of the most basic “confidence” tricks for centuries, we could consider the 419 scam to have existed long before the 1980’s.

The most common variation of the 419 scam is the “fake lottery”, where a mark is informed that they have won the lottery but must send money to a third party (a lawyer, the lottery commission, etc.) in order to have the money transferred to them. The charity variation of the 419 scam is far simpler; the scammer either poses as a non-existent Nigerian relief foundation, or a dying person who is willing to give the mark an inheritance to donate to charity. As sending money directly to the source would alert the mark, it’s usually requested the fees be sent to the subject’s “lawyer” instead. Guess who the lawyer is. It is the scammer naturally.

On June 29, 2015, I received a phone call from a man with a foreign accent telling me that I had just won five million dollars from the Readers Publishing Clearinghouse along with a bonus pf $50.000.

I already knew that if I received any notices claiming that I had just won a large sweepstake from a supposed big company going by the name of Publishers Clearing House—notices such as an email message sent to me or a phone call telling me that I am a winner, you can be sure that the scum sucking scammer wanted me to be one of his potential victims in his a sweepstakes scam. Winners of Sweepstake contest organizations don’t receive messages in those ways. That was this scum sucking scammer’s first mistake. 

There really is a Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes that is legitimate. And because they are and have been around for decades, it follows that people receiving these scammer’s phone calls stating that they are from that legitimate entity, presume that the scum-sucking scammers are telling their victims the truth when they tell them that they have just won a prize.

I knew right away when I had received a phone call from one of these sweepstakes scum-sucking scammers. He slipped up a number of times. For example, when he told me that I had just won five million dollars plus a bonus of $50,000, I knew something was amiss. The legitimate Publisher’s Clearinghouse never gave an award larger than one million dollars and recently, their awards have been $5,000 a week for life. That was this scum- sucker’s second mistake.


His third mistake was that he presumed that I wasn’t at my computer. When I asked him what firm he was with, he said the firm is called Winner’s Circle. When I asked him where it was, he said the office is in Etobicoke, Ontario. That community is right next to my own so while he spoke to me on the phone, I looked in my computer and sure enough, there is a Winner’s Circle in that community. It is also all over Ontario. Winner’s Circle Rewards is the exclusive loyalty program for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation that governs the slots and casinos in all of Ontario. There is no other company in Ontario called Winner’s Circle. So this scum- sucking scammer got caught my hook a third time.

When I asked him what he wanted me to do in return for receiving such a large sum of money, he said that I will have to pay the taxes on the  award up front. He told me that it would be $2,500. That was his fourth mistake. Sweepstakes taxes are paid directly to the federal tax agencies along with the winner’s regular tax returns. Winners of sweepstakes aren’t required to give a third person the payment for taxes that they have to pay the government. My hook had just slipped deeper down this scum-sucking scammer’s throat.         

He told me that I would be handed a certified cheque for five million dollars. He neglected to say how the $50.000 would be given to me.  That was his fifth mistake. I told him I wasn’t interested and then I hung up the phone.

Would you believe it? The scum-sucking scammer called me again on July 8th. This time, he told me that he was the manager of Winner’s Circle. Again he told me that I had won a large award. Only this time he said it was only for one million dollars. That was his sixth mistake since he previously said I won five million dollars and a bonus of $50,000.

When he initially spoke to me that afternoon he said, “Good morning.” I asked him where he was calling me from. He replied, “New York City.”  That was his seventh mistake. It was 1:30 in the afternoon in my city when he called me and my city and New York City are both in the same time zone. When I told him that it is afternoon in New York City and not morning, he responded by saying that was still morning in New York City. I suspect he was calling from the west coast of the United States where it would still be morning. WOW! Where do these scum-sucking scammers come from? That answer is easy to answer—the looney bin. 

Brace yourself. He called a third time on July 9th. This time he said that he was with the Federal Trade Commission and that he was responding to my complaint with that Commission. That Commission is an American agency and they investigate complaints filed by American citizens about telemarketer and other scammers. That was his eighth mistake because I do not live in the United States and didn’t complain to anyone about his previous calls to any agency, let alone the one in the United States.  

He told me that the man who called me on July 8th had been calling me from Jamaica and that it was still morning in Jamaica when he made that call to me at 1;30 in the afternoon where I live. It was 12:30 during the noon hour in Jamaica which is not morning.  That was his ninth mistake.

When I asked the scum-sucking scammer who called me on July 8th as to  how my name was chosen, he said it was a Walgreen’s coupon. That was his tenth mistake. I have never been in a Walgreens drug store so it follows that I never had one of their coupons.

Just as God made little apples, the scum-sucking scammer called me back on July 8th. Again he said that he was with the Federal Trade Commission. When I asked him what city it is in, he said, “New York”. Although there is such an agency with that name in that city, after I asked him what the address was, he paused and then said. “I don’t know.” That was his eleventh mistake. Then seconds later, he said he is working out of the State of Ohio. There is a branch of that agency in Cleveland, Ohio. When I asked him what the address of that agency was in Ohio, he said he would call me back. Why would someone have to call me back about where he is working from? That was his twelfth mistake. A minute later, he called back and said that he was told not to give out that information. That was his thirteenth mistake. He also said that I live in Toronto. Actually, I don’t live in that city. That was his fourteenth mistake.

Previously in that call, he said that I won $75,000 in US funds in a contest run by Winner’s International. That was his fifteenth mistake. Again he didn’t know that I was sitting at my computer.

Let me tell you what one man said about receiving an award from Winners International.

“I recently received a number of phone calls from men, claiming to be from a company, Winners International. They advised me that I had won a sweepstakes lotto, and was entitled to a large sum of money. They said to keep it confidential, so that no one would try to rob me. Funny, it was them who were trying to rob me. They were very persistent and called me for a few days, before I started screening my phone calls. If you receive any phone calls like this, it is a scam.  They want you to wire them money, to cover, insurance, or state taxes on the supposed money that you have won. They assure you that you will receive your money immediately after paying. Don't do it, it's a scam.”

Here is what another person said about receiving a call from someone at Winner’s International.

“I received a phone call re my winning 3.6 million dollars from Winners International Lottery.  I was to send $575 via Western Union to cover the handling expenses and then my check would be hand delivered after I returned the call to a Mr. Jeff White, U.S. Customs Claims Department. The man, Mr. White said the contest was sponsored by MGM Casino in Las Vegas and the $575 was to be sent to Aaron Cuevas, 186 E. 10th St. in Chicago.” Naturally, the potential victim didn’t send the money.

Scam operators  are more or less based in the Netherlands, Canada, the US  and Nigeria and are using the telephone and direct mail to entice U.S. (and other global) consumers to buy chances in high-stakes foreign lotteries from as far away as Australia and Europe. I believe that the scum sucking scammer that called me was calling me from the United States.

There are well over a hundred types of lottery scams but this is the first time I have been the recipient of as many calls as I have received on one particular lottery scam.

The scum-sucking scammer who called me also said that a company called Megaboard Promotions was handling the disposition of my winnings. The only name that exists that is similar in name is called Megaboard OX Promotions. Its only office is in the Czech Republic. Megaboard is a form of construction material. There is no promotional company under that name that handles sweepstake winnings.  That was this scum’s sixteenth mistake.

I asked him what information he needed from me to confirm who I said I was. He asked me if I was over 65, married and had kids. When I told him that such information wouldn’t be needed to confirm who I was, he replied by telling me that he had to know this information in case I die before I get the money so that they know who to give it to after I have passed away. Give me a break. That was his seventeenth mistake. When I asked him what the remaining questions were, he paused so long, that I finally hung up the phone. His pause was his eighteenth mistake.

Since he claimed that he was with the Federal Trade Commission in Ohio that investigates various forms of frauds, why did he later tell me that he needed personal information from me so that he could be sure that the winning cheque would be sent to the right person? If they were investigating a fraud, why would they be sending me a cheque? That was his nineteenth mistake. Is this guy retarded or just stupid? 

On July 10th, a woman called and told me that she was with the Federal Trade Commission. At that moment, I was going out to do shopping so I told her to call me back. She didn’t call me back. That was the twentieth mistake of those scum sucking scammers.

On July 13th, a man called and said that he is with the Fedex Delivery Service in the City of Toronto. There is no such firm in Toronto. There is however a firm called, FedEx Print and Ship Centre.  That was the scum sucking scammer’s twenty-first mistake.

He then said that he had a package for me and that I had to pay the driver $285.00 to cover handling and delivery. I asked him what was in the package. He said that he didn’t know. I asked him who sent it to me. He said, “Reader’s Digest.” I didn’t order any books. So why would I be paying that much money for something I didn’t order?  That was his twenty-second mistake.

I was anxious to see if the scum sucking scammer would actually come to my door so I told him that he could come the next day. He didn’t show up—naturally. I think he finally got the message. “I ain’t interested.”

I will say this for this scum sucking scammer. He is persistent. Never has any scammer spent so much effort to con me out of my money.

On July 20th, I received a phone call from a foreign-speaking man who called himself David Snyder. He said that I won $2.5 million dollars from a a voucher I submitted in a draw at a Walgreens drug store in Canada. There are no such drug stores in Canada. That was the twenty-third mistake of these scumbags. He told me to call 702-347-3156 (a Las Vegas number) I did and the man who answered said he was Jim McCardy. He too had a foreign-speaking voice.

He knew my address and the spelling of my name. Then he asked me if I was a Canadian and he also asked me for my age. I told him that I wouldn’t give him my age since that shouldn’t have any bearing as to whether or not I won a prize. He replied that if I am over 65, it will have an effect on the taxes I would have to pay. That is pure gibberish. That was their twenty-third mistake.

I asked him as to what I would have to pay to get the cheque. He replied, “A service charge for shipping and handling.” When I asked him as to how much the service charge was, he told me that it was $730.35 US. I told him that he can pay the service charge and claim the money for himself. He replied, “I am not allowed to do that.” That is obvious of course otherwise how could they scam me out of $730.35? I immediately hung up on his ear.

On August 4, 2015, a scammer called me and asked me why I wasn’t claiming my award of a million dollars. I asked him “How much will I have to pay to get it?” He said “$250.00.”  I replied, “You take the two fifty off the award and send me the balance.” He immediately hung up the phone.

The creep called me two more times on August 15, each time asking me why I didn’t call him back. I hung up on him right after the questions were asked.

Another creep (probably from the same telemarketing firm as the ones I previously described to you) called me on August 21, 2015 telling me that I won $5,500,000 (a certified cheque for that amount) and $500,000 in cash from Las Vegas that will be delivered to my home in a suitcase. He also said that accompanying the delivery will be two cops and two lawyers.  I knew of course that this was a scam when he first told me that the money was from Publisher’s Clearing House. That firm isn’t in any way or manner connected with Las Vegas. That was the scammer’s twenty-fourth mistake. I asked this twit how much I have to pay. He told me that I have to pay ninety dollars. I laughed and said, “I am not interested” and immediately hung up my phone.

On August 29, 2015, I got a call from another twerp. He said that I won $550,000 in cash. I asked him how I won it. He said I had paid for goods in Walmart with a card and my name was selected at random as the third prize winner. He also said that I won the prize from Publisher’s Clearinghouse. That was their twenty-fifth mistake. That latter firm doesn’t have anything to do with sweepstakes of Walmart. Their twenty-sixth mistake was that Walmart doesn’t conduct sweepstakes.  I asked him where he was calling me from. He said he was calling me from Washington, D.C. I asked him as to what I would have to pay to get the prize. He said that there would be a $350.00 handling fee and I could pay it via Western Union. I told him  that winners of sweepstakes don’t have to pay a fee and that I wasn’t interested in getting the money. It was then that I hung up the phone.

Let me give you some advice on how to deal with scum sucking scammers who phone you.

FIRST:  Remember what your mother told you. “If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.”

SECOND:  Be very suspicious of any stranger that phones you and tells you that you have won a prize. Sweepstakes firms never phone their winners.

THIRD:  Write down as much as you can when listening to their blather. As you can see from reading what happened when I got the calls, they will make mistakes if you ask enough questions and when those mistakes pile up, those mistakes are evidence that they are trying to scam you.

FOURTH:  When they ask you for money no matter what their reason is— they are scammers.

FIFTH:  If they repeatedly call back, you will really know that they are desperate to scam you out of your money.

I think I should open a school for telephone scammers and tell them what they shouldn’t do when trying to scam people out of their money. Oh, Hell. Let them keep opening their mouths so that our hooks will slide deeper and deeper down their throats as they speak. And when our hooks emerge from their butts, we can all yell with a big grin on our faces, “GOTCHA!” 

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