The scam detector, that's me!
February 14, 2011 1:05pm CST
My roommate has been playing games with some scammers on the web recently, and I've been learning more and more which ones are true scams and which ones are real. Some people get scammed by these claims of millions of dollars, and they pay money to these scammers and never see anything but a loss. It happened to me years ago, I got suckered into a mortgage scam, which was extremely painful as we lost our life savings from that one. However, it seemed to me that everything had checked out. The only thing I didn't know about then, was IP addresses and how to check them. If I had, I probably would have found out that this scammer wasn't even in the country when he said he was. I'd checked his references out, they seemed legit, then I sent him an up front fee, which I really shouldn't have done. A few days later, upon returning from out of town, his emails bounced back to me, and the reference numbers were out of service. I'd lost all of my money that was supposed to be for rent, and faced eviction because I couldn't pay for it anymore. This guy ruined my life. But it was a lesson learned, and I never respond to these scam emails anymore. My roommate however, he is playing some of them, he has won in the past after losing money. He got smart after that. But now, even when the scammers say they want money up front, he says that he wont pay anything, and he never has. I have now gotten to the point where I investigate these people, if they're from a bank, then I contact the bank in question and if they tell me that this person doesn't work for them, or the transfer slip that was sent wasn't from them, then the person is labeled a scammer and my roommate moves on. This has already happened a couple of times, and it gets to be pretty funny at times as well. I check IP addresses. I check email headers. I checked one last week, it had no domain signature and couldn't be authenticated, so I told him to back off of it and leave it alone. Other ip addresses have proven not to be from the country in which the sender claims to be from, and that's a warning as well. Today, I checked one who claimed to be in the UK, but the IP's originated from the USA. We're just waiting to hear back from the bank itself to see if this one is real or not. He's been playing one guy for a while now, and last week this guy said that he couldn't pay fees due to an accident he and his family had been in. His one son was dead, and his wife and other son were critical, yet he was perfectly fine. He never got hurt at all. That made me wonder, and what was worse, he said he wanted money to pay their medical bills. He sure didn't sound broken up about having lost a child and worrying about another one and his wife. In fact, when my roommate spoke to him on the phone, this guy sounded happy, like nothing had happened. So that's another one that was written off as a true scam. We move on, and I continue to investigate these scams, and when they're linked to banks, I report them. Just be safe out there, you never know who will try to steal your identity from you, and I keep warning my roommate about this.
2 people like this
14 Feb 11
Well Kris: I'm glad that you have learned after this bad experience. It's always a sad news to be scammed even if you don't lose a lot of money because you were probably trusting on this person that was actually a scammer. The positive part is that we have to be recovered of these bad situations and be more cautious because there are a lot of cheaters on the net. I like your strategies to identify the persons that just want to scam you. Thanks for sharing with us your experience. Have a nice day. ALVARO
15 Feb 11
There're a lot of telephone scams now in China in which people pretend that they are from a telecom company or a law enforcement department, and say that you have been sued or you owe the company a lot of debt of unpaid fees, and ask you to go to a bank to transfer the money into their account. whatever means scammers take, they try to let you transfer money. the very last step.
• United States
14 Feb 11
Good for you for being so vigilant, but the first rule of thumb should always be NEVER...I repeat NEVER respond to an unsolicited e-mail if you can't resist opening it in the first place. Unless you have specifically requested information from a bona-fide source, than inevitably, it is BS. It will save a whole lot of checking and investigation and heartache if you just hit DELETE.