“It’s me” Fraud

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“It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:18 pm

A friend of ours fell victim to the It’s me fraud – losing 5.5 m yen (approx. $55k). The perps were smooth and had her completely convinced that she was speaking with her son.

They had just a few personal information items – her name, name of her son, that the son had children, that he was an employee of a company, and her home phone number (which could be obtained thru directory assistance). The rest of this information might be obtained from employment records, insurance, or even the city office.

She mistook the voice on the phone as that of her son because the caller `had a cold`. She didn`t seek outside opinions – and even that of her husband, because the `son` pleaded with her to not divulge the nature of his transgression.

The story was that he (the son) had taken up a `side business` while still employed. He was selling home water filtration units on the side, and was taking in a 70k/month profit (approx. $700), which he needed to pay for his kids schooling. Most recently he landed a big contract for commercial units to be installed in a known-name restaurant chain, and he had `borrowed` money from his company to pay the supplier of those units. He would make it all back plus a tidy profit in a month, as they were installed. But his company was to be audited, and his unapproved borrowing would be discovered unless he returned the funds immediately. Of course mother (our friend) agreed to come to his rescue by cashing out a time deposit.

The son was to meet her to pick up the cash, but at the last moment needed to send a substitute because an audit planning meeting had been called, and he was afraid to miss it. Plus, he said that she shouldn`t call him since he would be in that meeting and didn`t want to draw attention to himself.

The subordinate couldn`t find the mother`s house, so she agreed to meet at a known location. While she was going there, the perps rang her home phone reputedly – apparently to confirm that she was on her way, and to ensure that her husband was still at home (and thus they wouldn`t be observed), hanging up each time without speaking.

At the delivery point the `son` called again to reassure her that the pickup person was legitimate and that she should indeed hand over the cash. Once she returned home and learned of the silent phone calls she then called her son, who said that he wasn`t involved in any such issue, and asked that she call the police.

She of course did then call the police only to learn that this is a common fraud. Apparently she will not be out the full 5.5m, as there is an insurance program for fraud victims that will return as much as 30% of her loss.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gord » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Wow.

Maybe it's a cultural thing, but if I called either of my parents with that story about stealing money from my company, they'd let me go to prison before becoming accessories to my crime.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:29 pm

Gord wrote:Wow.

Maybe it's a cultural thing, but if I called either of my parents with that story about stealing money from my company, they'd let me go to prison before becoming accessories to my crime.


Indeed... My wife and I have agreed that if ever faced with something like this, we would play along - but call the police on the side and let the chips fall where they might. If a fraud, with our help the police might be able to entrap the perps, and if our son - he would learn a valuable lesson.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Sep 16, 2015 12:54 am

I had a wealthy client, who made his money from soundtrack royalties. He lived in Byron Bay, a seaside rural town for ex-media people. We both had access to his bank accounts, which I monitored weekly.

He withdrew $10,000 cash and I rang him up. He said he invested in a company called Toxic Waste Systems Pty, based on a tip from a new friend. I complained that shares don't cost exactly $10,000 and were not normally paid in cash. I demanded to sight share certificates. He refused. Two months later he rang me up and abused me because he sold the shares made a $1,000 profit.

A week or so later, I monitored his bank accounts and he withdrew $280,000 I rang him up again and got abused for interfering. He said he received the same tip from the same new friend. About three months later he told me there were some problems and his friend had gone overseas, to sort the problems out, for quite a few people in Byron Bay. It was too late and the scam had already occurred. He refused to call the police, so I sacked him as a client.

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Re: “I Claudius” Fraud.

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:09 am

"I, Claudius" is the famous fictional novel about the Emperor Claudius, who acts like an idiot in public, to avoid making enemies, but is highly intelligent in reality.

To me, the classic entertainment scam is when an unknown producer, goes drinking and partying with rich idiots and sets out a plan to make the world's greatest movie. The producer never presents a "fixed budget to complete the movie" but simply takes large amounts of money off the investors. After a year of so, "things go wrong" and the producer cries and complains that he needs more money to fix the problems. The producer shows a minute of half edited footage and says "we are almost home". A year later the producer sort of disappears with some undefined illness and yet everyone thinks he is a top bloke.

I had a client who asked me to run a company owned by three farmers, that was developing new internet video streaming software ( This was a long time ago). After a while, I worked out that my client was the con artist and was burning the three farmers. My lawyer told me to clearly inform the farmers so I wrote a very careful letter and set out all the evidence. They told me to mind my own business.. I resigned. Two years later one of the farmers rang me and asked me to meet with his lawyer as they had invested over two million and could not work out if they actually owned anything tangible at all. It was too late.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:34 am

Investment Fraud.

I challenge anyone to identify what isn't.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Poodle » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:08 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Investment Fraud.

I challenge anyone to identify what isn't.


Send me $1000 and I'll show you how.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:15 am

Poodle wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Investment Fraud.

I challenge anyone to identify what isn't.


Send me $1000 and I'll show you how.


Yep....some think you have to be stupid to sign up for such obvious fraud. Years ago I read that often the person is not stupid, but rather too smart: they overthink the situation. The opportunity is so obviously suspect..............wait for it ..... that it must be true.

I think that might be an in artful way to say that feelings (needs, hopes, dreams) get in the way of what we can see for ourselves if we would just apply what brains we have.

BTW--I fell across Shark Tank on tv. Very intertaining and informative show. Same with Make me a Millionaire. On my shallow bucket list: Go to Bed, Bath, Beyond and see the Shark Kiosk.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:24 am

Gord wrote:Wow.

Maybe it's a cultural thing, but if I called either of my parents with that story about stealing money from my company, they'd let me go to prison before becoming accessories to my crime.


On the cultural aspects – a couple of points to consider.

When this mother was confronted by her `son` - he was pleading for help, and in saying `I don`t know what I will do if you don`t help me` was suggesting suicide. With this `son` being the eldest, she expects to be dependent upon him for her maintenance and sustenance as she gets older, so there would have been that additional pressure to help.

Additionally, had he `done the crime`, the shame extends to the family as well once it hits the news. Neighbors will gossip, mom will feel that she is being shunned, and she will not be able to hold her head high (probably would drop cultural activities such as participation in neighborhood events, etc.). In some cases a father will commit suicide if a son tarnishes the family name, so mother would be doing her best to avoid the name blemish.

This is a frequent scam – and always targets mom. She should have known better, but once convinced it was her son, she was locked in.

Now that the scam is out in the open, there is a bright event. Her son will now sell his house and they will move to our town, building a house for mon, dad, and the son`s family to live in. Apparently the son has decided that if mom is getting scammed, she shouldn`t be on her own any longer.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gord » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:03 pm

TJrandom wrote:Additionally, had he `done the crime`, the shame extends to the family as well once it hits the news. Neighbors will gossip, mom will feel that she is being shunned, and she will not be able to hold her head high (probably would drop cultural activities such as participation in neighborhood events, etc.). In some cases a father will commit suicide if a son tarnishes the family name, so mother would be doing her best to avoid the name blemish.

That's the kind of culture I find fascinating. It isn't confined to one country or one ethnicity; it's like a universally human culture of "social rank".
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Scott Mayers » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:17 pm

Another similar con is operating now in which a person calls and as soon as you answer, an apparently concerned nurse says, "Hi (Pat), I'm just calling to make sure you've taken your meds." This call happened twice to me to which I only said they had the wrong number. But on the second call, I noticed that the number was from another distant province to which it dawned on me that it was likely a fishing call. Whoever is doing this is hoping to get some old person who actually is taking at least some medication. By mentioning the name, Pat, I'm guessing that this is intended to be a mere dummy guess intended to illicit the person to say, "no, this is ..." and inform the con to then come back again later.

I've had similar problems with others as Matthew mentioned with even close family members whom I no longer speak to for similar reasons he mentions. You get ironically fired on as some enemy by the very target that originated somewhere else to which even when they've learned of the con, they can no longer turn to you out of loss of pride. But I've also seen some who actually turn around and then start using the same tactics. Again, I relate to Matthew on also discovering a couple people to literally be conning. I disassociate with them all.

There is something else I've learned too about cons which only make it hard to respect the ones being conned. Often the cons tend to entice others to something obviously too good to be true. As such these cons operate on people's own innate greeds and real internalized misconduct. And it also the con who is the one giving the confidence in the other person including their willingness to behave in ways that actually make these 'victims' often as disrespectful in some way for it. Thus the con artist doesn't feel bad for this as they believe they are simply fueling the very evil that resides in those other people.

It doesn't make the victim at original fault, however. I am complete disagreement with the use of entrapment by various police forces who also use this tactic to entice others to behave badly in ways they may not have had they not been initially teased into it.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Cygnus_X1 » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:26 am

I don't understand how a person could be taken in by someone who doesn't sound like their son and doesn't have the same vocal mannerisms. Even a 'bad cold' doesn't hide those things that much. I'd recognise any of my relatives instantly, cold or not. Everyone has their own unique accent, speed of speaking, degree of nasal tone, etc etc....and ways of introducing themselves and speaking. In the length of time it would take to explain any scam, I'm pretty sure I'd know it was fake.

And with that sort of money at stake, a simple tester question with an answer only the real person would know, would be in order.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:53 am

Cygnus_X1 wrote:I don't understand how a person could be taken in by someone who doesn't sound like their son and doesn't have the same vocal mannerisms. Even a 'bad cold' doesn't hide those things that much. I'd recognise any of my relatives instantly, cold or not. Everyone has their own unique accent, speed of speaking, degree of nasal tone, etc etc....and ways of introducing themselves and speaking. In the length of time it would take to explain any scam, I'm pretty sure I'd know it was fake.

And with that sort of money at stake, a simple tester question with an answer only the real person would know, would be in order.


Good points, but this is a scam that is frequently successful. With a `cold`, sobbing, pleading, obviously in distress - unfortunately it works. But nothing is lost for the conman if it doesn`t work, since they have only invested a little time and can move on to the next potential victim.

There are also times when the conmen have additional information, such as names of grandchildren, the dog, etc. – so can be ever more convincing.

This same woman almost fell for another scam a few months back, so the conmen apparently kept her number active and were successful the next time. The first one was an attempt to obtain her bank account details, by offering to process a tax rebate and claiming to be city office employees. A phone call to the city office to reconfirm a detail discovered that there was no such person employed, and there was no process for anyone else to process tax rebates.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:18 am

As a bit of an aside on this – we have a public speaker system so that officials can announce road closings, scam warnings, lost persons reports, festival events, school is out so drive carefully, fires so that the volunteers can gather, tsunamis, etc.

The scam warnings come across every few days, following actual scams that have hit the town – so there is really no excuse for falling victim. But people still do.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Ali3nz » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:51 am

I've heard of several variants of this scam, in particular it seems like the elderly are a prime target.

The one I first heard about is that the person in distress claims they are in a foreign country and are in urgent need of cash.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:12 am

Ali3nz wrote:I've heard of several variants of this scam, in particular it seems like the elderly are a prime target.

The one I first heard about is that the person in distress claims they are in a foreign country and are in urgent need of cash.


I am in a foreign country and in urgent need of cash.... send me some? :)

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby ElectricMonk » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:15 am

TJrandom wrote:I am in a foreign country and in urgent need of cash.... send me some? :)


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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gord » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:14 am

Needs you money? Lucky day! I am rich Nigerian prince, and for an small one-time fee to only 500 $ US I will be send you an cheque for 1.6 billions $ US.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:01 am

I found this article to be informative – the tricks con men use to sucker in their victims. Well worth a read.

Exposed: The mind tricks crooks use to steal your life savings and how to protect yourself

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:15 am

Ali3nz wrote:I've heard of several variants of this scam, in particular it seems like the elderly are a prime target.

The one I first heard about is that the person in distress claims they are in a foreign country and are in urgent need of cash.


Its called the "Spanish Prisoner" (a long con). Excellent movie written by Mamet called just that. Steve Martin was excellent in it. It suffers a bit for being "too clever" so hard to follow, but still a fun film.

Old People: their brains are dying and becoming overly emotional and less analytical. I hear, it sucks to grow old.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:48 am

The `It`s me` fraud probably does target the elderly - but please do take a look at the link in my last post above - as it offers the tools the con men use on everyone - not just the elders.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby fromthehills » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:08 pm

There's one that calls to warn me about "workplace safety" and OSHA starting to crack down more in my " area". They want to sell me a package for my safety meetings. OSHA doesn't come way up here, it's a 7 hour round trip for them. I don't have employees. The guy persisted, until I asked, " Why the {!#%@} would I need to buy a safety program for $180 to stand around by myself in a woodshop worrying about OSHA?" He was using some of the techniques from that Daily Fail article, so I didn't mind cussing at him.

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Monster » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:09 pm

TJrandom wrote:I found this article to be informative – the tricks con men use to sucker in their victims. Well worth a read.

Exposed: The mind tricks crooks use to steal your life savings and how to protect yourself

I'm pretty good about those mind tricks except this one gets me: PRESSURE OF LAST CHANCE TO BUY. I have a tendency to buy impulsively, unfortunately.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:31 pm

When the "Microsoft people" call me to tell me my computer is sending error messages I advise the speaker that their mother is {!#%@} elephants in Hell. I'd give Gord's left nut to have a Go-Pro watching that person after I hang up.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gord » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:09 pm

I had a guy come by my house insisting he had been "sent" and was "required" to check my hot water heater. I let him because I found it amusing. After he poked at it, pretending he was doing something, he asked for a glass of water. It felt like a trap, but I still wanted to see where he was going with it. I thought he would drink it or something, but nope, he dropped a packet of chemicals into it and made it turn red. "Look at all the chlorine in your water!" he exclaimed. I laughed. He tried to explain to me how chlorine causes cancer, and how it leaches in through your skin while you're showering.

It was a lot of fun.

The next day, another guy came by my house with the exact same story. He was a lot nicer though, so I didn't let him in. I told him another guy had been by the previous day, and he acted surprised. He wanted to know what I'd thought of the first guy, and I said he wasn't a problem.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:21 pm

Gord wrote:I had a guy come by my house insisting he had been "sent" and was "required" to check my hot water heater. I let him because I found it amusing. After he poked at it, pretending he was doing something, he asked for a glass of water. It felt like a trap, but I still wanted to see where he was going with it. I thought he would drink it or something, but nope, he dropped a packet of chemicals into it and made it turn red. "Look at all the chlorine in your water!" he exclaimed. I laughed. He tried to explain to me how chlorine causes cancer, and how it leaches in through your skin while you're showering.

It was a lot of fun.

The next day, another guy came by my house with the exact same story. He was a lot nicer though, so I didn't let him in. I told him another guy had been by the previous day, and he acted surprised. He wanted to know what I'd thought of the first guy, and I said he wasn't a problem.

I had an established water softener businessman pull that "hey, look at this {!#%@}!" routine on my sister. I laughed at him and sent him on his way. I had to explain the con to my moron relative.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby scrmbldggs » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:36 am

I don't get many of those but if any show up, they won't set foot into my abode. But I chat with some outside at times. If I'm not busy. And I keep them busy for a while...

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:39 am

scrmbldggs wrote:I don't get many of those but if any show up, they wont set foot into my abode. But I chat with some outside at times. If I'm not busy. And I keep them busy for a while...

yw :mrgreen:

I have a "NO TRESPASSING" sign and a human silhouette target with the center thoroughly punched out of it, both hanging in the window by my front door. UPS man is sometimes afraid to ring the bell. He called me once from across the street. :lol:
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby scrmbldggs » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:52 am

:laff:

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Flash » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:44 am

I get harassed by so many "duct cleaners", "roofers", driveway fixers, that I actually miss the Jehovah Witness proselytizers. They don't come to my door no more. What the hell happened to the people of Jehovah? :shock:
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:45 am

Flash wrote:I get harassed by so many "duct cleaners", "roofers", driveway fixers, that I actually miss the Jehovah Witness proselytizers. They don't come to my door no more. What the hell happened to the people of Jehovah? :shock:


Those thumpers are all over here...

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gord » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:54 am

Flash wrote:I get harassed by so many "duct cleaners", "roofers", driveway fixers, that I actually miss the Jehovah Witness proselytizers. They don't come to my door no more. What the hell happened to the people of Jehovah? :shock:

They became duct cleaners, roofers, and driveway fixers.
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:57 am

Flash wrote:I get harassed by so many "duct cleaners", "roofers", driveway fixers, that I actually miss the Jehovah Witness proselytizers. They don't come to my door no more. What the hell happened to the people of Jehovah? :shock:

I had a "driveway sealant team" come by my house in Indiana once. They quoted me $500 to "completely reseal all cracks and refinish the surface." I told them to stand by while I called my wife to bring the money. Sadly, for them, the police arrived before she could get to the bank.
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Nobrot
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Nobrot » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:27 pm

Flash wrote:I get harassed by so many "duct cleaners", "roofers", driveway fixers, that I actually miss the Jehovah Witness proselytizers. They don't come to my door no more. What the hell happened to the people of Jehovah? :shock:

Now there's a thought. How do Jehovah Witness' handle doorstep nutters? Either they (JW's) are all totally penniless due to falling for the scams or they are actually very intelligent and they do indeed hold the secret of everlasting life.

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scrmbldggs
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby scrmbldggs » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:36 pm

Flash wrote:I get harassed by so many "duct cleaners", "roofers", driveway fixers, that I actually miss the Jehovah Witness proselytizers. They don't come to my door no more. What the hell happened to the people of Jehovah? :shock:

Your place sounds... charming. Maybe that's what keeps them away. :-P

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TJrandom
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:15 pm

Our morning news is reporting the arrest of a group of 7 and showing their numerous PCs, cell phones, and fraud guidebook. They had an alumni directory with 70,000 names, phone numbers, etc. This was an `It`s me` con group. I`ll post a link once it hits the web.

edit - added the link

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:12 am

I received another one of those `Your account needs to be updated – please click the link below` emails – this one from `Amazon.jp/connect/`.

I don`t have an Amazon.jp account so instead of clicking on the link, into my browser, I entered the address that was displayed, and of course found that Amazon.jp has no such extension. Checking it out was easy enough to do so I just deleted the email. I don`t know where these arseholes get my email address, since I rarely use it.

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Gawdzilla Sama
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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:36 am

TJrandom wrote:I received another one of those `Your account needs to be updated – please click the link below` emails – this one from `Amazon.jp/connect/`.

I don`t have an Amazon.jp account so instead of clicking on the link, into my browser, I entered the address that was displayed, and of course found that Amazon.jp has no such extension. Checking it out was easy enough to do so I just deleted the email. I don`t know where these arseholes get my email address, since I rarely use it.

If you'd have hovered over the link the destination would have appeared at the bottom of the screen.
Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby TJrandom » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:41 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
TJrandom wrote:I received another one of those `Your account needs to be updated – please click the link below` emails – this one from `Amazon.jp/connect/`.

I don`t have an Amazon.jp account so instead of clicking on the link, into my browser, I entered the address that was displayed, and of course found that Amazon.jp has no such extension. Checking it out was easy enough to do so I just deleted the email. I don`t know where these arseholes get my email address, since I rarely use it.

If you'd have hovered over the link the destination would have appeared at the bottom of the screen.


Thanks for that - yes, it worked. The email was still in my deleted folder, and the true destination was truly suspicious. Not Amazon...

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Re: “It’s me” Fraud

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:52 am

TJ--I got the same kind of message regarding my PayPal account...but it just "looked wrong" from the get go. I forwarded it to the PayPal fraud division and they started spamming me with the need to be careful regarding false emails.

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