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Info Seeker

Re: Phone scam

Message 1 of 3


Computer Scam



I received a scary popup warning on my laptop computer March 6th of 2017, saying I had contracted a very dangerous malware that would fry my device if I turned it off or otherwise tried to deal with it. Instead, there was an 866 toll-free number to call to have a technician fix the problem. I called. After they said they would fix it and some time working on it from INSIDE my computer, they said it was all fixed from their side, going into my computer. It indeed started working again. Then they said I owed them $250 for the repair. I balked, but they said they did the repair so I had to pay. All the people I talked to regarding this service scam had East Indian accents when they spoke, and there were several, up to today. They all had Americanized names, like David Joshua or Stuart Alen (sic). I think later that computer repair company PUT the scareware/malware on my computer in the first place. At first, I trusted the computer repair company.


The guy I was talking to on the phone said he deposited $3,000 dollars in my bank account after they said their fix-it didn't work, and they wanted to refund my $250 plus an extra $50 for my time and trouble, which showed up as a valid checking account deposit, instead of the $300 they said they were SUPPOSED to deposit. I said, That's too MUCH!” He responded with “Oh, my God, that was a very bad mistake!” and said he would get fired for it. I had the upper hand but because I'm honest and felt sorry for his “mistake,” I said I would refund the extra. That's when I TRIED to send him the $2,700 to make us even and he told me how it wanted it done, by MoneyGram, at first. Then when the MoneyGram “failed” to go to the recipient, he had me try it again. I assumed I would get the bad sends refunded but that was not to be and the MoneyGrams AGAIN failed to be received. That's why I kept on trying to help him recoup his and his company's loss. I was getting pulled along on a barbed wire leash!


One of their office recipients of a MoneyGram they had me send to even had MY rare last name, supposedly (Don Lerch). It was never a company's name, always an individual in different countries (Bejing, China, and Jaipur, India). The scammer guy said to put down on the MoneyGram form that he was my cousin. Anyway, I tried to send them money in a Moneygram a couple of times to different people in different countries, them saying after the attempts it was never received. Then it turned into me buying $thousands in iTunes gift cards several times, each time they said it never reached the recipient or the serial numbers were wrong or something and to try again. I thought that since it “didn't go through,” I would be refunded my money. WRONG!


These bogus transfers of monies continued for a few days until the mddle of March, through Walmart (Lockhart, TX, MoneyGram and iTunes cards purchases) and H.E.B Grocery in Luling, TX, through their Western Union partnership. The Western Union attempt also “failed,” but I kept $1200 of the money refunded from the $2500 attempt, for some safety, since I was thinking this ongoing draining of my bank accounts was strange and unusual. Finally! I am a trusting soul and I paid for that trait. I figure that I lost upwards of $5000, all tolled.


Several other attempts I refused to do. I had called the FBI and they told me this was a common scam and to get my laptop checked out by a local computer repair company, which I did. The FBI didn't take my name or many details but the IT company took off four programs from my laptop, the main culprit being TeamShare/TeamViewer or something similar, where they got into my computer at the very beginning and stole my identity. It was ONLY supposed to let them fix the thing.


At one point, I was asking when was I going to get my past attempts at sending more and more money refunded to me, so the guy – who went by a code, 9898 – said he deposited $5000 into my banking account and gave me a link. Somehow, that deposit showed up and then was gone later and my USAA Checking Account had no record of that deposit. It was some kind of clone transaction record, I think. I didn't even know that was possible! They used lots of tricks on me to string me along, the bastards...


I called MoneyGram to alert them and they followed up some. Same with the FBI and my three banks involved. I told my banks and they blocked the accounts. The FBI only advised me that this is/was a common scam and to get my laptop checked out by a professional, not even taking my name or any details. The IT guy took off four programs, including one called Team Viewer, which was to let the scam tech fix my laptop from the inside. I have since gotten a new laptop.


There are many twists and turns to this whole, sad, ongoing affair and later I tried to make notes to sum up what had happened when it started getting complicated. The calls continue to today, still wanting me to use five $50 or $100 iTunes cards, which they SAY they will put $1000 each on so I can get my $5000 loss back. How I transfer iTunes into cash I can't get them to explain, except today the guy told me it involved PayPal. “Just DO it, Mr Archer, and trust me just this once and you will see.” Sure. I've been down that road before. They have partial answers to most of my questions but I think they survive on lies, which are very clever and obfuscating. Like salesmen, with heavy Punjabi (East Indian?) accents that I struggle to understand.


There were several people from different company names that I spoke to on my cellphone regarding this ongoing scam and phone numbers that would not allow to be dialed from my phone. The latest calls were supposedly from a company called iYogi. The only phone number that worked for me was the initial number I called way back in March 6th to supposedly fix my laptop, 866 612-4980. Another number on their website is 877 770-0329, which I did not call. The last person, who called several times today and for weeks to get me to buy more iTunes gift cards, was supposedly named Robert Johnson, if memory serves. I did buy one other $50 iTunes card and he said that would not work, that his company had to give me ALL my money back at one time or nothing.


There are MANY details I have left out for some kind of brevity and also I am forgetful at 66, but that is the scam in a nutshell. Thanks for listening and be careful out there!







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Frequent Social Butterfly

Re: Phone scam

Message 2 of 3

It's called caller ID 'spoofing', a definite downside to phone companies using the Internet for free long distance calling.  It appears to be a fairly simple thing for a telemarketer/scammer to call you using a number different from their real number.

If it's not a treatening or obscene call the phone co. can't (or won't) do anything about it.  And calling the FTC to complain because you're on the "do not call" list is useless too.

The realy annoying thing about the Do Not Call list is after you sign up with it the FTC GIVES your number to any telelmarketer who requests it (supposedly to let them know who not to call), but in the end it only gives your number to more people.


Also, one of the nasty little tricks the scammers use is, when they aren't calling people directly , they will use their computers to automatically call every number in a specific area code and see who picks up the phone.  When you pick up the phone it tells the calling computer that it's a 'live' number (someone will answer) and they sell that number (and others live numbers) to other scammers who will call you directly.


So here's my tip, and it works well for me.  Use an answering machine.  First, important callers I know (friends, family etc) are programmed into the phone under their personal name or nickname (Mon, Sis, Son and so on) so when I see that on the Caller ID I know it's safe to answer.

But if I don't know the name ot number on the phone I stand by and let the machine pick it up (using the message that came with the phone,. Dont change it).  If it's an important call or someone I know, they WILL start to leave a message, and when I recognize the caller I then pick it up and the answering machine stops recording.  Otherwise the scammers machine doesn't know a live person is there and give up as soon as it hears " one can pick up right now so leave a...".


It's been my experience that 99% of the robocall machines hang up during the OGM (outgoing message) and all you hear is a dial tone.  Give it a try, and I hope it works for you.

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Info Seeker

Phone scam

Message 3 of 3

Your caller ID shows  a local Number along with a Name or local Co. or town, but when you anwser it is a robo call trying to sell you a trip or insurance or something else.

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