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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

REPEAT: Who Wants to Be a Scammed Millionaire?

IMPORTANT EDITORIAL NOTE: Yesterday, Monday, my blog host suffered another distributed denial of service (DdoS) attack so hardly anyone could get to this blog or my other one, Time Goes By, until late in the day.

Therefore, I am leaving this story up for an additional day to give readers a chance to see it before it moves down the list.

This means that if I have emailed to tell you that your story or poem will be published on a certain day this week, it will appear one day later than expected.

By Dan Gogerty who blogs at Cast

For a few seconds on Saturday, I was a millionaire. A phone caller said the Publishers’ Clearing House crew was 15 miles away, ready to arrive at my door with a 1.1 million dollar check and $25,000 in cash.

I had a brief vision of me on the local news holding an oversized check and a bouquet of flowers. I wondered if I should change out of the faded teeshirt and ragged shorts I had been wearing to mow lawns.

Of course I knew it was a scam but I was intrigued with the methods so while he spoke I went online.

I would need a $600 moneypak card to “cover the taxes,” and no doubt I would have to give him the code number on the card before the sugar daddies would arrive with the cash.

Speaking of cash, he asked if I wanted the $25,000 in 100s or 50s. I should have asked for it all in pennies.

When he called again to confirm that I’d purchased the moneypak card, I explained to him that I had a press photographer, a group of relatives and a police officer friend ready to attend the big event. “With that much cash,” I said, “I don’t want to take any chances.”

I spoke of my pants-wetting excitement but he was only interested in the number off the money card. “Mr. Gogerty,” he said, “please listen. Do you have the moneypak?”

By then I’d checked his area code and my wife was calling the Better Business Bureau. My fun was over so I asked him why he scammed money from people. He hung up and from somewhere in Jamaica, he no doubt started in with another call.

Since then I’ve noted scam-related news and anecdotes popping up like dandelions. An elderly woman in a nearby town fell for the well-known ploy: “I’m your grandson; I’m in Montreal; I’ve been robbed. Wire me some money, please.”

Her bank account is $5000 lighter now.

From Nigerian princes on email to phony debt collectors on the phone, flim-flam activities will certainly continue. The dumbest I heard of came from a tweet (so its veracity is suspect). Apparently a guy was knocking on doors saying he was a tick inspector. He asked the resident to strip off so he could check for wood ticks and the dreaded deer tick.

Anyone who fell for that one should call me—I have a phone number in Jamaica they might want to call.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


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