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How does this scam work?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MoodyBlues, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    As I've said, I normally don't answer calls I don't recognize--unless I'm in the mood for a little fun. :eek: Like just now.

    So I picked up, and a recording said there's a $99 charge on my card [no mention of company or which credit card], and if I wanted to authorize it, simply say 'I authorize' and hang up. If I had any questions, call blah blah blah number.

    What's the deal? Keep in mind it's a landline. How would my doing either of the above give the scammers money? :thinking:

    This doesn't need its own thread: On a related note, a couple weeks ago, there was a faint message--from 8-something IN THE MORNING--that just said, 'Grandma?' The caller ID was not my grandson's name/number. No one in their right mind would call me at 8:00am, except for dire emergencies. So that was clue #1.

    Around 10:00 the phone rang--with the same caller ID. I picked up. :D

    "Grandma?"

    "Who is this?" [Said in a sweet, grandmotherly voice.]

    "It's your grandson."

    "Which one?" [Sweet as can be.]

    "Don't you remember?" [Dude, I'm old...but I'm not THAT old. :rolleyes:] "I have something to tell you, but I don't want you to get too upset."

    "What's your name?"

    "Michael."

    "Michael?!"

    At this point, I was pretty much done: "If this is some kind of bullshit, you've called the WRONG person. And if you really think you've called your grandmother, you've called the wrong number!"

    *Click*

    In case you're not familiar with this scam variation, they tell you something drastic--your son is in the hospital dying from a car crash, they're in jail for something they didn't do, they're in a foreign country and lost their wallet... The point is always the same, to bilk you out of money one way or another. :mad:
     


  2. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert

    The latter is called a “Grammy-Scam” and is often successful because most seniors were raised in a generation when every fourth person wasn’t out to steal you blind. Rather than being suspicious, they answer openly and when the voice says “grandma” or “nana” their memory banks whir and when they land on a name they associate at all with the voice, they say it. Now the scammer has the name, grandma (or grandpa) forgets they spoon-fed it to them, and the scam is afoot.

    I’m not a fan of either Trump or Biden, but I’d happily vote for whoever would promise to pursue effing criminals like that, plus the cyber-thieves/ransomware felons, and execute them. (Maybe after a trial...)

    Sorry for the rant, but when you consider how many seniors have been bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars and the billions lost each year to cybertheft, I really have less than zero sympathy for the perpetrators.
     
    #2 rootabaga, Oct 12, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2020
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  3. no one

    no one Android Expert

    I just answer with:
    "It's done, but there's a lot of blood, this will be our final communication."
     
  4. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    They stop at nothing these days, they're all scum...
     
  5. sullencab

    sullencab Member

    And they would ask you to send money to this account or worse they could be waiting outside your home pretending to be sent by someone you know like there's an emergency or whatever. This could be people who knows you one way or another.
     
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  6. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    If I don't have the number in my directory I simply dismiss the call. If it's important, they will leave
    voice mail. Few actually bother.
     
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  7. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Bwaaaaahh! I just spit out my water! :eek:

    That's a keeper. Thanks for it--I'm quite sure it'll come in handy one day. :D The thing is, I really have to be in the right mood. It's not enough to FEEL like playing; I have to really 'get into character,' like an actor prepping for a role. When I don't do that...epic fail! :eek:
     
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  8. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Same here on my cell, and with names I don't recognize [with caller ID] on my landline.

    The scammers never follow my instructions! My message says that calling back repeatedly won't accomplish anything, and if they want to talk to us, they'll have to leave their name and number. That weeds out virtually ALL scam/spam/unsolicited 'home improvement' calls. :) Once they realize they're NEVER going to reach an actual person, they remove my number and don't bother calling back.

    It kind of bothered me when I made the message like that, because it just sounds so harsh. But I tried various nicer iterations first...and they just didn't do the job. Only when I made clear that they can keep calling back until hell freezes over, but they'll never get a live person, did the endless calls stop. *shrug*

    When I'm not sure about a call, I screen it. That way I can intercept a call when it's someone I actually want to talk to, like a visiting nurse, someone whose name/number I wouldn't recognize.
     
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  9. olbriar

    olbriar  
    Moderator

    If it's a legitimate call, they leave voicemail. I'm sure that you are as disciplined as I and address a message expediently.
     
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  10. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    NEVER, EVER, EVER say "I accept" or "yes" to anything like that!

    There are scams out there that record your response and then it can be used for all kinds of nefarious things.

    There are so many voice recognition things around, and this recording of you can be used to give your consent!
     
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  11. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    So the other day a scammer called and I picked up.......rather get a recorded message I got a live person. I told them to take me off their list and the guy ( most likely from India judging from his accent) told me to go f off. I mean WTF!!!!! this pissed me off so I kept calling them, I have one of those loud bullhorns that can make this really loud honking noise (don't ask why I have one.....lol) I must have called 20 to 30 times in a row. Most of the time they would hang up, but this one girl did not. I was impressed so I had a conversation with her. At first I was trying to be rude with her. But then we got into a pretty good conversation on why she choose this job out of everything else she could do. She would not tell me her name or where she lives. But it boiled down to economics for her. Now who knows if this is true or not, but she said did some prostituting before this. And she even tried hanging out with rich people or as she called it.....gold digging...lol

    I tried to explain how her company is hurting people and that it was not right. But she said it puts food on her table and that is all she cared about. I told her she seemed very bright and that if she went back to school she become anything she wanted to be. She would not listen and kept saying that she is in it for the money.

    All told I talked with her for about 30 minutes!!!!!!!
     
    #11 ocnbrze, Oct 13, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  12. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    On the original landline call I would assume that if you called the number they gave they'd ask you some "security" questions to prove your identity before they could give you any details - information they could then use to defraud you.

    I've had that problem with banks before now: they call me, then ask me to prove I am the person they wanted to contact. I can see the reason, but they never have an answer to "how do you prove that you are who you say you are? Since you called me you have my number, but I only have your word for your identity so it would be irresponsible for me to answer these questions".

    And yeah, I've occasionally had fun with the "fake tech support call". I did once point out to one caller that the people who are likely to fall for it are the elderly, vulnerable people who would be most distressed and least able to afford it (they wouldn't acknowledge that they were not genuine, so I hung up after that). A friend of mine who actually worked for the company they pretended to be from led one on a merry chase by asking them various things about their division and office which they of course didn't know, pretending to be puzzled when their answers were invalid. Unfortunately I'm not always quick enough to start the game: when one guy phoned me claiming to be from Microsoft and explaining that "your Internet is infected with error" I burst out laughing before I could begin to wind him up...
     
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  13. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    That's hilarious!!!
     
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  14. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Yep! When I mentioned 'epic fail,' that was precisely what I was thinking. Mine was also from micro$oft and said something about my IP address being canceled. I tried REALLY HARD to suppress a laugh, but all I got out was something like, 'oh really?! That sounds terrible... guffaw guffaw guffaw' and he hung up. :eek:
     
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  15. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    But how? They wouldn't know ANYTHING from that phone call, other than my phone number, and that it's valid. They wouldn't know my name, who I bank with, have credit cards with, shop with, etc. How can a random voice saying 'I authorize' trigger anything? Specifically, hurting me?
     
  16. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    Unfortunately, @Hadron is correct in that the elderly are often the targets as they are both generally less tech savvy and possibly compromised (memory, hearing, etc.). My 89 year old mother-in-law got a call from someone claiming to be my son, told her that he was in jail for a DUI and needed bail. Had she understood wireless transfer or had a credit card, she might have sent the money. Luckily she called my wife, who then called our son at work and he had to call his grandmother to convince him that he wasn't in jail and the call was a scam.

    The sad truth is that these calls do work. Even a success rate in the single digits yield huge amounts of income for the scammers.
     
    #16 lunatic59, Oct 13, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  17. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    My, my...get your mind out of the gutter! :eek:
     
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  18. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
    Moderator

    I don't know what your are talking about ... :rolleyes:
     
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  19. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    Right...a likely story... *sigh*
     
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  20. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    I'm used to it...
     
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  21. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    I'll bet you are!
     
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  22. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

  23. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member Thread Starter

    "The caller then records the consumer's 'Yes' response and thus obtains a voice signature. This signature can later be used by the scammers to pretend to be the consumer and authorize fraudulent charges via telephone," an FCC news release said.

    I still don't see how they can do anything with it, unless they:

    1) somehow know which bank/credit card/business I have accounts with, and,

    2) that entity has my 'voice signature' on file, to compare it to--and none does

    Let's take Bank of America, where I have various accounts, and debit and credit cards. They don't have my voice signature on file. And even if they did, what would the scammer do to actually use my 'yes' with them?

    If the scammer correctly guessed that I use BofA, and called them posing as me, they wouldn't get past BofA's security checking, since they have none of my information. When I call BofA, I have to supply the last four digits of: my checking or savings account number, or debit/credit card, or SSN. The scammer has none of that. When I call ADT, I have to supply my code word before anything else happens.

    I'm NOT doubting that these scams work; I'm well-informed on shit like this! I routinely see stories--sad stories--about elderly people who've lost precious money to these losers. I simply don't understand the logistics of it, since every company *I* do business with uses strict identity verification before they'll do anything.
     
  24. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    All true, although there is no telling what the scammers can do in the future.

    As we are all aware, they are always ahead of any security measures to defeat them.

    Better safe than sorry.

    ACYA
     
  25. Davdi

    Davdi Android Expert

    I've had the Micro$oft 'tech support calls several times. If I feel like having fun I 'll let them witter on and give silly answers to their questions then suddenly say 'Gotcha - I 've been running Backtrack and have your IP address, ' I've hear them say 'Oh F*CK' and hang up. the quickest way to get rid of them is just say 'This should be fun'.
     
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