1. #1
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    Exclamation Remember The Con Artist

    Yesterday, I went to an elderly lady who called with frozen water pipes. The temp was 31 degrees below zero with windshill of 55 below. We worked on her frozen water pipes and got her back on line. The older lady was 85 years young. When we were doing cleanup after one of the pipes busted she stated that she was lucky she just won a contest and received a certified check for $5000 dollars that she would use to fix her pipes. Upon more conversation with the elderly lady it was found out that she recieved this check from a Canada company that drew her name. To make a long story short, the check was a con game. The certifed check was drawn on a Minnesota Boat Distributor. When I checked with the boat company they told me that they had 9 checks that were already cashed on their company account. She asked me if the letter had a return address which I told her no. (Danger)

    The con was that pretax was not taken out of the certified check. The con artist stated that the cashier check should be returned or the lady could cash it upon the con artists approval code. If she sent the con artist the tax difference the approval code would be given to the lady. The con artist stated that she should could send the check back and it would take 10-12 weeks processing or she could cash the check and send the company the difference and receive her total winnings within days.
    It was just pure luck we were able to stop this con before this lady sent the money to the con man and we were quick enough to change her banking info.

    Do you think this is the first time this lady ever got conned? If you said no then you are right. Eight years earlier she received a call about a five minute survey that if she participated in she would recieve at no cost a free VCR tape. The survey was about her interests. She was asked questions like: Do you like fishing? What are your hobbies? She stated she liked quilting so they were going to send her a free quilting VCR tape. In addition to the free quilting VCR tape she could receive three more quilting VCR tapes or fishing VCR tape for only $9.95 plus shipping and handling. She gave them her Master Card number and her avalible credit was wiped out.

    I know this is a fire forum but I am going to sound like a cop for a minute. Never give out personal info unless you know who you are dealing with and you started the call. In addition, be very careful in long term relationships on the internet especially when it comes to money. Enough said, be safe.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Thanks...................

    Thank You for sharing your story. If ONE PERSON is spared this type of grief, then it was well worth your time.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by atrea1 View Post
    Yesterday, I went to an elderly lady who called with frozen water pipes. The temp was 31 degrees below zero with windshill of 55 below. We worked on her frozen water pipes and got her back on line. The older lady was 85 years young. When we were doing cleanup after one of the pipes busted she stated that she was lucky she just won a contest and received a certified check for $5000 dollars that she would use to fix her pipes. Upon more conversation with the elderly lady it was found out that she recieved this check from a Canada company that drew her name. To make a long story short, the check was a con game. The certifed check was drawn on a Minnesota Boat Distributor. When I checked with the boat company they told me that they had 9 checks that were already cashed on their company account. She asked me if the letter had a return address which I told her no. (Danger)

    The con was that pretax was not taken out of the certified check. The con artist stated that the cashier check should be returned or the lady could cash it upon the con artists approval code. If she sent the con artist the tax difference the approval code would be given to the lady. The con artist stated that she should could send the check back and it would take 10-12 weeks processing or she could cash the check and send the company the difference and receive her total winnings within days.
    It was just pure luck we were able to stop this con before this lady sent the money to the con man and we were quick enough to change her banking info.

    Do you think this is the first time this lady ever got conned? If you said no then you are right. Eight years earlier she received a call about a five minute survey that if she participated in she would recieve at no cost a free VCR tape. The survey was about her interests. She was asked questions like: Do you like fishing? What are your hobbies? She stated she liked quilting so they were going to send her a free quilting VCR tape. In addition to the free quilting VCR tape she could receive three more quilting VCR tapes or fishing VCR tape for only $9.95 plus shipping and handling. She gave them her Master Card number and her avalible credit was wiped out.

    I know this is a fire forum but I am going to sound like a cop for a minute. Never give out personal info unless you know who you are dealing with and you started the call. In addition, be very careful in long term relationships on the internet especially when it comes to money. Enough said, be safe.
    These scams are probably the most underreported crime out there. They are underreported due to embarrasment and shame.

    You guys should all take responsibility for your parents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, neighbors, etc. and spend five minutes educating them to these scams. Include in the little talk driveway scams, roofing scams, "Can I have a drink of water" scams and all of the other con jobs that have been designed solely to take advantage of the elderly. You will be glad you did.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  4. #4
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    My in-laws got taken a few years ago. They're not old or stupid, but they fell for something. Apparently there are companies out there that purport to teach you to be a "travel agent", and by using your status as a "travel agent" you'll be able to book vacations at huge "travel agent" discounts.

    Long story short: No. No you can not. It's a scam.

    We even warned them, and told them NOT to give them any money. They did, of course, and in return they got cards that said "Certified Travel Agent", and of course those cards are completely worthless.

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