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Old 12-03-2013, 10:22 AM   #21
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The "Canada" thing... Young man, an hour of making friends in a local bar and the rest is pretty easy...
That's the way it happened... and grandma wasn't senile either.
That seems a far more likely scenario than extensive web searches.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:56 AM   #22
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A few years ago when my Dad was 85 he received a letter in the mail with a check telling him that he had won a lottery. The check was "real" in that it was on real check paper from a real bank but the name of the company on the check was some company in Indiana that I speculate had their checks stolen.

Dad was wise enough to know that "you don't get something for nothing" so he took it into his bank, not to cash or deposit it but to have someone look at it. They agreed that it was certainly suspicious and I think they made a police report.

The scam about your stranded grandkid who needs cash to get out of trouble is well known. The funny thing is that when my son was 24 he was flying on a Friday evening from Akron, OH to Boise, ID with a changeover in Denver. Due to a late start from Akron he missed his connection and in Denver the airline told him he couldn't get to Boise until Monday morning.

He called his grandmother who lives outside of Denver to tell her he was stranded and could he stay with her for 2 nights. He didn't ask for money. She told him that she couldn't drive at night to come get him at the airport but if he could get to her house he was welcome to stay.

Luckily he had cash and found a cab that was willing to make one last trip for the night. He had a great time with Grandma and a couple of aunts and cousins. He says it was his best accidental vacation.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:57 AM   #23
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One aspect to this not yet mentioned. Like many in her generation, she is reluctant to hang up or be rude to someone unknown and makes an effort to be polite. I sit by and watch as telemarketers cynically exploit that.
I'm an old fart and find I am getting 'ruder' as I get older.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #24
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I'm an old fart and find I am getting 'ruder' as I get older.
Me too, and I can't really say I'm happy about it. I've gotten more jaded and less polite with respect to telemarketers.

TM: "Hi may I please speak with Mr. Kombat?"

Me: "Nope."

*click*
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:17 PM   #25
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Me too, and I can't really say I'm happy about it. I've gotten more jaded and less polite with respect to telemarketers.

TM: "Hi may I please speak with Mr. Kombat?"

Me: "Nope."

*click*
Why should anyone feel bad about not answering the phone/door when a stranger intent on selling you something you don't want comes calling?
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:49 PM   #26
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My mom got a phone call recently from someone who claimed to be working for Microsoft, and offering to help her with her computer problems. Fortunately, some of my distrust of people who call on the phone has rubbed off on her, and she didn't him give any information. I imagine what the guy was after was to get into her computer and possibly get enough info for identity theft, or to get her credit card number to pay for "technical assistance".
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Old 12-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #27
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Why should anyone feel bad about not answering the phone/door when a stranger intent on selling you something you don't want comes calling?
I pay for the phone for my convince, not sales people.

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Old 12-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #28
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Dad was wise enough to know that "you don't get something for nothing" so he took it into his bank, not to cash or deposit it but to have someone look at it. They agreed that it was certainly suspicious and I think they made a police report.
I could have written that exact sentence.

Dad got the same scam and took it to his banker where he promptly told Dad it was bogus and shredded it for him. That banker has since left as the bank got absorbed by a bigger firm. For 10 years he kept my dad on the straight and narrow. Sometimes, there are good people out there who actually live up to their fiduciary duty. I was very grateful for this man.

Now I handle Dad's bank affairs. I'm still worried that something could slip through that I don't see - like a personal visit to Dad from a con artist, etc.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:27 PM   #29
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A scammer posed as a caller from AT&T International from India. He asked the elderly woman, "Don't you make a lot of calls to India?"

"Yes, I do!"

"Well, you've been so faithful in paying your bills, we have a reward for you! It's $20,000! In fact, to make things easy, if you give me your bank account numbers and we'll direct deposit the money into your account today in recognition of your good bill-paying record."

She gave the numbers and whatever other information they asked for. They lifted $100,000 out of the account.

(Her son related this story to a friend of mine).

Kindest regards.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #30
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While I am confident her assets are well protected, it is not without considerable effort.
What I did with my mother was to open a new checking account and kept ~$500 in it at all times, and all the other stuff with account numbers and such went in a folder kept at my house. She made me joint on two checking accounts both with online access (new at the time) so I could watch from afar. Mom and my sisters were on board with this. I paid her rent, telephone, credit card bills when there were any, and the like from her main account. Mom never really grasped what "online access" was but it was okay with her if all three of us said that was okay.

The one with $500 was for her normal shopping for gifts, gas, cash from the ATM and whatnot but if someone scammed her out of it that would not have been an economic catastrophe. I lived 20 minutes away and once a week would visit to check up on things.

Of course, this only works if one has a trustworthy relative.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:47 PM   #31
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A scammer posed as a caller from AT&T International from India. He asked the elderly woman, "Don't you make a lot of calls to India?"

"Yes, I do!"

"Well, you've been so faithful in paying your bills, we have a reward for you! It's $20,000! In fact, to make things easy, if you give me your bank account numbers and we'll direct deposit the money into your account today in recognition of your good bill-paying record."

She gave the numbers and whatever other information they asked for. They lifted $100,000 out of the account.

(Her son related this story to a friend of mine).

Kindest regards.
Your bank account number (and routing #) is on every check you write. Lots of people have that info - how do they get $100,000 out with nothing but your account #?

Sounds fishy, or something's missing?

-ERD50
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:57 PM   #32
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Your bank account number (and routing #) is on every check you write. Lots of people have that info - how do they get $100,000 out with nothing but your account #?

Sounds fishy, or something's missing?

-ERD50
It's quite simple. They create a forged withdrawal slip, or a draft as one does to tie an account to say, Paypal, and present that to the bank. If reported to the bank within 60 days of being discovered the bank will (eventually) reimburse the funds after the account holder signs an affidavit of forgery.

Two key issues here: It must be reported to the bank within 60 days, and the account holder must go to the bank and a sign the affidavit. If they do those things they are made whole and the bank eats the loss if the bank cannot recover the funds.

This is a problem for people who never look at their bank statements.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:13 PM   #33
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What I did with my mother was to open a new checking account and kept ~$500 in it at all times, and all the other stuff with account numbers and such went in a folder kept at my house. She made me joint on two checking accounts both with online access (new at the time) so I could watch from afar. Mom and my sisters were on board with this. I paid her rent, telephone, credit card bills when there were any, and the like from her main account. Mom never really grasped what "online access" was but it was okay with her if all three of us said that was okay.

The one with $500 was for her normal shopping for gifts, gas, cash from the ATM and whatnot but if someone scammed her out of it that would not have been an economic catastrophe. I lived 20 minutes away and once a week would visit to check up on things.

Of course, this only works if one has a trustworthy relative.
This is exactly how we do it. GMTA
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:21 PM   #34
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A close friend, then in her late 70s, received a phone call from a nice Nigerian man, who informed her she had won a brand new white BMW convertible. All she had to do was send him a money order for $500 and she'd be all set.

Her daughter found out about the scam after a local cab driver, whom my friend had called for a ride to the post office for the M.O., turned the cab around and told my friend's daughter what had happened. (Good thing my friend is so chatty.)

The nice Nigerian man kept calling my friend, so the daughter had the phone number changed. The nice Nigerian man got angry and ended up calling around the whole rural neighborhood, looking for my friend.

Neighbors had to change their phone numbers, and of course bank accounts were changed.

No one could tell my friend that she in fact had NOT won the BMW. Well, I take that back. Many people told her; she just wouldn't believe any of us, and some of them are people she's known for 25 years or more.

And of course, my friend doesn't even have her driver's license any longer. She had to surrender it.

And yet, she is still deemed competent to make these decisions and she will be allowed to send all the $500 money orders she can send, if she can find a cab driver to take her.

I love my friend, and it grieves me to see how her judgment has diminished, but not yet to the point that anyone else can take away her rights to make these decisions.
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:33 PM   #35
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Accidental retiree,
My sister was able to get the cab company to agree they were to call her cell anytime DF called for a ride. They are in a small town so it works for us.

I feel for all involved, that stage of life is so very challenging.

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Old 12-03-2013, 05:59 PM   #36
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A close friend, then in her late 70s, received a phone call from a nice Nigerian man, who informed her she had won a brand new white BMW convertible. All she had to do was send him a money order for $500 and she'd be all set.

Her daughter found out about the scam after a local cab driver, whom my friend had called for a ride to the post office for the M.O., turned the cab around and told my friend's daughter what had happened. (Good thing my friend is so chatty.)

The nice Nigerian man kept calling my friend, so the daughter had the phone number changed. The nice Nigerian man got angry and ended up calling around the whole rural neighborhood, looking for my friend.

Neighbors had to change their phone numbers, and of course bank accounts were changed.

No one could tell my friend that she in fact had NOT won the BMW. Well, I take that back. Many people told her; she just wouldn't believe any of us, and some of them are people she's known for 25 years or more.

And of course, my friend doesn't even have her driver's license any longer. She had to surrender it.

And yet, she is still deemed competent to make these decisions and she will be allowed to send all the $500 money orders she can send, if she can find a cab driver to take her.

I love my friend, and it grieves me to see how her judgment has diminished, but not yet to the point that anyone else can take away her rights to make these decisions.
There's an FBI number to call for suspected internet fraud. I reported one myself. Mentioning the "FBI" or police would have scared off the Nigerian for good. I don't understand why people ended up changing their phone numbers - most phone companies can block specific numbers.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #37
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Supply any suspicious numbers to the postal inspection service.
The reason for this: The Postal Inspector can block a specific 876 number from calling in to "all" numbers of the U.S.

Of course the scammers have lots of phone numbers.

But it may help the postal inspectors build a case when that number is being contacted by accomplices in the U.S.

So, sometimes changing the victim's number and making it unlisted, or in extreme cases giving the elder a cell phone with parental controls, is the only way to stop the calls. (And blocking all 876 or all international calls.)

When a relative of ours was involved, this is basically what it took, and then scammers started calling the adult children! They knew names, addresses of the family members of the elderly scam victim - who had willingly shared the information with the "nice man with the honest-sounding voice."

Kindest regards.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:07 PM   #38
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Your bank account number (and routing #) is on every check you write. Lots of people have that info - how do they get $100,000 out with nothing but your account #?

Sounds fishy, or something's missing?

-ERD50
It's quite simple. They create a forged withdrawal slip, or a draft as one does to tie an account to say, Paypal, and present that to the bank. If reported to the bank within 60 days of being discovered the bank will (eventually) reimburse the funds after the account holder signs an affidavit of forgery.

Two key issues here: It must be reported to the bank within 60 days, and the account holder must go to the bank and a sign the affidavit. If they do those things they are made whole and the bank eats the loss if the bank cannot recover the funds.

This is a problem for people who never look at their bank statements.
So this is a problem for anyone who writes checks? Anyone who handles the check could grab those #s and start a withdrawal?

I guess I don't understand why the scammers go to the effort to call hundreds/thousands of people trying to get one of them to give up this information? It seems easier to just intercept the numbers somewhere along the way. I don't write many checks anymore, but lots of people do.

-ERD50
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:12 PM   #39
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So this is a problem for anyone who writes checks? Anyone who handles the check could grab those #s and start a withdrawal?
Yup. A person can use just the information on the check to initiate an Automated Clearing House (ACH) direct debit transfer. Some companies do this when you send them a check, scanning and (hopefully) destroying the check and doing an immediate ACH transfer. I've even had one retail business do this with a check I handed them. They zipped it through the scanner, stamped PAID on the bill and check, and handed the scanned check back to me.

For this type of transaction the payee has to be authorized by the payor to do the direct debit. Handing them a check is considered sufficient authorization.

Naturally, the Bad Guys lie about being authorized when they use your check info.

The easiest way to steal the check info is just to swipe the outgoing mail from your mailbox. Drive along looking for that red flag, grab, and go. There will be a check in those bills being paid.

The easiest way to prevent this is to use electronic payment, and post any physical bill payment with checks in them to a post office or postal mail box. (Thieves are lazy. Post Office mailboxes are hard to get into without being obvious.) When setting up electronic payment, don't give the payee your checking account information. Use your bank's bill payment system to 'push' payments to the payee, or give the payee a credit card (preferably cash back!) that you will then pay off monthly.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #40
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To that point, after a check is written to say a financial institution, people seldom touch or look at it. It is amazing what mail rooms do with checks, never knew paper could move that fast.

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