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Uh-oh - I just fell for a scam
Old 09-24-2021, 12:47 PM   #1
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Uh-oh - I just fell for a scam

I thought I was way too smart to ever fall for a scam - but apparently not.

After calling the number on the back of a gift card to check the balance, I just provided a lot of personal info before wising up.

I'd gotten a JetBlue gift card from a relative several years ago, never used it but remembered it after booking a JB flight last night. When I called the number on the card, I spoke to a pleasant guy with a heavy accent & started telling him of a problem I'd had in booking the flight -- thinking he must be associated with JB. He listened very patiently as I described the problem, then said he could help & asked me some questions for "verification." What can I say I ended up giving him my name, address, DOB, phone #, email & maybe the confirmation number for my flight -- & not until I was starting to give him my credit card number did I start getting suspicious. I asked if he was connected with JetBlue & he kept mentioning verification. Finally, probably after realizing he wasn't getting any more info from me, he gave me another number to call. That was it. (The new number turned out to be an automated number offering a $100 gift card for $2--obviously another scam.)

Then I was a wreck, up all night with stress levels soaring. I immediately froze my credit reports, then cancelled the credit card after getting assurance that the flights I'd just booked would be paid for. Is there anything else I should do? I keep checking JB to make sure my flight on Sunday is still OK (tried to call to speak to someone there & was told the estimated wait was 203 minutes.) What happens now?

My excuse mistake is that I assumed the guy was associated with JetBlue & I had questions about the flight I booked, so I guess I was thinking he needed info to confirm I was the customer. Plus, it was very late & I was already very tired & stressed (the trip I'm taking is for a relative's funeral). The gift card looked fine, though a google search shows a few years ago JB gift card/scams were a thing.

I am chastened & humbled. And calmer, but worried.
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:52 PM   #2
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I'm having troubling following this was the JB gift card you were using fraudulent? The accent doesn't mean anything in this day and age.



You only gave the person you talked to your DOB which isn't that hard to dig up so I'd relax a little bit.
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:55 PM   #3
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Just watch your financial statements for any unauthorized transactions and then promptly alert the institution when/if you see one. In all likelihood you wouldn't be held responsible (and their are federal laws to back this up).

Much of what you released is probably a public record if you are registered to vote and/or own property in your own name. The one thing that may be of concern was the birthday.

You could request and IPPIN from the IRS so that nobody could efile a return in your name without it -- but of course you would need it too to file the electronic return.

Good luck and don't worry about this too much. Although identity theft gets lots of media exposure the actual fall out from it today is very different than it was 20 years ago before it was recognized as an ingrained part of modern society.

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Old 09-24-2021, 12:58 PM   #4
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Birthdates are all on the internet. Cancelled credit card was taken care of. Nothing to worry.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:09 PM   #5
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Birthdates are all on the internet. Cancelled credit card was taken care of. Nothing to worry.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:31 PM   #6
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I'm having troubling following this was the JB gift card you were using fraudulent? The accent doesn't mean anything in this day and age.

You only gave the person you talked to your DOB which isn't that hard to dig up so I'd relax a little bit.
I never used the card because I only remembered it after I'd booked the flight. But I decided to check the balance of the card & maybe get an answer to my questions about the booking in the same phone conversation with a Jet Blue person -- which this guy obviously wasn't!

When I see those articles about how older people are more susceptible to frauds I've always felt very superior: Not me! Now, wow. Lesson learned.

If he has the confirmation # of my flight, could he cancel it & try to get a refund? That worries me.
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:36 PM   #7
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I never used the card because I only remembered it after I'd booked the flight. But I decided to check the balance of the card & maybe get an answer to my questions about the booking in the same phone conversation with a Jet Blue person -- which this guy obviously wasn't!

When I see those articles about how older people are more susceptible to frauds I've always felt very superior: Not me! Now, wow. Lesson learned.

If he has the confirmation # of my flight, could he cancel it & try to get a refund? That worries me.
Have you googled the number you actually called..that's where I'm confused
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Old 09-24-2021, 01:36 PM   #8
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I'd gotten a JetBlue gift card from a relative several years ago, never used it but remembered it after booking a JB flight last night. When I called the number on the card...
I would think that an illegitimate/scam gift card would look quite suspicious upon careful inspection. Seems like it would look rather unprofessional and homemade. Probably wouldn't have a legitimate bar code or QR code on it and might even have typos or other printing errors on it. If you still have the physical card, take a look at it carefully (maybe with a magnifying glass, or using your smart phone's camera magnify/zoom function) to see if you notice anything unusual or suspicious. Also, you can check the phone number(s) printed on the card against known scam numbers.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:20 PM   #9
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If the card is fake, you might have a problem. But from a relative?

The $100 for $2 might be real also, you just need to attend a timeshare presentation...
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:31 PM   #10
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Also ask the person that gifted it to you where they got it from. Maybe a little embarrassing to them but they need to know there was a problem with it.
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Old 09-24-2021, 02:50 PM   #11
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google the number, that will tell you a lot. I highly doubt your relative bought a fake GC, and gave it to you. More likely than not, it's a legit gift card service, but not something where jetblue is directly linked (ie, the person servicing gift cards might be a 3rd party).

I'd also call jetblue and ask them if the gift card is legit.
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:02 PM   #12
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google the number, that will tell you a lot. I highly doubt your relative bought a fake GC, and gave it to you. More likely than not, it's a legit gift card service, but not something where jetblue is directly linked (ie, the person servicing gift cards might be a 3rd party).

I'd also call jetblue and ask them if the gift card is legit.
Agree. Companies farm out gift card administration all the time. I doubt you got scammed. You were probably falling into a marketing ploy, but it doesn’t sound like a full on scam.

As for scams, there’s no point in feeling stupid, or whatever, from getting scammed. They’re good. Their stuff works for a reason. All they have to do is catch the right person at the right time and bam.

For example, no one thinks they’d fall for the scam where Microsoft calls you about your computer. However, my friends dad got that scam right when he was having trouble with his computer. Thankfully, they never got on his computer (it was actually down), but they got some personal information from him. He had to lock everything down just to be safe.
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:16 PM   #13
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There is also the possibility that you fat-fingered the number when you called and didn't get what you expected. That's one of my failings -- I'm too quick and don't check carefully that I'm calling the number I intended. In fact, I just did it this morning, so I'm especially sensitive to that.
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:43 PM   #14
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:45 PM   #15
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UPDATE:
I did google the phone number on the card & found no info.

I talked to 3 people at JetBlue today, all helpful. Bottom line: it appears the card was genuine, but who's handling that phone # is uncertain at best. The JB reservations person said everything looked OK for my flight, laced a note on my order & urged me to check in online ASAP tomorrow for a boarding pass. A fraud specialist said JetBlue discontinued issuing gift cards years ago but is still redeeming any remaining balances; she couldn't tell me anything about the phone # except that it was an international company. The "gift redemption" specialist told me the original amount on my card was $300 & I had used it twice, so it now has a balance of $100 which I can use for a future flight (I could have done it for the flight I just booked, except that I had used miles). I'll have to book the next flight by phone so the gift redemption people can confirm the amount.

So, all good. But I'm still thinking that whoever now has that phone number is doing shady stuff. I can't get over all the questions about personal info. And why would he want my flight confirmation number & indicate he could help me with my booking questions if he has no connection with JetBlue? Plus, the new number he gave me was worthless -- had nothing to do with JetBlue, apparently just trying to make money through dealing more gift cards. UGH. Maybe just a nuisance, but I'm holding my breath till this flight happens, will keep a close eye on CC bills & definitely be more wary in the future.
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:09 PM   #16
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I can't get over all the questions about personal info. And why would he want my flight confirmation number & indicate he could help me with my booking questions if he has no connection with JetBlue? Plus, the new number he gave me was worthless -- had nothing to do with JetBlue, apparently just trying to make money through dealing more gift cards. UGH. Maybe just a nuisance, but I'm holding my breath till this flight happens, will keep a close eye on CC bills & definitely be more wary in the future.
It sounds like JetBlue farmed out administration of the gift cards to an offshore outfit trying to make money off the gift card holders in other ways. You've done everything you can at this point. Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:11 PM   #17
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There is also the possibility that you fat-fingered the number when you called and didn't get what you expected. That's one of my failings -- I'm too quick and don't check carefully that I'm calling the number I intended. In fact, I just did it this morning, so I'm especially sensitive to that.
The number I called was the number on the card. (My phone shows recent incoming & outgoing calls.)

Not that I've never dialed incorrectly. I'd heard of butt-dialing, but I recently foot-dialed. When I'm on the sofa with my laptop, I usually have my feet propped on the coffee table, & my phone is often on the table too. Foot meets phone, voila!
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Old 09-24-2021, 04:49 PM   #18
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The scammer knows your name and address and that you are going to be away from home starting in a few days. Will anybody still be at your house or will it be empty? Although chances are super slim that you could be robbed, you might want to either have someone at home, or a friend or family member watching your place.
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:20 PM   #19
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OP - the good news is you finally put a freeze on your credit reports.

I've done the dyslexic thing and dialed a close number to my card and people must sign up for close numbers as I got a questioning answer, asking me to punch in my SS #.
Thank goodness I looked and saw it was the wrong number I had dialed.

I've also called legitimate businesses, and the phone person asked me all sorts of verification questions and then when I asked if she could see my record, she told me she didn't have it on the screen.
So WHY was she asking those questions

Later I realized convicts in prison are used for phone services.... how do we know we are not talking to a convict
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:26 PM   #20
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The number I called was the number on the card. (My phone shows recent incoming & outgoing calls.)
That answers my question. Presuming it's a legit card (googling the number should have let you ascertain that), and you called the number on the card, you almost certainly encountered slime-ball marketing, not an up and up scam.
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