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"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."

Mathilde Blind, April Rain

Scams

mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
Have you ever been been a victim to a scam or con?

I received a Facebook message from a school friend today. She asked me if I'd seen the good news. She told me she'd seen my name on a list of winners and she'd won too, so had 130,000$ in her bank account. Sure enough my name was there. To apply for the prize, all they needed was name, address phone number and email address. My friend asked if I'd contacted their helpline to discuss the winning, so I did. But not believing it could possibly be true, I checked the website on Google and discovered news items from last October on reports of a 'mega millions' scam in Florida that looks very much like it is connected. What a shame!

Meanwhile I have sent a message to my friend via a different way to let her know her Facebook account must have been hacked.

Have you come across anything like this?
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Comments

  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    I have never been scammed in this way, but it is easy to see how people would fall for it, particularly if they didn't understand how technology worked properly.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    It was an interesting scam, and for the first few minutes almost took me in. Apparently a lot of Facebook account details were stolen and maybe someone used this to hack her account.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    It was an interesting scam, and for the first few minutes almost took me in. Apparently a lot of Facebook account details were stolen and maybe someone used this to hack her account.

    I think this is one of the dangers of putting so much online, as we have a lot of information available to scammers.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    Nowadays so much is ordered online, but here the websites aren't always very good and so I am having to give up with an order I made ten days ago and tried to make again yesterday. I notice from the merchant's Facebook page that I am not the only person with the same problem. I was starting to think it might be another scam, as no one seems to want to get back to me whatever language (French/English) is used. However I think it just boils down to extremely poor customer service.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Nowadays so much is ordered online, but here the websites aren't always very good and so I am having to give up with an order I made ten days ago and tried to make again yesterday. I notice from the merchant's Facebook page that I am not the only person with the same problem. I was starting to think it might be another scam, as no one seems to want to get back to me whatever language (French/English) is used. However I think it just boils down to extremely poor customer service.

    I will only ever use websites that are well known and trusted, and I will try to avoid using websites that I don't know if I possibly can.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 2019
    You are right, as there are many bogus sites around @GemmaRowlands. I once tried to book a flight and my bank blocked the payment. When I contacted the flight website's help line, it was clear something wasn't right and when I contacted my bank to get my card unblocked, I told them I was grateful they'd blocked the payment. I don't know how they already knew it was phony, but I was lucky they did.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge so what was wrong with the fight website? My bank blockes my card when I really need it to pay with. Once I spent a lot of time and money to contact my bank in order to get my card unblocked from Southeast Asia. But when my money was stolen from the card, apparently by using a "skimmed" copy of it, my bank said it was my fault.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    It was actually a scam site @Vok, that I am pretty sure about. Yesterday I called my bank to unblock my card as they'd stopped me using it to pay a Romanian travel agency which they must have thought was suspicious. (I had got around the problem by using my French debit card which hadn't been so fussed).

    Once when my Barclaycard was stolen even though I reported it, somehow they didn't block the card. When I returned from holiday and received my credit card bill, I was shocked to find that I appeared to be so in debt, as the card had been used to make lots of payments under £50, the limit in those days for no checks. Barclaycard immediately cancelled my debt. It was their fault they hadn't blocked the card.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    You are right, as there are many bogus sites around @GemmaRowlands. I once tried to book a flight and my bank blocked the payment. When I contacted the flight website's help line, it was clear something wasn't right and when I contacted my bank to get my card unblocked, I told them I was grateful they'd blocked the payment. I don't know how they already knew it was phony, but I was lucky they did.

    My bank are quite good at that too, although they do sometimes block transactions that are genuine, and that I meant to make, which can be annoying.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    Nationwide have been blocking my card a few times when I have been making overseas payments, which has been a bit of a nuisance. I dread to think what they will do in a few weeks when I start travelling as they don't expect you to warn them if you will be going anywhere like they used to.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Nationwide have been blocking my card a few times when I have been making overseas payments, which has been a bit of a nuisance. I dread to think what they will do in a few weeks when I start travelling as they don't expect you to warn them if you will be going anywhere like they used to.

    Have you phoned them to inform them of your situation? They can put a note on your account then, and make sure it doesn't happen again.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    I regularly have to call them and it is no problem when I'm at home, only I hope that they don't do it when I'm travelling as it isn't always quite so easy to call them then.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    I regularly have to call them and it is no problem when I'm at home, only I hope that they don't do it when I'm travelling as it isn't always quite so easy to call them then.

    Yeah it might be worth just telling them you're travelling so they won't think it's somebody else using your card.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    The problem is that they don't seem to take much notice.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge @GemmaRowlands I always have some cash on me when I travel in case plastic can get blocked or lost.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    Me too @Vok and when I am travelling, I make sure I don't have my eggs all in one basket and always keep valuables like cash, bankcard and passport separate, as a back up.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Vok said:

    @mheredge @GemmaRowlands I always have some cash on me when I travel in case plastic can get blocked or lost.

    That is a good idea, and I should probably do that too, but I always seem to forget to carry physical cash somehow.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    I always carry some cash as I think I'm far more likely to lose my card and then I would really be stuck.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    I always carry some cash as I think I'm far more likely to lose my card and then I would really be stuck.

    Before now, I've left my partner's card in the card machine at a supermarket. Luckily it was still there when we went back to try and find it.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    You were extremely lucky @GemmaRowlands. With the swipe card now, it makes it ridiculously easy for a thief to use the card at least till it gets reported missing.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    This is a fascinating scam story form the 18th century: The Liechtensteinian Lady Burglar and Her Mysterious Trunk. A lady stole from countless inns thanks to a chest with a secret hidden within.

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/who-was-barbara-erni-grifter?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1b02c6a825-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_05_08_Not_LA&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-1b02c6a825-65904101&ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_05_08_2019_Not_LA)&mc_cid=1b02c6a825&mc_eid=5918298398


  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    You were extremely lucky @GemmaRowlands. With the swipe card now, it makes it ridiculously easy for a thief to use the card at least till it gets reported missing.

    Yes I agree, we were very very lucky indeed. It was a good few hours before we noticed it as well, so the contactless payment could well have been used multiple times, but luckily someone honest found it.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    @Hermine reminded me of a common scam where you receive a call ostensibly from Microsoft questioning you on your use of your computer. I was very surprised when I received a call like this once on my mother's number when I was staying with her for a few day. It must have been my fault as I must have used her number for something. She doesn't have a computer and also is deaf, so normally doesn't answer the phone.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    @Hermine reminded me of a common scam where you receive a call ostensibly from Microsoft questioning you on your use of your computer. I was very surprised when I received a call like this once on my mother's number when I was staying with her for a few day. It must have been my fault as I must have used her number for something. She doesn't have a computer and also is deaf, so normally doesn't answer the phone.

    I get these a lot. I just play along with them, and pretend I'm doing everything they're telling me to, so they get very frustrated at the other end. In reality, I don't even own a Microsoft PC, as everything I use is Apple.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    Hahaha so they didn't know this @GemmaRowlands. Have ever received a message asking for money with promises of repaying it with a crazy return? I don't know if these scam letters are as popular as they used to be but the sad thing was, they sometimes worked and people were being swindled.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    @Hermine we were talking about this yesterday. My bank puts the following warning on the front page of their internet banking site.


    "We’ve put measures in place to keep you and your money safe whenever you set up a new payee in the Internet Bank. It’s all part of making life harder for scammers and helping you identify scams before it’s too late.

    You’ll now be given some guidance to help you make the decision as to whether you’re happy to continue with making the payment before the payment goes through. Please make sure you read the warnings and the recommended actions are carried out.

    If you don’t follow these warnings then you could end up being the victim of a scam and subsequently lose the money.
    "
    For more information about fraud and scams, please visit our Fraud awareness pages."
  • VokVok Posts: 1,872 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge usually people read those pages when it's already too late. I try to solve any issues occured with my bank account in the office of a bank because you'll never know who you'll end up talking to on the other side of the phone.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't expect ever to conduct any type of banking business over the phone as it just doesn't feel secure enough for my liking @Vok. Like you, I prefer face to face dealings with my bank account manager in the branch.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Hahaha so they didn't know this @GemmaRowlands. Have ever received a message asking for money with promises of repaying it with a crazy return? I don't know if these scam letters are as popular as they used to be but the sad thing was, they sometimes worked and people were being swindled.

    Yes I've had those letters - I definitely don't fall for those. If I'm going to make investments I research them very carefully. Companies tend to pay some investors as they need genuine success stories, but on the whole people just lose money.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 42,562 ✭✭✭✭
    Those letters are well known scams and originally seemed to emanate from Africa. They were even called 'Nigerian scam letters.'
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