Aug. 2nd, 2015


[info]megpie71

Scam Alert - Abandoned Package

Apparently-From: Allen Larged (test@aachen-upvc.com)
Subject: [Bulk] Your Abandoned Package For Delivery
Reply-To: allenlarged@qq.com
Addressed To: unknown

Scam text below )

Okay, first and most obvious scam flag flying here: you're being asked to partake in a crime (namely, theft). You're stealing not only from this anonymous diplomat, but also the US Treasury (who do tend to be a tad tetchy and unreasonable about such things), and probably also from the citizens of the country the diplomat hailed from. A complete stranger who asks you to participate in a crime on first introduction does not necessarily have your best interests at heart.

Of course, this is assuming the box and/or the money exist in the first place, which, of course, they don't. If you google on the search string "abandoned package scam" you'll find lots of copies of the above email, listing just about every airport in the USA.

Even if the box did exist, I'd be strongly advising you to first check the contents. It will do you absolutely no good at all to pay $3700 USD to receive a 110kg box of shredded paper. Or a box full of a currency which is defunct (such as Zimbabwean dollars - the Zimbabwean government phased out their currency starting in 2009 - they're currently buying back the currency until 30 September this year) or practically worthless (Iranian rials, Vietnamese dong, etc).

Basically, this is a variation on the good old "advanced fee fraud" or "Spanish prisoner" trick. As the Spanish Prisoner, this con has been around since the sixteenth century, so it certainly has legs. It's based on essentially getting someone to pay serious money today in the hope of reward tomorrow.

As always, the main thing you need to beat the scammer is a sense of proportion and hubris - in this case, why would some diplomat from who-knows-where in Africa have MY name as the consignee for a box full of money? Other questions you might want to ask include: if this thing had my details as a consignee, why has it been sitting around in a warehouse in $US_STATE for ages, apparently abandoned? Why wasn't it just forwarded on to me directly on a cash-on-delivery basis? Surely the airport actually needs the space a 110kg package would be occupying. How does this person know the box contains money? (did they already open it? If so, why shouldn't I presume they helped themselves to their 30% share of the proceeds straight up?). This story has plot holes galore - going through and spotting them is a good education in the process of narrative creation.

Either way, it's a scam. Don't contact the person back, don't send them your details, and for heaven's sake, don't send them any money.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/58491.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jul. 24th, 2015


[info]megpie71

Scam Alert: "Mystery Shopper" job offer - MH Recruitment

Apparently-From: Secret Shopper[unknown unicode character] (spamfilter@weather3000.com)
Subject: [Bulk] **JOB APPLICATION: BECOME A MYSTERY SHOPPER®2015**
Reply-to: tyliebmann@gmail.com
Addressed To: [blank]

Scam body below )

This one actually overlaps both categories of scam I've been alerting people about - it's a bogus "employment" offer, and a cover for an attempt at advance fee fraud. So, time to see which scam flags it's flying.

1) Contact offering unskilled "employment" out of nowhere, completely unsolicited. As I've said repeatedly in the employment scam posts in the past, in a declining economy (which is what most Western countries are experiencing at present) where unemployment is high, employers do not have to solicit candidates for unskilled roles - they're more likely to be turning them away in droves. Therefore anyone offering you one of those out of the blue in these circumstances is, at the very least, highly dodgy.

2) Offer of an immediate start with no interview. Most legitimate employers will at least want to meet up with you in person before they offer you the contract, because they're looking to keep you on for at least the short term, and they need you to be able to work with the rest of their team.

3) Apparently corporate personage emailing you with a gmail throw-away reply-to address. This is dodgy as well - if this person is working for a company, why aren't they emailing us from their corporate address and getting us to send our replies to that corporate address? The address at weather3000.com is owned by the Aerospace & Marine International Corporation, based in California, which you'll note isn't mentioned anywhere in the text of the email. Either they've hijacked the email server to send from, or we're looking at someone trying to set up a scam using their employer's resources... no matter which way you slice it, this doesn't send positive messages about their trustworthiness.

4) Googling the search string "MH Recruitment secret shopper" gives you a page of warnings about this being a scam. This is usually a pretty big hint.

As always, best policy is to delete these without replying to them.

This entry was originally posted at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/58194.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Jul. 21st, 2015


[info]gainsborough

#legaladvice pls

ok so i live in SF and i got into a minor car accident a few days ago. drove into another guy's bumper, it was totally 100% my fault. we pulled over and the guy was super nice to me and insisted that the scratches on his car were already there and refused to take down my insurance info or my license plate info or take a police report. his partner did take some photos (my car's license plate info was not in there). today he calls me (i gave him my number) to tell me that his bumper was indeed damaged and needs 2k to fix it.

what do i do now???

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