Be careful when you answer the phone! If you are told that a relative is injured or in some kind of other desperate situation, beware.

It’s commonly known as “The Grandparent Scam”, because elderly people are often the victims, but it could happen to anyone who isn’t sufficiently skeptical and gets caught off guard. Someone tried a variation of this scam on me a few months ago, but I am always suspicious of calls from unknown numbers so it didn’t work, but some rotten crooks almost got my favorite Auntie and my mom just the other day. If you’re not familiar with this particular con, here is how it works:

The target gets a phone call from someone either pretending to be their grandchild (or other relative) or a cop, or a lawyer, or a kidnapper, and says that the intended victim’s loved one has been hurt in an accident (or is in legal trouble, has been kidnapped, or is in some other kind of peril) and the only way to help them is to immediately wire a large sum of money somewhere – and don’t tell anyone or the person you love’s situation will greatly worsen!

If the victim complies, that money is gone forever, and their information may be sold to other scammers as an easy mark to get set up for more schemes. It’s a cruel crime, targeting vulnerable people and using their love for family as a weapon against them. Fraud.org provides some helpful information about this:

Stay safe. Be Informed.

The victim is urged not to tell anyone, such as the parent of the “grandchild” because they do not want them to find out about the trouble they’ve gotten themselves into. The grandparent never hears from their fake grandchild again and is tricked out of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

To detect and avoid the Grandparent Scam, NCL’s Fraud Center recommends the following tips:

  • Beware of any urgent solicitation of funds, especially if it is needed to pay for unexpected bills, such as bail money, lawyer’s fees, or doctor bills
  • Before sending funds, independently contact the relative (or parent of the relative) the scam artist is claiming to be (or represent) at a known phone number to verify the details of the story.
  • Scam artist’s payment method of choice is the wire transfer. Any urgent request to wire money should be treated suspiciously.
  • Be aware that fraudsters attempting the Grandparent Scam may call late at night to confuse potential victims.
  • Consumers who have been victims of this scam should immediately report it to local law enforcement, their state attorney general and NCL’s Fraud Center at Fraud.org.

The FTC has additional advice:

Verify an Emergency

If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
  • Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
  • Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
  • Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.      MORE

The con artists will even make an effort  to “help” the victim. Via WBNS-10TV – Columbus, OH:

“Often times they’ll hand the phone off to a second party on the phone, alleging that’s the attorney and that serves the purpose of getting a different voice on there so they don’t continue to question whether this is my grandchild’s voice,” explains Sgt. Kline.

He goes on to say that sometimes, the scammers will even go as far as arranging taxi transportation for grandparents to get to the location where they can get the money orders.   Full Story HERE

The call that I received, from a strange cell phone number, said that my “husband, son, or brother” was in a horrible accident in a nearby town and had been taken away by ambulance, and the caller was someone who had been on the scene before emergency services arrived and that my male relative had given them my number to call as his own phone had been damaged in the accident. The guy who called me could not tell me the name of my injured loved one, saying that he was hurt so badly that he could barely talk and that he didn’t have any ID on him, they could not tell me what hospital my “husband, son, or brother” had been taken to, and they could not tell me my own name or how the injured male was connected to me, because my loved one was too messed up to say it before he was carted off  to an undisclosed location. I think the caller was expecting me to go to the location he had given me (the alleged scene of the accident) or meet him elsewhere and I do not know what would have happened then, but it didn’t get to that as I cut the guy off and insisted that he must have gotten the wrong number because I knew full well where all of my people were and I hung up.

The scam that targeted my aunt and almost robbed my mom was more like the ones described when you look up “injured relative phone scam” in a search engine, my mom got dragged into it because her sister is currently housebound recovering from a serious medical issue. Both women are in their eighties and love their families dearly. Here is how I found out about it:

My cousin called me two days ago looking for my mom. My mom lives 100 miles away so I figured she must have assumed she was up visiting or just called my number by mistake. My cousin was very upset. I told her that she’d reached my house, not my mom’s and that my mom was not here. My cousin told me that my aunt had gotten a call saying that another cousin, my aunt’s grandson, was hurt in an accident but that, “It was a trick” and that we needed to get hold of my mom, who was on her way to Western Union on behalf of my aunt. I guess my aunt had gotten the call and was so distressed that she called my mom for help, and my mom was going to withdraw almost two thousand dollars from her own bank account and wire the money on my aunt’s behalf.

Unfortunately, my mom had already left her house, she doesn’t answer her cell phone, and I did not know the location of the Western Union nearest to my mom, so I spent a good chunk of time fretting about it before my mom finally got back home and I could speak to her. Luckily, my mom started to get suspicious as to why she couldn’t just write a normal check and why there was no name for who to make the money order or transfer or whatever out to, so instead of completing the task, she went back home and called my aunt, who had by then been advised by my cousins of the con so nobody was hurt this time. Thank God.

Some versions of this nasty trickery also target people through email, text messages, and social media.

Please be careful if someone contacts you with an “emergency”, and tell the people that you care about who may be vulnerable to such tactics as the one described above to be cautious as well.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

by baldilocks

At Storify, Brian Cates gets heated up about the new movie in the works which purports to tell the story of eyeny1RatherGate. Allegedly, the movie will portray former CBS anchor Dan Rather as a truth -teller with respect to his 2004 report on the Texas Air National Guard service of Former President George W. Bush.

I feel Mr. Cates’ pain, as I blogged quite a bit about the attempt to denigrate GWB’s service. And, though I was, at best, a minor player in the exposure of the elaborate fraud which Rather and company attempted put over on the American people, I’d like to think that I helped–if only to point the big boys and girls in the right direction.

Why did it mean so much to me? Not just because I voted for George Bush in 2000 and intended to vote for him in 2004–which I did. But because I had served in the USAF and the USAFR and, to anyone familiar with either–especially the USAFR–it was blindingly obvious that the document used to support the allegation that GWB had gone AWOL (sic) from his TANG position was a bogus one. And I’m not even talking about the typeface.

But instead of re-telling the reasons not related to the infamous memo, allow me to quote myself.

Why am I not surprised to find out that the “mainstream media” cannot manage to dig up one of their number who is/was a Guardsman/Reservist? […]

Interpretation [of GWB’s TANG attendance records from October 1972 to July 1973]? What is there to interpret? The document shown isn’t some obscure scroll written in a long dead language, found during an archeological dig at the foot of the Himilayas. It’s an objective document showing the amount of attendance points that President Bush earned during the last part of his ANG stint–the part that a certain segment of the population just can’t get out of their minds.

You have to actually be there for something other than a goose egg to be listed under “points.”

Yes, the fraud was fraudulent. But…

He’s right, you know. And it’s up to those of us who incredulously watched what happened to remember–and to tell those who weren’t paying attention at the time. After all, that last is how we got to place we are now; inattention.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

 

We’ve talked in the past about the Obama’s campaign’s fundraising and the trouble at the DNC is having concerning it.

At Instapundit Elizabeth Price Foley says the following:

Several reports over the weekend show that the Obama campaign is doing a horrible job at screening out/preventing illegal foreign donations.

Elizabeth you are totally missing the point, you are assuming that it is the goal of the Obama Campaign to screen out illegal donations.

The goal of the campaign is not to obey the law and screen out these donation, the goal is to accept as much money as possible that can not be positively proven to be illegal.

As I said in one of my very first posts, any Tech Guy knows the difference between a bug and a feature, this is a feature. As Instapundit reader Steve Nelson said in 2008:

Notice the problem with Obama’s websites?

Neither he nor his staff is censoring the comments…. but they’ve set the site up to allow others to do so.

Neither he nor his staff asked for any illegal foreign contributions, or for contributions from obviously false donors….. they just disabled the standard controls and credit card checks to allow it to happen.

They didn’t have any ties to whacky characters with extreme ideas…. but the campaign website allowed anyone to set up a “blog” and put out the propaganda.

In each case, Obama and his staff were careful to leave no directly illegal / unethical fingerprints of their own….. but they sure made it easy for “supporters unknown” to do so through their IT systems.

Deniability — it’s built right in.

It took me a long time to come to this conclusion and to say it openly, but when it comes to the Obama Administration we are simply not dealing with honorable people. To this administration the ends always justifies the means.

Bottom line these guys are Marxists and as we’ve said many times if you start from the idea they are all Marxists it makes perfect sense.

As you might know I spent a lot of year in the tech field fighting virus, cleaning spyware and giving people advice on how to keep from being nailed by online scams etc.

When you see this stuff every day you sometimes forget that there are people unfamiliar with the scams out there, so for the benefit of those who might not know, here is an example of a phony e-mail trying to get your data

Like all such e-mail there are clues to tell you that you are being scammed. Lets examine them in detail

Clue #1 The E-mail address: On this e-mail the Suffix of the address ends in .so .so is Somalia I’m pretty sure the Bank of America doesn’t run its security efforts out of Somalia, but it wouldn’t matter if it was .uk etc. If there is any suffix at all, odds are the mail is phony.

Clue #2 High Priority: Spam e-mail are always High Priority, you have to act AT ONCE before you think. Of course this clue is secondary, I’ve sent high priority e-mails, but when they want your info and you see high priority, watch out.

Clue #3 Lousy English: I’ve been known to beat up the English language on occasion and run afoul of grammatical rules on occasion, but large organizations like Bank of America are scrupulous about things like spelling and grammar. And if the spelling and grammar is still right, if the phrase doesn’t sound right, as if an American would phrase it, odds are it didn’t come from an American Bank.

Clue #4 The link: There’s always a link for you to click. first of all the link like the e-mail address the link end in .so meaning Somalia, but let’s make the assumption that by some miracle the Bank of America DID have a breach, you would log in via your own account rather than a link via the web. (When in doubt ALWAYS) go there from a base google or bing search for Bank of America or whatever institution we are talking.

Clue #5 The reminder: There is always a reminder, just a nudge to gently suggest that you can’t wait another moment.

Clue #6 The CEO: If there was an actual breach there is a department at Bank of America (or a different organization ) that handles it. You won’t get the signature of a CEO, not to mention the fact that “Brian Moynihan” is not the name of the CEO of Bank of America.

Now these tactics might vary slightly. A different organization,a slight change, but if you want out for the clues I lay out, if someone tries to scam you, you’ll be forwarned.

As the Big Red Wave continues to grow some odd coincides seem to be talking place:

In Arizona:

Here’s what the article doesn’t tell you, by a source in the Yuma County Recorder’s Office:

* These 3000 voter registration forms were all dropped off at once by the one group on the deadline to turn in voter registration forms.
* Almost all of the registrations were for the Democratic Party, a statistical improbability at best.
* Today, these same 3000 newly registered voters — as a group — had papers dropped off at the Yuma Recorder’s office requesting to be signed up for the permanent early voters list… which means the ballots will be mailed early, with no accountability.
* The Yuma Recorder’s office is checking the voter registration forms and have found that already more than 65% of them are invalid due to the registrant not being a citizen, wrong/invalid address, false signature, etc.

Well its not as Mi Familia is the same as the SEIU…oh wait:

Mi Familia Vota is one of two groups that reportedly registered thousands of new voters in and around Yuma last week.

Mi Familia Vota’s Arizona HQ address is 3707 N. 7th Street, Suite 100 in Phoenix

The address of SEIU Arizona is…um, 3707 N. 7th Street, Suite 100 in Phoenix.

Maybe it’s a really, really big suite?

Well it’s not as if this is happening in other states too, oh wait: Colorado:

A federal judge declined to force the secretary of state to reactivate approximately 6,000 new voters whose registrations were canceled under Colorado’s 20-day rule.

In a decision issued Monday, Senior U.S. District Judge John L. Kane denied a motion for a preliminary injunction that was requested by several labor and voting-rights groups.

When a new voter registers in Colorado, the secretary of state mails a nonforwardable notice of disposition that the voter’s registration has been received. If the notice comes back undeliverable in the mail, then clerks deem the voter’s registration inactive within 20 days.

Well I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that these registrations coudn’t verify an address, it’s not as if Democrats are using “walking around money” to get votes out or something…oh wait Pennsylvania: Philly to be precise

Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA), Chariman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, was on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell this morning. He was explaining how the Philadelphia machine was working to ensure Joe Sestak’s victory in the closely watched Senate race in Pennsylvania. Ms Mitchell asked, “What is the secret here to turn out? In the old days, the old machine days, what we called ‘walking around money,’ handing out money to get people to vote. Is it still the case? What do you do, what is the magic in Philadelphia?”

Rep. Brady (who looks and sounds like he came right out of central casting for the part of shady, party boss) shockingly acknowledged that the cash-on-the-streets strategy is not an antiquity but still part of the Democratic Machine’s playbook in 2010: “We still have the street money and we’re very knowledgeable,” he said.

Well that a big city it’s not as if actual voting irregularities are taking place…oh wait Las Vegas:

Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid’s name was already checked.

Ferrara said she wasn’t alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.

“Something’s not right,” Ferrara said. “One person that’s a fluke. Two, that’s strange. But several within a five minute period of time — that’s wrong.”

Well we know Las Vegas is a wide open town it’s not like its going on in places like North Carolina or something

A Craven County voter says he had a near miss at the polls on Thursday when an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended.

Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern said he pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked. He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result, he said. Then he asked for and received help from election staff.

“They pushed it twice and the same thing happened,” Laughinghouse said. “That was four times in a row. The fifth time they pushed it and the Republicans came up and I voted.”

Paper Ballots anyone.

I’m absolutely positive that it is just a coincidence that all of these examples are democratic examples as they are in a dead panic over a tough election?

As Roxeanne DeLuca and Bob Belvadere reminded us about 3 weeks ago:

we don’t just need to mathematically get more votes than the Democrats; we need to win by enough so that they can’t steal elections from us.

Keep that in mind the moment you are tempted to slack off.

Update: Instalanche, thanks Glenn, oh and some DaTechGuy on DaRadio updates, if you already reserved Ad time please send your script for your ad if we are producing it or your tape if you are not at your earliest convenience. If you haven’t signed up for ads and would like to buy some time (a fifteen sec ad is only $20) or if you want more info email me at DATECHGUY at Comcast DOT net.

And he’s right about paper ballots, bulky stuff is hard to hide in an age where everyone has a camera, he also adds Dallas to the city list.

…a person willing to put their name to it:

My son had told me the goings on of this center and I found it disturbing that gang activity was condoned and drinking and smoking weed. My son told me the influence was every where and the staff (even security employees) did nothing to stop it.

It’s stories like this that convince me that my friend Andrea is doing God’s work over at the Job Corps Fraud Blog. If you have a story like this you should contact her.