Scams seem to crawl out of the woodwork, and this one was no different. In an age where scammers have access to phone numbers and vital information, it’s relatively simple for someone to come up with a bright new idea and try it out a few times to see how far they can take it.
A couple of hints to scammers (not that they would read this): don’t call your targets “sweetheart” “darling” or any other term of endearment. We’re not that gullible. We’re also easily annoyed by patronizing men who can’t use the English language well or whose accents are so thick that we can’t understand. They should also make sure every single duck is in a row so that if a question gets asked in the middle of the scamatious line of script, they don’t completely fall off the cliff.
Today’s call was from what sounded like an older male from some other country. The phone said “Discovery ” but I’m certain they have a variety of labels. He informed me that I had won a prize from 22 finalists in the Publishers’ Clearing House contest.
David Miller, Badge #5010 says: “Wow. What? You don’t remember receiving a letter about that? Maybe you ignored it. We can resend an email or fax. It may take a while because of all the other “luckily” winners.”
(Really? All the others?)
“You have won $7,000 weekly for life, 2019 Mercedes Benz Convertible, a gas card for five months (Why just five, come on now, throw in that last month to make it half a year… ) Car insurance from GEICO (Gee, I was hoping for progressive), a Certified check for $1.5 million…”
My confirmation number was 28812003. I was actually hoping for a moment that it was true. After the week I’ve had, it would be lovely. But I waited for the hook. I had the bait. I waited to see just how stupid they think I am. I edging toward the possibility that there was actually a grain of truth (not $1.5 million worth or the weekly check). So I waited… He asked when I would be home all day. Hmm. Okay. I chose Monday because I figured it didn’t really matter since they weren’t coming anyway. I was curious to know how they were going to bilk me. Or try. And here it was.
“You know that the IRS is going to take a lot of money out of all that. (Goes on a bit on details, and asked if I know what the IRS is ((No, I’m a complete idiot)).
“We have a special agreement with the IRS that if you pay the tax on this amount before you receive it, that the entire tax is waived. Because you are honest and are taking action in good faith. All you need to pay is 1 percent to the total winnings.”
Me: Oh. So you want me to pay you money now on the phone?
Miller: Oh no. You would be paying the IRS. (pause)
Me: The IRS NEVER conducts business on the phone.
If it’s too good to be true, it is. Don’t fall for a scam. NEVER give out information or pay some weird bill for ANYONE on the phone.