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Topic # 199161 7-Aug-2016 09:39
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I work in IT in New Zealand. My boss is from ex-military foreign unit, of about 600 sailors. They regularly meet. They also socialize on Facebook.

To join their Facebook group, you needed to be vetted, providing information like your commander's name, ship, military ID, rank, ...

Anyhow one of his buddies contacted him on instant messaging, and they talked for several weeks.

His buddy said he was in some kind of trouble and needed a loan. He originally asked for $35,000, but my boss agreed to some small amount.

(My boss is a little hazy on the following details) His buddy first asked for bit-coins, but that didn't happen. His buddy then asked for a transfer, which didn't happen.

Finally his buddy asked my boss to login remotely to his PC, then login into via the remote PC to my bosses bank account and arrange a small transfer.

Anyhow I'm sure you've guessed what followed. Shortly after my bosses bank account was wiped clean entirely, of $11,000. The con artist used a Chinese bank to receive the money.

In hindsight, the con artist had successfully cloned a Facebook account, and got accepted into a small private group.

The con faked military knowledge, and local knowledge of where the ship was stationed. It's extremely likely spoke two languages (a third if you count Chinese).

My boss swears it couldn't have been one of his ex-military foreign buddies. That he would trust any of his foreign military buddies with his life.

It's easy to blame the victim, "he should have known better", but it's easy to be too trusting.

He's at least told all his other buddies, so they won't be conned also, instead of hiding his mistake.

He has talked to his bank's anti-fraud unit

He and his buddies have threatened to kill the con artist if identified, and I believe him.

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  Reply # 1605770 7-Aug-2016 11:03
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It pays to always confirm by phone that you are communicating with the real person.


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  Reply # 1605787 7-Aug-2016 12:13
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DarthKermit:

 

It pays to always confirm by phone that you are communicating with the real person.

 

 

Couldn't agree more. A phone or Skype call is a simple thing.

 

There are no shortage of stories of people being scammed by Facebook/email requests for 'emergency loans from friends in trouble'. If you pay away money solely on the email or Facebook exchanges, then expect to lose your money.


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  Reply # 1605794 7-Aug-2016 12:35
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And if your 'friend' says they can't talk on the phone for any reason at all, it's a scammer on the other end 100% guaranteed.


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  Reply # 1605801 7-Aug-2016 12:48
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It's an old scam. Impersonate someone known to the mark, claim to be stranded in another country, need help to get out, can't talk on the phone because they took everything, need money to pay the hotel, air fares and new passport.

 

I got one message like this on Facebook once. When I asked my "friend" about his kids the con artist hiccuped. Bingo. The account was closed soon after.

 

Reality is con artists can do things in real life and in the digital life. With the amount of information floating around - people leave almost everything open on Facebook and LinkedIn, which can be mined for information needed to create a scam.

 

It can be very convincing, but when it gets to the point of asking for money, it's face-to-face or via phone, or nothing.





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  Reply # 1606468 8-Aug-2016 17:21
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One of the reasonably tech-savvy directors at a firm I previously worked for got scammed with this. Luckily we headed it off before they sent any money offshore.

 

As freitasm mentioned, it's an oldie but a goody. I remember my father receiving Nigerian advance-fee scam letters written on a typewriter and posted to him back in the early 1990's; my how things have changed!


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  Reply # 1606978 9-Aug-2016 13:42
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It can be psychologically difficult for some people to get their head around this. 

 

 

 

There was the guy in taupo who got scammed in the "This is the IRD you owe use tax or go to jail" ruse ......  the scammers ordered him to buy $5000 of itunes cards and send them the card codes. 

 

So there he was, sitting in the supermarket carpark, scratching out itunes cards, reading numbers out to the scammer over the phone.... so that he didn't get put into jail for non-existent tax fraud. 

 

Good on him for going public on it. Anything to raise awareness. 

 

 

 

And I heard a similar story about a woman who was told to send the IRS some money through western union or similar .   She did the transfer but western union fraud monitors blocked the transfer and she was put through to a guy in Europe to explain the scam.   Even after being told it was a scam, she still wanted to send the cash. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1607402 10-Aug-2016 09:20
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dafman:

 

DarthKermit:

 

It pays to always confirm by phone that you are communicating with the real person.

 

 

Couldn't agree more. A phone or Skype call is a simple thing.

 

There are no shortage of stories of people being scammed by Facebook/email requests for 'emergency loans from friends in trouble'. If you pay away money solely on the email or Facebook exchanges, then expect to lose your money.

 

 

 

 

I work on EVERYTHING ON THE INTERNET IS A SCAM until I can prove otherwise, especially where it involves money or personal information.


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  Reply # 1607503 10-Aug-2016 11:17
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So you're telling me I can't get a loan from you to pay my hotel bill in Nigeria? frown


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  Reply # 1607514 10-Aug-2016 11:38
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surfisup1000:

 

There was the guy in taupo who got scammed in the "This is the IRD you owe use tax or go to jail" ruse ......  the scammers ordered him to buy $5000 of itunes cards and send them the card codes. 

 

So there he was, sitting in the supermarket carpark, scratching out itunes cards, reading numbers out to the scammer over the phone.... so that he didn't get put into jail for non-existent tax fraud. 

 

Good on him for going public on it. Anything to raise awareness. 

 

 

 

 

thought this story must be a load of rubbish, but a quick internet search revealed this.  geezzzz...  why would the IRD need itunes codes??????????


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  Reply # 1607520 10-Aug-2016 11:56
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reven:

 

surfisup1000:

 

There was the guy in taupo who got scammed in the "This is the IRD you owe use tax or go to jail" ruse ......  the scammers ordered him to buy $5000 of itunes cards and send them the card codes. 

 

So there he was, sitting in the supermarket carpark, scratching out itunes cards, reading numbers out to the scammer over the phone.... so that he didn't get put into jail for non-existent tax fraud. 

 

Good on him for going public on it. Anything to raise awareness. 

 

 

 

 

thought this story must be a load of rubbish, but a quick internet search revealed this.  geezzzz...  why would the IRD need itunes codes??????????

 

 

 

 

Ummm hello, they need the itunes codes to purchase their hold music  :P


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  Reply # 1607527 10-Aug-2016 12:10
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As an accommodation provider we deal with attempted booking scams weekly, even daily sometimes. Used to be they were easy to spot.

 

Awkward grammar, strange over-friendly contact, too good to be true bookings (large groups, multiple night stays etc), unlikely scenarios (attending a multi day conference - at Cape Reinga?)

 

But now they're better. Harder to spot. And we've had them call us, try to make the bookings in person. Prepayment's the only common theme - and then of course a cancellation, refund request.

 

It's got to the point where if it's a direct booking (not through an agent or 3rd party's booking system) we won't take any type of prepayment, and will only charge their credit card in person, on arrival.

 

 


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