Look out, the telephone scam artists are still at it.
I usually don’t answer my phone when the caller ID shows me a name or number that I don’t recognize. However, I have been getting so many of them lately that I decided to try to put an end to these annoying calls.
On Friday, I received a phone call from a young man who sounded very excited and was “happy to inform me that I had won $5.5 million in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. I knew it was a scam immediately, but decided to go along with this to see how far he would go. He was a smooth talker and told me everything that he thought I wanted to hear. He said I sounded like an intelligent woman and he knew I could use this money and do good things with it. He said I reminded him of his mother.
I was having fun with this. I acted as though I was quite elderly and a bit on the senile side. The young man told me that when you win all this money, the IRS certainly wants its share, the taxes on these winnings would total $17,500 and if I could send him that money, I would get my $5.5 million.
I let him think that I might be able to send him some money, but not all that. He said that they have sponsors that help people and if I could send $500 that would be enough. After much talking back and forth, that amount went up to $1,000. He wanted me to give him my credit card number or write a check or even wire the money. He wanted to know how much money I had and I told him I didn’t know because “my family won’t let me write checks because I spend too much money.”
I kept this up for about 25 minutes. He gave me his name and phone number and told me I could call him back and that he would call me three times a day until my son would give me the money. I cried and acted like he was my best friend, I thanked him and told him he made me happy. After I finally got off the phone with him, I ran the phone number through the computer and it is for a sports bar in Jamaica.
So let this be a lesson to anyone out there – these people are well-trained and really can talk things up and make it sound real. Don’t be fooled.
Virginia A. Trois