Dear friends of tellows,
If you think that scammers aren’t clever, or creative, this article may surprise you. Successful frauds are not that common and it’s quite difficult even to invent one, much less make it work. Today, we will present you with three new techniques that we have come across this week, based on a good deal of patience, exploitation of basic human emotions and of course, a degree of resourcefulness.
The first number 2032863985 from Connecticut, USA is a great example. To pull off this particular scam, the fraudsters had to buy a domain and make a plausible webpage, obtain a convincing phone number, research classy-looking addresses, stay in constant contact with their clients and rake in the cash in a way which wouldn’t arouse suspicion – at least not right away. This was a carefully planned and executed ploy, not your standard “Give me your credit card details!”
It goes something like this:
Your receive an email from Wilfred Adams (this name was a favourite of theirs) from Ghana Gold Corporation with a job offer, which seems to fit you perfectly and also happens to pay pretty nicely. (It’s always an email, never a call or a letter). Although you may initially have some doubts, they’ll provide you with ample information on their projects, give you access to their webpage (http://ghgoldcorp.com/projects.html) and provide their contact information.
However, the catch will inevitably become visible when formalities are discussed; the job is, after all, in Ghana and there will be a fair few administrative points to consider.
when you come to the “formalities” of the job offer they start asking for money, like for the courier services, medical clearances and custo clearances and so on. They never really answer your questions and the offer comes out of the blue, without any calls. You would believe that a big company like that doesn’t make you pay for something like courier services but this is the first hint.
The further along it goes, the more you’ll notice that things don’t quite add up. As you start to find out more about the job, the company and their projects, you’ll begin to smell a rat.
a few things don’t really add up:
– the area code is wrong
– when you look up the domain information about the site you’ll find a different registered address=> so the address given in the mail is wrong or just doesn’t make sense
– but even the newfound information is wrong if you go deeper:their phone number isn’t even theirs
– the mail in the domain informations is known to be used by frauds
=> it sounds more and more like scam: someone bought a domain and phone number to hide the real objective….to many red flags here that i would believe this job offer, there isn’t even a business like Ghana Gold Corporation in NY!!!
The second number 4107056172 from Beltsville – USA is from Outreach Calling call center. It is a lawful enterprise but its methods are somewhat interesting. This call center calls on behalf of several charitable organizations, such as MD State Fraternal Order Of Police or children’s hunger funds. People can donate money to, say, the families of fallen officers. Whilst this all seems very commendable, what brought this issue to our attention was how the donations are managed. One user reported some interesting facts:
I know about this company because let’s say I had a friend (^^) and this friend kinda worked for a similar company. This callcenter calls people and collects money for different causes, depending for what organization it currently works. It can be something like “for families of fallen police officers” or the like. They cant accept donations under 10$ because only 1-15% of it will be actually donated and the rest goes to the owner or let’s say for paycheks, for maintaining the building and so on. To remove the number is also quiet difficult because a regular call rep can’t do that. He will just remove you from the list of that specific organization but they’ll continue to call you to donate for different organizations. I heard you’ll have to aks specifically for a verifier to remove your number permanently but this step is avoided as much as possible. It’s not like the don’t donate anything but like I said, the majority of the money isn’t used for what the people who donated think it is. It’s sad but well….this friend of mine doesn’t work there anymore but it was an experience…..
This is not to say that donations should not be made but those who would like to donate may wish to ask how much of the donated money actually goes to the charitable organization. If you have any problems or you can’t get hold of the information you want, then it’s always possible to donate to the preferred organization directly.
And finally our third number 8324081079 from Texas, Houston area, USA, which is a PayPal scam. This method is getting quite popular the world over. Why? Because it’s easy to do and citing PayPal can create a trustworthy-looking facade. Spotting the scam is easy if you look out for the following…
These are the hints for the scam:
– First you wouldn’t send a text message but use the services on the responsible site. But by sending you text like that you’ll give them your mail address.
– They usually ask for information which you already published on Cycle Trader or another site.
– Then it always comes to problems with the payment and for whatever reason, they always can pay with PayPal only. Maybe they’ll invent some story…
Getting your email address and paying by PayPal are the vital elements needed to make this scam work. Usually the process goes like this:
1. They send you a text message asking you to send them a mail so that they can get your mail address
2. Then they will say that they’ll pay with PayPal and they will give you extra money for the shipping or something else, afterall your bike or whatever they want, has to be delivered to them
3. Then you receive a PayPal deposit notice email where you can read the money has been transferred
4. Finally, now that you have the money, you transfer via wire or pre-paid card the ‘extra’ money for the shipping to the one who’s supposed to pick up the bike or whatever
=> Then you realize that no money has been transferred to your PayPal account. The end!
In some cases, when the scam victim starts to have their doubts, they will become more insistent and between steps 3 and 4 they may start to send more messages to reassure you and encourage you to pay. They may say something along the lines of:” I already paid my part. All that’s left is for you to finish your part of the deal” or “PayPal already gave you all the information. The notice they send me…..”. Watch your step here and do not answer to this kind of message.
All of these techniques are designed to make you part with your money and in the most inconspicuous way. Second-guessing is highly recommended and if there is even the slightest hint of scam, take precautionary measures and do your research.