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Old 02-15-2006, 11:41 AM   #1
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New scam angle by telephone - read this!

This is a "heads up" for anyone advertsing an item for sale that contains a telephone number where they can be reached.

I was called today by a facilitating service operator for the handicapped. The service provider and the operator were genuine. But the party placing the call turned out to be a scammer....

Just when you thought you heard everything.....

Because we are overwelmed with inquiries from scammers when we list an email contact address in an advertisement, we decided to have a telephone contact listed only.
We figured it would eliminate scammers and that genuinely interested parties would call us if they were serious.
I received a call from a handicapped service provider operator and spent 15 minutes in a relayed conversation with a purportedly "handicapped" caller who could not speak. Afterwards I sent pictures by email to this person. The first email response I received back was that the prospective buyer was "a businessman in a hurry" asking what the "last asking price was" and insisting we "do this transaction immediately". These are all buzz phrases that a scammer uses.

I shut off communication immediately....

What burns my shorts is that now scammers are taking advantage of assistance services for the handicapped in an effort to gain the trust of their victims...

How can you say "no" to a seemingly genuine initial inquiry from a handicapped person by telephone?

You can't.....
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:55 AM   #2
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Bastagees
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/cnp.asp
Quote:
In a number of cases, Nigerians looking to disguise their identities have taken to placing calls through relay telephone systems that had been set up to assist the deaf. (As to how that works, hearing-impaired phone users type text messages on teletypewriters [TTY]. These text messages are relayed to specialised call centers where they are converted into spoken word for the people at the other ends of the phone lines. When these other parties reply, their messages are converted into text and relayed back to the hearing-impaired users.) Such "relaying" disguises what would have been otherwise telltale accents. Also, because there is no cost for this service, Nigerians can make these calls to businesses in the U.S. without racking up international phone charges.

Only after the goods have been shipped does the seller come to the realization that the credit card used to effect the transaction was stolen. By then it is too late — the goods are gone, as is the "buyer."
I'd read about this on Snopes, but you're the first person I've known who actually had it happen. They're sure sneaky, always coming up with something new. Stay vigilant!

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Old 02-15-2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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I had a '61 Caddy for sale on Hemmings about a year ago, and had this very thing happen to me. My wife happened to work for a sign language interpreting company at the time, so we were able to figure out what was happening pretty quickly.

So the next day, I sent messages about it to the relay service, Hemmings and Snopes. I read Snopes every day, and hadn't heard about this particular scam before, but they didn't seem very interested.

Interestingly, as I tried to send e-mails all over the place to warn people, most of them got bounced back by spam filters that apparently won't accept anything with "Nigeria" and "scam" in them. I found that quite annoying.
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:36 PM   #5
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That's really bright of them - most scam emails DON'T say 'scam' in them
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Old 02-16-2006, 03:29 AM   #6
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Question I asked where he was from...

During the relayed telephone call I asked where the person was calling from and they said "Pennsylvania". They even offered their name without me asking. Because this was the first telephone call from a handicapped person and because no one we know uses this service, the next time we receive a call of this type we will deline.

That is what caught me off guard......

When I first answered the call, the genuine operator first explained what the service was before the call was put thru and asked me if I would like to take the call before the "conversation" took place. The number also came up on my caller i.d.
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Old 02-16-2006, 07:31 AM   #7
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I had friends who were selling their minivan and had the same scam pulled with the TTY operators. Fortunately, they told someone who told me about it, and I got to the sellers and got the scam to disintegrate before they lost anything. You almost have to demand credentials of your buyer and a bank wire transfer before you sell anything any more. BTW, insisting on a bank wire transfer is the fastest way to shut a scammer down. I sold some Leica camera equipment a couple of years ago and had lots of interest from Scam Central, Indonesia. I told them I'd be happy to ship the cameras to Indonesia as soon as they completed a bank to bank wire transfer. After the usual "it's a five hour journey to the bank, can't you please take my Visa card" nonsense, they went away.

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Old 02-16-2006, 07:54 AM   #8
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Very good point ....

Bank wire transfers are used everyday in Europe; they are as common as ATM transactions. They are also very safe. We have used bank wire transfers domestically for several years with no problem....
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