Saturday, March 29, 2014

"They" almost got me - IN A SCAM!

It's Saturday afternoon  Not much going on.  The phone rings.  I answer and a voice says, Aunt Barbara, this is your favorite nephew.  He said now if you don't know which one I won't be upset.  The connection was bad so I, thinking he was calling from the USA, asked why he was calling on my house phone and not my Vonage line.  "He" said he was in Mexico for a wedding and was in the process of driving to see me in San Miguel!  I was astonished.  He said he'd be here in a couple of hours. Okay...........

Then about forty-five minutes later the phone rings and it is my nephew "Gary" again.  He has been in a car accident outside Leon and hit a BMW and the child in the car has gone to the hospital.  The Federales are being okay but if he doesn't pay for the damages to the BMW he'll have to go to jail.  He said he could get 6000 pesos off his ATM card but needed at least 3000 pesos from me, maybe more.  He said he had a rental car but the insurance only covered him in Jalisco where he rented the car.  But, he pronounced it with a J and not an H. 

During all this he had me talk with a Mexican man and then an American man named Jimbo that said my nephew was in grave danger and he really hoped I could help him.  I was beginning to get suspicious for a couple of reasons.

Right before the "nephew" called the second time, my real niece, his sister, in Illinois had just posted a message on Facebook that he was in Illinois visiting his parents, my sister and brother-in-law.  So I sent her a message asking her if it were possible that Gary was in Mexico but didn't hear back from her..........

Then the third time my "nephew" called and said he HAD to get some money, I told him I'd call him back after I called a friend to see if they could lend me the money.  He gave me a fictitious phone number.  Then I called my sister in Illinois and sure enough, my nephew is there.

I ALMOST got scammed!  I've read these stories before.  And, yet, they were so smooth that they almost caught me.  At the very beginning when he said "This is your favorite nephew", I of course supplied the name!  All were English speaking with no hint of an accent.

Geez.  At one point, they said, "Don't you have at least 3000 pesos?"  I said, "NO, I live on social security.  I'm not one of the rich people in San Miguel."

It's been about an hour since this whole thing started.  Of course it's over now.  But, I thought it worthy to share with you.

The bottom line is, of course, if you hear from a relative unexpectedly - It is probably NOT a relative!


18 comments:

Kay Cox said...

Barb, I had that happen to me a couple of years ago...same nephew ploy. I reported it to our local police. I just had another scam call regarding my computer claiming they were from Windows and needed to get into my computer to update it or remove an error. I had Chris look into it via the phone number and the name, Shared Exchange. Bogus...glad I didn't buy into it.

Billie Mercer said...

If these guys could almost fool you they have to be very, very good. Glad your Texas BS detector kick in.

Tancho said...

I guess I can't intrest you in going in with me half and half to get 10 million dollars from Nigeria?

Years ago at my bank in California their was a letter posted on the wall for everyone to see. Seems one of their elderly depositors withdrew 30K and was ready to send it when a teller asked her why she was sending so much money....
I guess they wouldn't be doing that if it didn't work....sad.

Babs said...

I started laughing after I posted this. I asked all three guys so many questions about the rental car, the accident, the ATM card, etc etc etc. Yes, they had answers, but I bet they were thinking "Geez, this is NOT worth it!" Then when I told them I didn't have 3000 pesos, I'm sure they were rolling their eyes. I checked out the phone # and it was from Guadalajara!
Tancho, I have NEVER falled for the Nigeria scam. I get those all the time - well I used to anyway.
One of the reasons I was so shocked that it could be my nephew was the fact that his son just died about a month ago and I thought it highly unusual that he was in Mexico, but then I thought, well maybe he's just getting away for a rest! Hmmmph.

Babs said...

Thanks Billie. I do have a good Texas BS detector. You know what they say a BSer can't fool another BSer, ha.

Brenda Maas said...

I have read that they have traced some of those scam calls back to the prisons. It was happening here also.

Croft Randle said...

This scam has been around for ages and it is easy to see why, it is believable and it works too many times. Good for you for picking up on it quickly.

Steve Cotton said...

Last summer we had a tre artist show up at church. I have been waiting to write about it. Maybe this week. We were all taken in.

gringosuelto said...

I'm glad you gave them a good run-around before leaving them high and dry. Freakin' parasites. Let's hope they put their intelligence to better uses.

Saludos,

Kim G
Zacatecas, ZAC
Where we just got incredibly lucky with the light, camera in hand.

redshoesarebetterthanbacon said...

Go to Telmex first thing in the morning, and get a new phone number. It will cost you less than a cup of coffee.

Babs said...

Ok, first, Jennifer, why?

Steve, what is a tre artist?

Kim, what do you mean got incredibly lucky with the light?

Are you guys speaking in tongues to me?

gringosuelto said...

When you take pictures, all you have to work with is light. In Monterrey, the light was flat, and boring. Though I did my best to tweak the pictures post-processing, there's no substitute for good light to begin with.

Here in Zacatecas, I was sitting on a plaza earlier, and the sun was going down. The light was incredibly golden, and then clouds began to move in, and it was raining some ways away. A double rainbow appeared. Then, the entire city began to glow with the golden light of sunset. Put orange cantera, cobblestones, and historic buildings into that light, and you have magic.

That's what I mean by getting lucky with the light.

Babs said...

Ahh, I missed the part about having your camera. I understand. It's a lovely experience to find that light!
That's why the Santa Fe Workshop group and many other photography groups come here - for the light.
It is a tangible thing, almost on a daily basis!
Monterrey's pollution is so thick that I would imagine that there is no light.....

Droelma said...

For the last 18 years I have lived in Mexico City and one day several years ago I got the " phone call ". Someone asked me to pay 15000.- pesos, or they would kill my son, who it seemed was screaming in the back ground with pain. I told the guy " kill him " and hung up the phone. He called back two minutes later, was actually kind of nice and explained that I was probably overcome by the news, but that they really needed the money to save his life ( my son was shouting in the back ground and screaming " mom, mom, help me "), because his " patron " would sure kill him. " You don't want your child rotting by the side of the road with his head in a plastic bag " he added and then started to give me instructions. I interrupted him and told him that he could do with my son whatever he wanted and hung up again ( with my heart wanting to jump out of my mouth ). They called a third time and when I almost screamed to " kill the ***** bastard " they hung up. The thing is, I am not married and never had any children......still I called the police, because I was really scared, because they had my phone number. The police told me that they generated my number at random. Even years later when the phone rings late, I worry a bit.
PS: Only weeks later did I realize that my " son " had a very juvenile voice. If I had had a son at a normal age he would have been maybe 35-40, plus; he was shouting in English and since I am German no son of mine would plead for his life in a foreign language. But I still was very scared.

Babs said...

Thanks Droelma for sharing your "experience". That had to be beyond unnerving.
That probably would have sent me to my grave as I have a son.

I swear if I ever caught one of those "perverts" they would be SO sorry.........

Take care and thanks so much for commenting.

Babs said...

Droelma, I just looked at the blogs you used to write about knitting and other things. Lovely lovely things that you created!

elbibis said...

These scams have become a plague, but definitely I had never, never imagined that they would dare do try it against American/Canadian people living in Mexico. The fact that they have members who speak English without an accent makes me think it's no small gang. I'm very glad you outsmarted them!

Babs said...

I think they have gotten a copy of a popular book that can be purchased that has mostly expats names and phone numbers and addresses. Since this happened to me, I have found several others who had the exact same experience with the exact same people........Amazing.
They may have confused me at first, but NEVER would I have wired or sent money to anyone. I would have gone to where they were first. Glad I didn't.