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Old 06-29-2021, 11:30 PM   #1
Trihexagonal
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This is Border Patrol, your Box-o-Drugs has been seized. Press 1 to speak to an Agent...


This is the newest phone scam I've been privileged to receive. Three times in one day and then again yesterday, and yesterday I wasn't busy so I took them for an hour long ride.

I was informed Customs had custody of my package and that I was looking at 10 years in jail for being a Drug Runner, Money Launderer, and something else besides Money Laundering I'm not guilty of.

I was advised under the Privacy Act of 1981 I could not discuss this information or record it, and not to discuss this with anyone. Because it's usually someone close to you that steals your Identity, since I was shocked to hear this and that must have been what happened. Finally got to speak to Agent Mike Costa.

Agent Costa was versed in his part of the scam and when he got around to asking about my bank accounts I said I had a checking account with $14,447 and a MasterCard.

(Muffled excitement on the other end of the line.)

After Agent Costalot checked my name and zip code he stated 5 bank accounts had been opened in my name and there were 5 Mastercards in my name. That all my accounts were now frozen.

If I wanted to keep my account open at my local bank I should withdraw all my money, except $5-$10 so they wouldn't close my account, and go to multiple stores to load up cards with a $1500 total till I had the complete amount on cards.

Then they would send two Agents to my Residence to pick them up and keep my account from being frozen by leaving the money in their care to ensure I wasn't continuing my Rico Statue activities.

(Boy, that's what I wanted to hear... Because I was going to beat the scam out of them and their butts into next week.)

That if my cellphone held enough charge I should go to Walmart right now and start getting cards. He would stay on the phone with me the whole time to record the conversation to present it in court to show I had cooperated with Law Enforcement.

Then gave me his personal phone number in case my phone died or we got disconnected so I could call him back.

Well, I really would have liked to have met those Agents outside Public Housing where I live. Everybody would have loved to see that. But I wasn't going to Walmart, already had his phone number and the original callers and had played him for an hour.

I said there was really no need for that. That I was Agent of Chaos pox, lived in a One Party Consent State and had recorded the whole conversation from ring and his Privacy Act of 1981 was better placed up his rectum before he went to prison. Click.


Oh, it was a sleepless night for the person who called and Agent "Gonna" CostaHimaLot. The first thing I did was send him a photo of the FBI website and laid a scam on him to show him how it felt.

At 1am Agent of Chaos pox called the person who originally called from KY. to inform them their phone had been used for Illegal Activities. It had been disconnected this morning, but not Agent Costa's. It probably is by now though.


I could have reported them to the FBI and still could, but doubt I will. I have the 1 hour covert digital audio recording and in the State I live in as long as I agree to the conversation being recorded, that's one person and all it takes to satisfy the Statute.

Last edited by Trihexagonal; 06-29-2021 at 11:34 PM.
 
Old 06-30-2021, 02:24 AM   #2
ondoho
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Good for you.

I heard about this scam. The key is fear - of breaking the law in this case. Once the fear gets hold of the scammee, they apparently can be made to drive around like crazy to buy gift cards, something nobody in their right mind would even consider a sensible course of action against unlawful activity.
 
Old 06-30-2021, 08:50 AM   #3
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I find it funny that these people don't even do their research. I think in other counties a magistrate is a judge of some sort? In the US that word isn't generally used if at all. I've been threatened with being put in front of a magistrate so many times now I just laugh. When they threaten me with prison time I say "Come get me. The gate is open."
 
Old 06-30-2021, 09:35 AM   #4
sundialsvcs
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You can reliably spot any scammer because in the end they always have a way to try to get you to part with your money. Some of the stories that they cook up – like this one, certainly – are quite elaborate.

Incidentally, I have a friend who works in the gift-card business, and they use many sophisticated fraud-prevention algorithms and are always inventing more. Your victim wouldn't have been able to buy that many gift cards all at once. It's a very well known strategy for money laundering, too.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 06-30-2021 at 09:37 AM.
 
Old 06-30-2021, 10:32 AM   #5
Trihexagonal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Your victim wouldn't have been able to buy that many gift cards all at once. It's a very well known strategy for money laundering, too.
I was supposed to be the victim. That's how it was supposed to work, anyway... Pity the fool that calls to scam Mr. T!

Trihexagonal, that is.

They shifted me through 3 people who were all very well-read in their part of the scam spiel, sans East Indian or Pakistani accent, before I got to Agent Costasleep. And he stuck to his script and wouldn't let me rush him to a point, so I followed his script as he went.

When I said the only person who might know my SSN was my ex and I didn't want to talk about her, he said it would be to my detriment if I didn't. I thought you little pin stick. So I blurted out something close to the name of my dead first ex-wife and said I didn't want to go to jail on her account. No siree no jail for me.

First he asked if there was a Target store close to me and I told him no, the closest one was St. Louis and that's 100 miles away. Then he asked if there was a Walmart and he was going to have me running from store to store till I had $14,447 worth of cards. Save the $5-$10 he was going to allow me to keep in "my local" checking account. He said you could only load $1500 on a card, so I was going to be busy a while.

Fourteen thousand four hundred forty-seven was, in syllables, a magic number I knew would strike a cord with him in his mind.


His phone in Washington State was still active this morning about 5am my time, 3am there, so I let him listen to Hawkwind - Orgone Accumulator till the message recording was over. Dialing *67 in front of his number to hide mine as "restricted".

Last edited by Trihexagonal; 06-30-2021 at 10:36 AM.
 
Old 06-30-2021, 05:32 PM   #6
sundialsvcs
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Yes, "scams of this magnitude happen every single day." Hundreds of times a day, in fact.

However, the moment you actually tried to "accumulate $14K worth of cards, $1.5K at a time," you actually would have been caught and shut down.

Recently, I had to politely explain to a customer at a convenience store why he was unable to make two very-similar purchases at the same store on the same day.

What you should do right now is to call your local law-enforcement authorities ... and then to follow them to the appropriate probably-federal-level groups. Because you are right now "a material witness" to a felony crime. (Of course, your status as a "witness" is protected.) Your information will be added "as grist to the mill," and, "every little bit helps."

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 06-30-2021 at 05:57 PM.
 
Old 06-30-2021, 06:25 PM   #7
Trihexagonal
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
However, the moment you actually tried to "accumulate $14K worth of cards, $1.5K at a time," you actually would have been caught and shut down.
*snip*
What you should do right now is to call your local law-enforcement authorities ... and then to follow them to the appropriate probably-federal-level groups. Because you are right now "a material witness" to a felony crime. (Of course, your status as a "witness" is protected.) Your information will be added "as grist to the mill," and, "every little bit helps."
That's exactly what that guy told me! Now I'm freaking out.

If I don't tell I'm an accessory to a Felony. If I do, snitches get stitches...and he has my phone number and...

Maybe I should draw all my money out of my checking account and just hand the cash over to you for safe keeping. So they don't confiscate if they get me on a Rico Act charge. I'm going to need bonded out and a lawyer. A good one, too.

Get that guy Oliver Wendel Douglas, from Hooterville. And make sure Lisa Douglas comes along, I like the way she says "Hootersville".

Take care of that for me, will you, please?
 
Old 06-30-2021, 08:13 PM   #8
frankbell
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Whenever they want gift cards, it's pretty much a giveaway that you're being conned.
 
Old 06-30-2021, 08:17 PM   #9
sundialsvcs
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If you think that someone's trying to con you, just call the police.
 
Old 07-01-2021, 02:02 AM   #10
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgibson1981 View Post
I find it funny that these people don't even do their research.
It is of minor importance.

The most important thing is that they try to grip you with fear.
Hence the drug charges, the threat of a jail sentence.
They want to get you to a place where you can't think straight anymore (fear => lizard brain takes over).
I would like to think of myself as clever enough to see through it from the onset, but I've never been in the situation so I don't really know.
Fear can be overwhelming.

In the end, the only thing that helps is to always adapt a stance of skepticism with such calls, reach out to friends immediately, and be well informed for common tactics (as frankbell said: mention of gift cards is pretty much a 100% indicator of scam/fraud).

BTW, OP's story is very similar to this one:
https://www.aarp.org/podcasts/the-pe...d-payment.html
Entertaining podcast that also helps to stay informed & develop strategies to avoid falling into the traps.
 
Old 07-01-2021, 02:37 AM   #11
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That's very close to what they tried to pull, ondoho. Down to not telling anyone and keeping me on the line the whole time. He tried to make it sound threating in a legal manner where if I didn't cooperate I'd be going ot jail for 10 years.

But he never asked for, or knew, my Social Security Number. He asked my name, I told him it was Michael Uplawski.
(No I didn't. I'm joking. Or am I... Yes, I'm sure of it.)

He asked for my zip code and ran that quickly enough to see what town I live in, which is no great secret. That's when he told me 5 checking accounts had been opened in my name and so had 5 Mastercards. I said Where, here in town? He so no, all across the United States. OH Em GEE, I don't want to go to jail, is there any way I can pay a fine?

But he wouldn't take that bait and stuck to his script till he thought he had me hooked. I should have told him my phone was about to die and I'd run fast as the gingerbread man to get those cards, cause I wanted to meet these Agents face to face.


Usually it's a deal where they say something is going on with you, like strange activity with my SSN, and then ask your name. Well, if you have my SSN you already have my name.

If you have my box-o-drugs you already have my address, why are you asking me for my zip code?

My computer has a virus! I bet I got it watching pron. Go to Google and search Elephant pron. What do you see? Oh, porn? Well, I bet you've got the same virus on your computer now that I have.


Don't be afraid of them. Make fools out of them instead of letting them make one of you and have a good time of it. Do some impressions. Have a wandering mind and go off topic. I like to go frantic on them. It's usually the bright spot in my day when I get a call like that and I record it all. I may even send Agent Costas a cropped screenshot of my post.

They called 3 times before this, but they haven't called since. I put the numbers on block because I figured they were spoofed. But they were all from KY. I bet I can *67 dial them and still get an answer.
 
Old 07-01-2021, 04:15 AM   #12
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trihexagonal View Post
He asked my name, I told him it was Michael Uplawski.
You had me there for a second!


Anyhow, I feel sorry for you US Americans - I've had less than 10 scam calls during my whole life, half of which were probably legitimate, if annoying, salesperson pitches.
 
Old 07-01-2021, 08:58 AM   #13
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I get those calls all the time. I think it's more common in English-speaking countries. But most of the ones I've heard of are from nice, sympathetic people who, after telling you that criminals have got into your bank account, reassure you that you can avoid losing any more money if you just do what they tell you. Like that lovely police officer from Hammersmith who called me the other day and whom I never heard of again. Threatening you with jail sounds like a more American thing to me.

The few times I've been threatened with imprisonment, it's been by a woman with an American accent who apparently works for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. This offends me as an ex- civil servant. Can't they give these jobs to British people?

Nice one, Trihexagonal!
 
Old 07-01-2021, 09:44 AM   #14
Trihexagonal
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But most of the ones I've heard of are from nice, sympathetic people who, after telling you that criminals have got into your bank account, reassure you that you can avoid losing any more money if you just do what they tell you. Like that lovely police officer from Hammersmith who called me the other day and whom I never heard of again. Threatening you with jail sounds like a more American thing to me.
That's what they were trying to do, hazel. Help me.

They were going to help me keep the $14447 in my checking account at the bank I don't use from being confiscated. They were going to hold it to show I was not using it to fiance upkeep on my supercharged Drug Running street sleeper, and that it was not the profits thereof.

Yes, we're big on threats and violence in the US but these people had pronounced East Indian accents. I would have loved to have seen the look on their faces when they realized the 64 year old man they have been talking to was the guy walking up on them...

If they call and bother you, hazel, tell them you're going to tell me. jitte. Have sap gloves. Will travel.
 
Old 07-01-2021, 08:14 PM   #15
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The most common scam calls I'm getting these days are telling me that the warranty on my vehicle is about to expire (my vehicle is a 2003) and trying to sell me an aftermarket warranty that covers almost nothing.

Sometimes we get two or three of them a day.

Both my landline provider and cell provider started marking calls as possible spam on the caller ID a couple of years ago, but sometimes, when it looks like a legit local number (spoofed no doubt), I answer the call and listen silently. A real life human being will say something after a few seconds. A computer will either play the recording or click off after a few seconds.
 
  


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