And those stories are often filed in the 'And now...' section, with the sneering contempt of the editor practically wafting off the page. 'Ah', you can imagine them thinking, 'the lower classes are so dim!'
So, when they are the ones duped, it's time to break out that popcorn!
We feel so stupid: how could my wife and I have been conned out of more than £7,000 by one phone conversation? The answer is that the scam was brilliant in design and execution.Well, of course it must have been! It was you, after all,. And you wouldn't fall for anything other than a scam conceived and executed by a Moriarty, a Napoleon of crime, a Hannibal Lecter of scamsters. A perfect con with no flaws.
So...how'd it go down?
It began with a phone call after dinner on a Friday night. My wife answered the phone and the caller announced herself as ‘DCI Jane Seymour of the Serious Fraud Office’.The usual story - your card's been used in a scam. So...call the officer back to verify she's who she says she is? Our hero is prepared! Good lad:
Was DCI Seymour who she said she was? How could we know she was really working for the Serious Fraud Office? Her ANSWER turned us from cautious sceptics into credulous fools. ‘Call 999 and check me out,’ she urged.Whoa, Nellie! Dial 999? The emergency number? The ones the police keep haranguing us should only be used in an emergency?
So we did. I put the phone down, picked it up again and dialled 999. The dialling tone was normal, the phone rang and the response was as prompt and efficient as a law-abiding citizen could wish for.*sigh* Scammers always are. They know you catch more flies with honey than vinegar...
‘We can have your cards blocked immediately,’ said DCI Seymour to reassure us. ‘New cards can be delivered to your house in three working days, or five for the foreign cards. But first we’ll need your PIN numbers.’ That should, of course, have rung alarm bells.Well, duh!
How many times have we all been told, ‘Never, never give your PIN number to anyone. Your bank will never ask for it’?Well, quite!!
We hesitated — and this is where DCI Seymour scored again. ‘Don’t tell me the codes,’ she said. ‘Tap them into the phone and they will be sent straight to our technical team.’Because it's OK to give the codes to them. Riiiight.
DCI Seymour kept reassuring us that all would be well. ‘Are you OK? Do you have enough money for the weekend? We can get you emergency funds of £300 delivered to you by 3pm tomorrow. We’ll debit it from your HSBC account and I’ll call you again tomorrow at noon.’Because that's the sort of service you can expect from the police, right? Or rather, it's the sort of service that people like the author fondly think the police should offer.
And when she said she would send a courier round to pick up our compromised cards, it seemed so reasonable./doublefacepalm
The conclusion to this sorry tale? Well, as you can guess, the penny finally dropped. But it took a while.
The police — the real police — have been sympathetic and tell us that the con is targeted at the well-to-do and the elderly who may not be as techno-savvy as younger account holders.Apart from the 'not hanging up their end', there's nothing 'techno-savvy' needed here. Most of it's good, old fashioned suspicion. And also a bit of worldly experience - is what they are saying plausible?
And I'm afraid the answer was a big 'No!'. Unless, of course, you inhabit the quaint liberal world where everything is just supposed to work that way. The police will liaise with your bank? Why, yes. Of course they will! That's just how it works, isn't it?
So let's hope that the next time an idiot swaps his hard-earned for a laptop that turns out to be a bag of water bottles, the newspaper won't sneer.
But of course, they probably will.
"Idiots" was my first thought too on reading this article in the online 'paper'. Give out your PIN numbers? LMAO. Exactly what the banks says don't do and not even they will ask for them.
"Idiots" was my first thought too when I read this the other day. Not even the bank asks for them and cards are cancelled by the bank not the cops..
Yes, it is stupid to give away your cards and PIN numbers... but one thing puzzles me. How did these people dial 999 and get connected to the scammers instead of the real emergency services?
I think the new word for these people is apparently "carrots"
The father of a work colleague hardly ever uses his card, but used it once to pay a deposit on a car. Someone used his card details to buy a television and because he rarely uses the card he spotted the problem very quickly. The thing is, the crook was actually having the telly delivered so the shop where he bought it had the guy's name and address. He presented this information to the police and they informed him that it wasn't a police matter, that he should take the matter up with his bank.
Knowing this, and dozens of stories like it, The police being really helpful would have seemed highly suspicious to me.
How did these people dial 999 and get connected to the scammers instead of the real emergency services?
I **think** that land line phone calls are only terminated by the initiator. Thus, if I'm right, if someone calls you and you answer, if you put your phone down and pick it back up again you will still be connected. So ... scammer phones you, convinces you to "phone 999" to check them out. You put your phone down, pick it back up, scammer is still there and plays you a dialing tone. You dial 999, they play you a ringing tone. Etc.
yes, DCIs are always calling people over frauds for a couple of hundred quid.
"Not even the bank asks for them and cards are cancelled by the bank not the cops.."
Quite! It baffles me that they fell for it, and even more so that they felt they should tell everyone how they fell for it!
"... but one thing puzzles me. How did these people dial 999 and get connected to the scammers instead of the real emergency services?"
John Tee answers your question :)
"He presented this information to the police and they informed him that it wasn't a police matter, that he should take the matter up with his bank."
"I think the new word for these people is apparently "carrots""
A word to the wise ...
The Police never, ever get involved with bank-card frauds; they claim that it is a civil matter and will be dealt with only by the bank concerned.
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