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Popular Phone Scam-Don’t be a Victim

10 Feb

By Carla M. Thompson

There is a very popular phone scam trending in the Metro-Detroit area right now that has the potential to put innocent people in a very dangerous situation.  My family and   I were almost victims of this phone scam, but my mother’s quick thinking prevented it. Here is how it happened:

My grandmother passed away last week and we are having the funeral on Sunday.  (She would have been 100 years old this year, WOW!)  So as you can imagine we have been receiving a lot of phone calls and we have been busy making arrangements.  In the middle of all of this my mother received a phone call and it went something like this:

Caller:  “Hello”

My Mother: “Hello”

Caller:  “Do you know who this is? I’ll give you a hint, I am from out of town. I heard about the funeral and I am here to attend it.”

My Mother: “Billy?”

Caller: “Yes, it’s me. I came as soon as I heard and I am on the road with two friends.  But here’s the thing, my car broke down.  I am in the city but I can’t get my money from Western Union until after 6pm.  Can I borrow $140? I will send my friend Roy over to pick it up.  What is your address?”

My Mother:  “Give me your number, let me call you back.”

The call ended there.

Under normal circumstances my mother would have never played a guessing game with someone over the phone but because she was stressed she was caught off guard.  And that is what con artists count on.  Now, I do believe that this could have been someone we knew, family member or friends of the family but it could have also been a stranger who looks for these types of opportunities.  Had my mother given him her address they would have not only gotten the $140 but could have also robbed everyone in the house.  After the phone call ended she called the suspected family member and found out that he was still out of town.  I am glad that my mother is cautious, even on her worst day she didn’t allow herself to be put on the spot.  This could happen to anyone.  So, everyone be careful!

Email Scams: Is anyone falling for this?

8 Feb

By: Carla M. Thompson

Have you ever received an email like this?

***

Dear

I am Miss Abena Fabien and I got your contact on my desperate search for a trusted partner who will help me in investing my late father money abroad.

My late father, Mr Paul Fabien was a gold dealer here in Ghana before his death and he left me with five million US dollars ( $5m) in his deposit account in a Bank here in the country. As the only child, my uncles are threatening to kill me if i don’t release the documents of money to them.

I contacted you so that you can be my foreign partner in investing this money in your country for me to settle down in your country and start my life there. I contacted you because the bank refused to allow me withdraw or deduct any money from the account until it is transfer to foreign beneficiary account due to what is stated in agreement letter the bank made with my late father when he deposited the money.

I also want to assure you that 30% 0f this money will be yours for every effort and expenses you will make to receive this money in your country and to help me in investing it there.

Waiting for your urgent reply.
Abena Fabien
*********

I hope that no one has been a victim of this type of scam but just in case let’s answer this question.  How do you know if it is real?  Here’s how:

1.  The first sentence gives it away, if they are in search of someone they can trust why are they contacting you?  Do you know this person?  Would you email them if you needed help?

2. The next paragraph says that she is being threatened by her uncles.  The scam artist is trying to draw you in emotionally so that you will have sympathy for her.  This is all part of the con. Why not call the police?

3.  The next paragraph explains why she needs you, “I contacted you because the bank refused to allow me withdraw or deduct any money from the account until it is transfer to foreign beneficiary account“.  She wants you to give her your account number so that “the bank” can deposit the money into your account.  But in actuality they will take money from your account.  And if you think about it, why would anyone’s family member set up an account like this for their beneficiary?

4.  Then to close the deal she promises you 30% and wants to you to help her spend it when she gets here.  Sounds like a good deal right?  Wrong.  Too easy!

It is best just to delete these emails.