Phone, Email, Mail Scams and Fraud

When I read about a warning issued to the residents of Marin (in California) of a phone fraud scam in which a man calling residents asking them to wire him money for bail, I wonder how many people have already sent him money. These scammers are becoming so creative and clever in their methods. I'm sure many of us have received spam emails from these guys congratulating us of winning an international lottery. I once replied back and told them I will have law enforcements verify the validity of this claim. The email stopped but not for long. It's a good thing my email filters spams and directs them to my spam email. I just hit "delete" without even bothering to open the folder nowadays.

I once worked with a lady in her late 50's. She had worked for the company, a major bank in the U.S., for over 25 years. She was a team leader in the returned checks department and was responsible for researching bank errors. For someone with her work experience and knowledge of bank policies and regulations, you would think she would immediately know better when her son asked her if he could deposit a $10,000 check that was mailed to him from a company claiming that he had won the lottery. From her account of the story, the letter looked authentic even though her son admitted he never bought anything from the company or entered any drawings. She said she examined the check and concluded it was not a counterfeit check because of the watermark in the back and the check had a valid bank routing number. She told her son the check was real and he could deposit it. BIG MISTAKE! The bank placed a 5 days hold on his account and on the 6th day, the son withdrew $10,000 and spent it. Well...a few days later, the bank debited $10,000 from his account because the check was counterfeit. His account was overdrawn by $10,000. He had spent all of the money and couldn't come up with the money to put back into his account. The last I heard was the police got involved because the bank notified the police since the check was counterfeit.

I don't know what happened to my coworker's son. All I saw was how distraught and stressed out my coworker was for months. I didn't pry into her business because it was too personal so I don't know if she managed to get a loan from somewhere or someone to pay the bank back. I do know that she reached out to the company's human resource for advice and assistance. Our company has a number for employees to call in for advice and counsel.

Consumer Fraud Reporting is a resourceful site to visit to learn more about the various types of consumer scams and it lists steps you can take to report scams and fraud.

Moral of the story: The rule of thumb is that if it's too good to be true then it's probably a scam. You can't win a lottery you didn't enter.


Mel Alarilla said...

Yes, if it's too good to be true, it's a scam. Scammers always succeed because there are always gullible people who will fall for easy money. Money is earned the hard and honest way. It is best to practice wisdom and discernment to counteract such nefarious activities. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

RoseBelle said...

@Mel:It's really unfortunate how people are being taken advantaged of by the greed of the heart from scammers. Those who make money through trickery and deceit will reap what they sow.

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful and warm comments you left at my blog. They are highly appreciated. You just made my day. Just passing by to say hello and greet you with a warm and zestful
touch from the Lord. God bless you always.

RoseBelle said...

@Mel: You are very welcome. I was commenting as how I felt. Thanks for stopping by again.

lannae said...

Thanks for visiting my food blog! I am sorry I do not have a good pad thai recipe. But, I bet there is good pad thai in the Bay Area. Where can you get good pad thai?

RoseBelle said...

@Lannae: King of Thai restaurant on Clement Street in San Francisco has the best pad thai. There are several King of Thai chains in SF but only the one on Clement Street has the best sauce.