Check Scams, Debt Collection scams and other financial scams.
#176248 by Robert Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:30 pm
Today I got the most recent of several phone calls from heavily accented callers claiming to be from the (nonexistent) Government Grants Department. They verify my name & address (which they already have, whoopee, it's in the phone book) & ZIP code (which they can easily look up) and say I've been selected for an $8,400 grant which "you never have to repay", etc. with some token excuse for my having been selected for a grant I never applied for. They won't send a check, however, but need my acc't number from my bank or (ludicrously) credit or debit card (silly, no way to credit me with money via those acc't nos.). Sometimes they would require me to phone a sup'v back. Today I was more vulnerable than most times because I actually have been expecting a transfer via ACH from a remote client for a somewhat variable amount in the thousands, and I might've thought setup info to be required; I guess scammers are hoping to luck out like that sometimes, and if I hadn't gotten previous phone calls like this swindle or been paying close att'n to what the guy was saying, I might've blurted out the info.

I never give them acc't nos. But what I'd like to know is how their scam works. Are they just trying to clean out my bank acc't? Would my name, address, phone no., and acc't no. (for the bank acc't, not credit or debit cards) be sufficient for them to do that, or would they need to combine it with some other info? Are these details something I'd have to ascertain from my bank? Or are they trying to use my banking info to further some other scam?
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#176263 by jolly_roger Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:33 am
I'm glad you realised it was a scam Robert. Grants do not work in the fashion described.

re: I never give them acc't nos. But what I'd like to know is how their scam works. Are they just trying to clean out my bank acc't? Would my name, address, phone no., and acc't no. (for the bank acc't, not credit or debit cards) be sufficient for them to do that, or would they need to combine it with some other info? Are these details something I'd have to ascertain from my bank? Or are they trying to use my banking info to further some other scam?

Yes it is highly possible for you to be fleeced! Please do not give your personal details along with your banking information to anybody.
#176270 by TerranceBoyce Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:56 am
There are many variations of this scam and they work from many different angles with different purposes. The fact that they went straight for your card details suggests that the ones you're dealing with are just seeking to misuse your card details.

There are some more sophisticated alternatives involving impersonating your bank/card provider and tricking you in to divulging enough information to enable them to apply for a replacement for a lost card which they then get sent to an alternative address. They perform some neat tricks to make it appear quite plausible and trick your bank/card provider, but it's best never to give any caller you don't recognise any information. I begin all calls 'Hello' and insist any caller identifies themselves and I make them do all the talking. If your phone recognises the number that's not necessary, of course. Alternatively you can block all numbers you haven't authorised to contact you. That's my favourite. :D

CAR ADVERTS - If a car seller mentions escrow - he's scamming you Never ever for any reason pay anything until you have seen and inspected the vehicle
#176274 by Robert Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:18 am
Thanks. It occurs to me that most people's bank acc't, routing no., name & address would be available on their checks. For a long time I resisted getting checks printed with my address on them, but so many places wanted the acc't holder's address written on the check that I got tired of writing them and ordered checks printed with that info. So I would hope a bank would require more than that to issue cards, money orders, etc.

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