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Facebook Hoax

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ALERT: Be Warned

I just received an email telling me that Facebook had an Awards promotion UK, and that I had been awarded 1,000,000 pounds or euros or something. Suggest you do as I did and delete the message.

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What I find humorous about these scams is that I am sure there are people who actually believe what they read. Is it the name recognition from the word Facebook?

Just like many scams, my favorite being the long lost uncle in Nigeria....etc, etc, I guess there is a certain switch in some people's heads that doesn't trigger the BS reaction to such nonsense. Just being able to appeal to people in English doesn't make the Nigerian pleas any more believable, especially when they name themselves Dr. Henry Tudor or Mr. Ernest Hemmingway.

But like Des, I delete such nonsense without opening it since if I do my virus protection will set off alarms. Kind of like the people who phone you with a NY area code and say they are my local bank calling about a problem...no you're not.

I want the phone company to give me a kill button on my phone. Not to disconnect but to actually blow up the phone calling me and kill those fools who are trying to fool me. Ah, that would be the ultimate in satisfaction.

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The letters from Nigeria almost never are written in colloquial English, yet usually purport to be from someone there in control of a fortune, seeking someone, well, me, to help them with it. I would expect such a letter to be written in much better English than they are.

I think they work because people are greedy.

But I haven't got one for years. Maybe when you don't respond they cross you off their list.


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I posted the alert about the Facebook scam because I had not seen it before. It is much better written than the Nigerian scams, but the give away was the sentence:

"We are pleased to inform you officially of the result of the just concluded annual final draws held on the (22nd of January, 2014) by the Facebook Awards Promotion (UK) in conjunction with the British America Tobacco Promotion, your email was among the 20 Lucky winners who won £1,000,000.00 each."

The tobacco promotion just didn't seem plausible to me, let alone the 1,000,000 pound award.

On phone scams:

We were constantly suffering from phone calls telling me that my computer is infected and that if I didn't let them have access to my computer via the Internet, then they will stop my computer from working.
Now I had tried threatening them with reporting them to the authorities, I have sworn at them, and even told them that they are blatant rip-off merchants who risk detention in a federal custodial facility. Nothing seemed to deter them; 3-4 calls a week,
Finally, When they rang and told me my computer was infected with some virus, I told them that was impossible as I don't own a computer.
"You don't have a computer?" asked the voice.
"That's right I said." They disconnected their call immediately.
I had two more calls like that and that was several weeks ago. I'm wondering whether they actually believed me and put my phone number on a do not call list?
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I want the phone company to give me a kill button on my phone. Not to disconnect but to actually blow up the phone calling me and kill those fools who are trying to fool me. Ah, that would be the ultimate in satisfaction.

I have an old fashioned penny whistle on the table by my phone any bogus, nuisance or hoax calls get a good ten seconds of top D# at maximum volume, I'm told it does wonders for the ear drums - fortunately at my age I can't hear it fully.

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I'd have thought this line:

in conjunction with the British America Tobacco Promotion, your email was among the 20 Lucky winners who won £1,000,000.00 each."

would have caught your attention because you hadn't sent them an email!

Yes, Cole, that too.

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Nigel...I love your whistle idea as I get far too many calls from India. If I see 'number witheld' or 'international' I just let it ring but the whistle would work wonders as a deterrent I'm sure.

Rick, since I introduced its use the number of unwanted calls, especially those from India, have dropped from two to three a day to about the same number a month. Unfortunately I can't ignore withheld or international numbers as most of my friends are living overseas and often call using VOIP systems.

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This ought to raise a smile or an eyebrow.

These mailings would need a real idiot to respond to such a poorly constructed letter... right?

And... thats apparently the whole point. A scam takes a lot of work once the mark is hooked, and it gets less and less plausible as it progresses. To take the scam all the way to the end requires a mark who is really dim. If he isnt dime enough then a lot of wasted time results, and that is to be avoided. So... the initial letter is deliberately written so that only a really dim person will respond, thereby avoiding all the ones who will bale out before any money is made.

Neat, huh?

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The latest scam for me was from PA Turnpike Commission stating that I owned them money for using the turnpike. Now I do have an account with them so I went to check on it thru my own link to them. Upon reaching the homepage, I found that the State was already aware of the scam.

My biggest clue that it was a scam was the fact that I haven't used the Turnpike in over a year.

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IRS Reiterates Warning of Pervasive Telephone Scam


People have reported a particularly aggressive phone scam in the last several months. Immigrants are frequently targeted. Potential victims are threatened with deportation, arrest, having their utilities shut off, or having their driver’s licenses revoked. Callers are frequently insulting or hostile - apparently to scare their potential victims.

Potential victims may be told they are entitled to big refunds, or that they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Well, I have just fallen victim to the latest scam. The scammer, my bank. They have done away with interest charges on my overdraft, when I use it, and replaced it with a flat monthly fee for having the overdraft facility. So my overdraft charges are going to go up from about £3.90 a year to £72 a year. The really nasty thing is that the letter advising me states that it will make life easier. For whom?

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Please send your bank account details to Orang-utan Enterprise Banking Corporation.

We know how to spend your money without you being burdened by interest payments or other charges. :w00t:

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Speaking of banks... I recently made enquiries with Ally Bank. I liked the idea of doing my banking exclusively by phone/online.

They purport to be an American bank but when I told their online chat operator that I wanted to move my banking business from Bank of America... I was told I couldn't as Ally Bank doesn't accept business accounts. The operator couldn't understand that I was talking about doing personal business with their bank and the operator kept repeating "Ally Bank doesn't accept business accounts."

It was obvious that the operator was not a native speaker of English and was probably in India from the English usage he/she was using.

Needless to say, I crossed Ally Bank off my list as who knows what would happen to my meager social security income if customer service can't even communicate in English!

Anyone else have a similar experience with Ally Bank? I hate doing further business with the thieving BoA but seem unable to find a decent alternative.


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