Scam? What would you make of this?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jerseygirlteach, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jun 19, 2015

    I got this call today that really scared me. I'm not an idiot, but I am prone to panic. I imagine this was most likely a scam, but I can't really figure out what the angle would be.

    I got home today to a message on my machine from a woman with a heavy accent. She said she was from the dept of finance (or something like that) and to call her back ASAP. She referred to me by my first and last name. I got scared and called back. The area code was Los Angeles, BTW.

    A man answered the phone saying "dept of finance." I asked him why I had gotten a call and he used a lot of official sounding rhetoric that, honestly, I couldn't fully follow - partly because he too had a heavy accent. He told me that I would need to contact an attorney because there was an issue with my 2010 tax return. He said that they tried to deliver a subpoena to my house, but I didn't answer the door, so they thought I might be evading arrest and I could be facing 6 months in prison. I told my husband and he got on the phone and started asking questions and was either disconnected or the guy hung up.

    What do you think? I'm pretty shaken.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I also know that the IRS will never call you. All correspondence is via mail.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have caller ID. I don't answer the phone from anyone I don't know...I also don't respond to email...most of which are concerns trying to sell something.
     
  6. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My mother got a similar phone call. She informed them that her connection is bad and could she get their name so she could call back. Then she called the police and they investigated. I was proud of her, she doesn't always "get" scams.
     
  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Jun 19, 2015

    Definitely a scam. I get these types of calls regularly on my drive home form school and I find that they can be quite a lot of fun when I play right back with them. I usually just repeat things back to them to try their patience. It's pretty amusing because they DON'T want to hang up if they think there's any chance the person is taking their call seriously. I've pretended to be hard of hearing, elderly, foreign, confused, you name it, and they never hang up. Eventually I get bored because I'm the one pranking them so When I feel I have them really hooked, I break out my regular voice and give a laugh and say something like, "Oh Man! I'm sorry. I'm just messing with you!" They usually say something like, "WHAT?" I have to say, it's pretty funny and they take me off their list real fast! Shame on those people. they deserve it right back.
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jun 20, 2015

    I've been getting calls like this lately too. Yesterday they left a message. It ended with them using my first & last name saying that I've been served. Contact me by mail.
     
  9. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Wow, I had no idea that this was a common scam. I feel silly, since I pride myself on being a little more savvy than this. But when someone starts throwing around words like "subpoena", "federal crime", and "prison", all my logic apparently goes out the window.

    I just hope I didn't inadvertently give them additional information about myself that they could use.

    I called the police, but they just told me not to worry about it. They didn't seem interested, honestly.
     
  10. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Jun 20, 2015


    THIS.

    Do not stress. Total scam.

    My mom works at Office Depot a few days a week for extra spending money and she was telling me about a lady who came in for visa gift cards. The lady came in a second time for more gift cards (asking to load large amounts, $1,000 on each). The lady was panicky and my mom asked if she was okay and the lady told her about how she was getting calls from the IRS saying she owed several thousand dollars and that if she didn't pay them ASAP they'd send cops to her house to arrest her and she'd spend months in jail and the story went on... My mom told the lady they'd never call her and then called the store manager over and the "IRS guy" just happened to call while they were standing there, demanding that she purchase more gift cards and give him the numbers on it so he could "process her fees" or they'd come after her and my moms manager took the phone, told the guy her was a cop and that they were tracking the number and the guy cursed at him and hung up.

    My mom said this lady was in her mid to late fifties and that she didn't seem to be an unintelligent person, but the guy had threatened her so much that she freaked out and didn't know what to do. Unfortunately, they got a couple thousand dollars out of her.


    So... don't worry!
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    We have had the calls, as well as the nasty virus on the computer all claiming to be the government. If possible, block the offending number, but I would be willing to bet that they will just switch the numbers and continue on with their scams. If you gave them ANY information that involves credit or debit cards, change them. I also recommend keeping a sharp eye on your credit rating and possible requests to change addresses that might come from varied creditors, since that is how they start if they have enough information. And you are right - the police won't help. These crimes have specialized divisions and they only tend to go after the really big fish. Your caller would be considered small fry.

    Best advice ever given to me: Tell them that your son/daughter is in law enforcement, or is an attorney, and that for you to even consider their call and demands, they will need to send you all documents, including court records, via certified mail. When they start giving excuses why they contact by phone - mail too slow, immediate nature of call, etc., they have tipped their hand. So sorry that you were abused like this. You can't even be sure that the number that looks like it came from a state is even in this country! Sometimes when you punch in the number on Google and search, it will show the state, and then a little further down, the same number from a foreign country.

    Consider that your heart had a mini stress test over this incident, and you passed. Best wishes.
     
  12. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Oh no, I feel sorry for that woman. Just for the record, though, I never in a million years (!!) would have sent the guy pre-loaded Visa gift cards or anything else. I did think I was going to have to call a lawyer, though. :)

    I hope no one judges me. Trust me, I've always thought of myself as someone immune to scams. You really don't know how you're going to react to someone threatening you with prison until it happens.
     
  13. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Thanks for the advice. I did not give them any information that they did not already have - my name and phone number. They never would have gotten anything like credit card numbers, or SS#, or anything like that. But I hope I didn't inadvertently say something that was helpful to them.

    Oh well, if nothing else, let this be a warning to anyone who reads this thread that there are some nasty people out there so be careful.
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Trust me - with the right words and tone, everyone can be pushed into panic mode at some point. Had they gotten to asking for unconventional payments, you would have understood straight away. We had calls come in where the caller ID had been programmed to show as FBI or IRS. We don't think as rationally when we see that - and they know it.

    You are absolutely correct - until it happens to you, it is hard to understand the panicky feelings. So glad you are safe.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    I suggest when strange calls come in, google the number with the words phone number in front of it. Most often you will find the number reported. Even if you don't find it reported, you could just be on the beginning end of their new number.
     
  16. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I had a call I thought was a scam, but now I don't think it was. They called and wanted to know where a payment I made was supposed to go. They wanted my social security number, and I wouldn't give it. They said they would have to mail me a form and it would delay my tax return. Well, I did get a letter in the mail two weeks later. I'm still not sure if it was a scam or not, but I only had to put my name and phone number on the form (and write where I wanted the payment to go), and they obviously already had that information.
     
  17. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    So true. Years ago I got a call & I think I gave them more information then I should have. I remember hanging up and being panicked. Nothing ever came from it.

    With the call I got yesterday, I started to call it back, was put on hold, hung up and looked at the number that called. When I saw where it was located I knew it was one of scam calls. We've gotten several from that location recently.
     
  18. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I'm starting to get a lot of them on my cell, but the joke is on them - I seldom answer my cell if it is not someone I know, and I am notorious for NEVER checking my email. They can call until the cows come home and will probably wonder why I have a phone at all. Sometimes you just get lucky! :p
     
  19. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I ignored a call from myself the other day. It was pretty funny. My caller ID comes up on my tv and there across the screen it showed "Incoming call ChristyF followed by my number." On a sadder note (or infuriating for me), right after my uncle passed away my aunt got one of those calls and it showed his name (their number was under his name). It really upset her.
     
  20. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Calls from the government usually come as US GOVT - at least from my experience with the SSA and associated offices
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    This exact same thing happened to my dad.

    My mom, who happens to be very feisty and no-nonsense, intercepted the call (mid-conversation) and apparently gave the man a harsh scolding for attempting to scam my dad!!! :rofl:

    She said he was extremely difficult to understand, though, due to the heavy accent.
     
  22. MissJill

    MissJill Cohort

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  23. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jun 22, 2015

    I got scammed by the copy machine toner scam the other day. I was so mad at myself too, because I too consider myself very savvy when it comes to identifying real vs. fake. I work for a large college, on a satellite campus, and got a call saying my toner was on its way. This is not unusual, as we often have the central campus order supplies for us and not know about it until they are delivered. So I said fine, he asked who to send them attn: to, and I said my name. He started to explain that the cost was going up, and honestly by this time I am doing 4 other tasks while half listening. But I started to wonder why he was telling me about the cost-we're on a contract. So I asked for his name and email, which he gave to me, and I said I'd call back. I googled, and apparently this scam goes waaaaay back to the 90's! Stupid me. The scariest part is many of the web sites I read said that once you give your name you are agreeing to allowing them to ship to you. Nothing came of it, but I was sweating it for a while. My point is...it happens to the best of us!
     

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