Carol In Your Corner: Scammers Never Rest

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It must be hard work being a scammer, although business might be slightly affected during March Anti-Scam month, they continually to work diligently and, I might add – creatively – to make up for any downturn.

Using both phones and the internet, their ingenuity can be breathtaking, although occasionally they can also lack common sense.

Recently I received an email from Dr. Mario Ettore, addressing me as “My Dearest Friend”, (I never knew!) informing me that he is the personal treasurer to Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Richest Man in Russia. He would like to invest several million dollars with me in my country or in my off-short account (my what?), and once all this goes through I will take 35% of the total fund. To help in our mutual cause I am to contact him. And then he would no doubt need information as to the number of my bank account. He attached a website so I could read all about Mr. Kohodokovsky, at which point I discovered that The Richest Man in Russia is presently residing in a Russian prison. I emailed back and suggested that as his “employer” is now in prison, he should join him. There has been no response.

Then there is a charming woman named Ms. Dutton who says she lives in Florida.   She is outraged that innocent people have been taken advantage of by those terrible Nigerian fraud artists. But, with the help of her wonderful lawyer she beat them at their own game, garnering a cool $1.5 million. And I can, too. All I have to do is…………. Fill in the blanks………And it would only cost me $570. U.S. I suspect that would only be the first installment, with many more inventive demands in order to continue the process.

And then there was the email purported to be from Janet Yellen, Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Busy as she is, she wrote to me personally. At least, according to the email I received. All she wants me to do is send along the “necessary” information to prove I am the original beneficiary of a sealed ATM card in her possession, and abracadabra, $6,000,000. will magically appear in my bank account. I’ve decided the U.S. Treasury needs it more than I do, and declined.

Then, even more comforting, was the email from Mr. Comey, from – believe it or not – the FBI, coming to me straight from Washington, D.C. Obviously, he is on my side. In fact, through their fraud Monitory Unit they have discovered that imposters have been after me, bilking me shamefully out of my hard earned cash. To rectify this injustice, and get my $5,900.000. all I have to do to is apply for an ATM release order which will only cost me $750. U.S. I wonder if Ms. Dutton knows what the competition is charging.

Mr. Comey is kind enough to warn me about scams, as follows:

Disregard any email you get from any impostors or offices claiming to be in possession of your ATM card, you are hereby advice only to be in contact with Bar Lord Ruben of the ATM card center who is the rightful person to deal with in regards to your payment and forward any emails you get from impostors to this office so we could act upon it immediately. Help stop cyber crime.

I have decided I will not entrust personal information to anyone – even the FBI – who doesn’t know how to spell, and whose knowledge of grammar is suspect.

Then there are the phone calls (usually at inappropriate times), in spite of your being on the Do Not Call list. If you receive one from a legitimate business which is ignoring your request, then you can report them to the CRTC. A company was recently fined more than $200,000 for trying to flout that regulation. You can register your complaint in one of three ways:  Visit https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/plt-cmp-eng
• Call 1-866-580-DNCL (3625)
• For the hearing impaired only, call 1-888-DNCL-TTY (1-888-362-5889)

Recently both the Marriot Hotel and West Jet have been subject to fraudulent attempts to use their names to extract credit card information from unwitting victims, telling them they have won a substantial prize: – a free flight or a hotel stay. Usually I hang up when these calls come in. The last time, I decided to play along. As the caller detailed the wonderful prize I was about to get, I kept asking questions, such as what would be required from me. The telemarketer would always reply, “No, I can’t tell you that yet”, and the added attractions she detailed kept increasing. Finally I was told all I had to do was put down a deposit to maintain my prize for a full year, etc., etc.   End of conversation.

Of course you can always hang up when those calls come in. But, if you want to make an attempt to stop these people, the CRTC suggests you keep track of the following:

  1. The telephone number at which you received the telemarketing call.
  2. The telephone number and name of the telemarketer that appeared on the ID caller screen or that the person gave you over the phone.
  3. The date of the call.
  4. The exact time of the call as it appeared on the caller ID screen if you have this feature.
  5. Whether the complaint relates to a fax, residential, or business number.
  6. Any other information that you have about the call.

And then report any call you believe fraudulent to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca

Apparently there’s no way to stop the attempts of these scammers from taking advantage of the unwary, but at least we can deter them by refusing the bait, and reporting them when possible.

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