Scammer 2.0

Scammer 2.0

Many of you commented on the article about my relative Bill and the PCH fraud that was perpetrated on him. Here is the latest surprise happening that I want to make sure people know about.

Two days ago, Bill received a call from the scammers. Yes, they are still calling him. They told him that all they needed was another $555 and they would be showing up at his door with the grand prize. Again, Bill told them he had no more money. Scammer David told Bill to watch his mail because they were seeking a sponsor for him.

Sure enough, Bill’s mail carrier brought a Priority Mail package to his door yesterday. Inside was a money order for $555. Bill called me and I researched how easy it is to fake a money order. It is pretty easy. Still, I called the post office and was told that they could probably spot a fake and had a Website where they could search the number on the money order. So, off we go to the post office.

Now here is the surprising part. The money order was good and the post office cashed it right there. The clerk told me that if they were mistaken and it turned out to be fake, Bill would not be held liable and the money was his. If we had taken it to Bill’s bank and it proved to be fake, Bill would be liable. Well, needless to say, Bill was ecstatic. He’d been swindled out of almost $40K but here was a tiny portion of that back in his pocket. At this point, every little bit is a huge chunk of change for Bill.

So, back in the car we go to head to a bank where Bill could use the money to open a new account. We’re all worried that his current account is known to the scammers so he will be closing that as soon as everything clears.

Before I start the car, I look at the name and address where the money order originated. It looked legit. There was also a phone number. When I compared the info for Bill’s name and address his was correct as well, except for the phone number. The person sending the money order had been given a phone number that was not Bill’s. It probably belongs to one of the scammers.

You know what I’m thinking now, right? The person, who I will call Gail, had been scammed into sending the money order to Bill thinking she had won PCH. Sure enough, when Bill got home he got a call from Scammer David that he needed to wire the entire $555 back to them, then they would show up with his huge jackpot. Bill, of course, refused and disconnected the call. A few minutes later Scammer Jack calls Bill to tell him that he would no longer be hearing from Scammer David. Scammer Jack was on the case now. Jack proceeded to threaten Bill that the money belonged to PCH and they had ways to get it back. They say that if Bill does not return the money they will charge it to his credit card. Bill is shaken and upset.

Meanwhile, I have called the police detective on Bill’s case and relayed all of this info. Still nothing he can do. I looked up Gail’s address on Google maps. She is located in Ohio and her home looks like a divided condo, probably in a senior living community. I’m thinking this is not the home of a scammer. I decided to block my number and call Gail. After all, either she is a part of the scam, in which case I don’t want her to have my number, or she is being scammed and has a right to know. I was hoping it was early enough in the scam for her that she wasn’t out a lot of money. This was actually our first good clue for locating someone involved in the scam. We have a number for Scammer David in Kansas City Mo., but I worry he can somehow see my number even if I block it so I have not called him. Remember, Scammer David has answered every time Bill called him.

I managed to reach Gail and in less than a minute, I knew she was being scammed as well. She had the voice of an older woman, and fortunately, the $555 was the first amount she had been asked to send. Scammer David had already asked for the next installment of $4500 but Gail told me she was not going to send it. I assured her it was a scam and that she should not send any more money to anyone. She told me that she knew it was a scam from the first call. When I asked why she sent the money, she responded that she just wanted to see what would happen.

We talked for a while and when we ended the conversation, I felt comfortable that Gail would not continue to participate in the scam. However, we spoke for about fifteen minutes and at no point did Gail ask who I was, how I got her number, or why I chose to call her. She never asked what had happened to her $555 or if I could help her get it back. Some people are way too trusting, or, she is a part of the actual scam after all.

So here is Bill, still no money, trying to figure out how to pay his bills, but now with an extra $555 that needs to be returned to Gail once we know beyond a doubt that she is not part of the scam. We haven’t figured out exactly how to prove that yet.

At least Bill believes all of this is a scam now. He is no longer answering the phone if he doesn’t know the caller. The scammers called more than twenty times yesterday alone. They’ve lost $555 and they aren’t happy about that. You’d think the other $40K would be enough.

So readers, I am on a quest. By following through and contacting Gail, I have hopefully put a small chink in their chain and have at least saved Gail from further loss. I am actively pursuing other leads as well.

I am asking that if you, or someone you know, has lost money recently, this year, in the PCH scam and think you have information that could help keep others from being pulled into this scam, please email me and share the details. If we work together, we might be able to hurt these people financially, even if it’s only a small amount.
Email contact: brentcindyt@gmail.com.

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