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From an idiot who should have known better


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Last night I got a call from someone who said he as a security technician with Amazon and he informed me that my account with them had been infected with the Tinny Bank Trogen.  He said that I needed to get a $500 gift card so that he could detect the hackers and block them.  I got this feeling that it was a little fishy and I hung up on him.  He called me back and showed me what was supposed to be his ID but I didn't realize that it was just a picture on the screen.  I got the $500 card and he showed me how "Amazon" had reimbursed me and he had me give him the numbers off the card.

 

Today he got me to buy four $500 cards and give him the numbers which he said helped him lock out even more hackers.  He tried to get me to buy even more cards at two other stores but I was turned down at one of them because my bank card was locked.  He then told me to go to my bank and withdraw the rest of the $3000 that "Amazon" had fronted me to buy the cards. (I never found out what he wanted me to do with the money because I told a bank clerk what was going on.)

 

So:  1.  All my accounts were immediately frozen.

       2.  I had to open new accounts

       3.  I have to notify everyone whom I have autopay with of the changes

       4.  I was screwed out of $3000 and it might have been more like $5000 if it had been a day later.

 

Moral of the story:  If someone says they need you to buy gift cards or send them cash, they're a grifter.

 

Now I have to have my computer checked for malware because I know he can remotely operate my computer

 

The Megadummy

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HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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You need to be ruthless with your online security, just assume everybody is up to no good and KNOW that nothing is ever for free.

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Unfortunately Doug,  that is the new "Nigerian Prince" scam.  There ae a dozen ways they convince people that they need to get some sort of gift card.  They can be very convincing, and you are far from alone.  There is a small army of cyber hunters that track these SOBs down, and screw with their operations. I follow a couple on youtube.  Check out Perogi's channel if you want to see someone get revenge for you. 

 

I'm sorry that happened to you.

-Brian

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That does suck, sorry it got you. That's why I don't do any kind of auto pay, no online banking, no account numbers over the phone, and for that matter, I don't usually even answer the phone, period. Certainly never do business over the phone if I am not the one who called.

 

I get emails saying my PayPal account is suspended and I have to call a number immediately. I don't have a PayPal account. Checkmate, mofo. 

 

Like Gerhard said, you must be absolutely bloodthirstily ruthless with that stuff.  Assume it's a scam at all times as a matter of course. If you think it might be real, make independent contact with the company and ask. Never respond to those calls or emails directly. 

 

Lately I've been getting robocalls claiming to be DirecTV, saying my account is eligible for 50% off if I call this number immediately. The number is in China.  I checked. No, thanks.  I don't even want to know what they would do.

 

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Don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that I never gave Amazon my phone number; no reason for them to have it.  I'm with Alan on distrust of autopay, online banking... as well.  Those calls to authorize payments just get hung up on.  Credit card companies get calls back on their central number from the card itself, not ones left in messages.  Only hassle there is the inevitable wait times, but at least you know you aren't getting scammed.

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Has anyone ever noticed that places like Amazon, Netflix, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Paypal, etc... are not exactly easy to get a hold of?

No contact numbers listed. Everything over electronic contact of some sort.  (Corporate offices notwithstanding).    I think they generally keep it that was because they already have your money or info, so there is no need to contact you.  Everyone else is a scam.  If they want something from you and it's not official business that you personally know something about, then again, probably a scam.

 

The internet used to be good.

 

 

 

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Long but true story:

 

four or five years ago I got a text from my credit card company asking about a suspicious charge.  I replied back that I didn't make it, and got the usual immediate response that the card was canceled, and I would receive a new one in a few days.  This happens every other year or so, so I didn't think too much of it.  Got the new card, switched over all my auto-billing stuff, and went on with life.

 

A few weeks later I get another message about a potentially fraudulent charge.  Same description as before "Googleaddwords" with some numbers on the end.  I reported it as fraud, but this time I called the phone number on my credit card statement next to the charge.  I got a message that it was an invalid number, so now I am convinced it is nefarious and I'm a bit spooked.

 

I go through all the computers in my life with a fine-toothed comb for any malware, and in the meantime I get my new card.

 

A few weeks later the same thing.  This goes on for over 6 months.  It didn't cost me any money, but it was a huge pita since that was my only credit card at the time.  I eventually got frustrated enough to get a new card with a different bank, but since my first account was about 20 years old, I didn't want to just abandon it.  

 

The credit card company was great about catching the "Fraud", but they couldn't be bothered to help me figure out why this kept happening.  They seemed happy just to keep sending me a new card every 4 weeks.  Near the end of the whole mess I received another new card, and I just left it in the envelope.  Sure enough 3 weeks later I get another fraud alert text.  WTF?

 

Remember how the phone number associated with the charge on my card was invalid?  Because of that, I had never even considered that this might be an honest mistake.  Now, however, I finally "googled" googleaddwords to see what I could fine.  Turned out it was an actual service offered by google.

 

Then I started a quest for figuring out how to contact google.  You can't just got to google.com after all.  After a lot of frustration I finally got on the phone with someone who worked for that part of google, and they very quickly realized that the account was messed up and fixed everything.

 

While I had the person on the phone, I explained the credit card situation, and asked how they got the account number each time.  The guy got quite, and finally said, "I can't tell you that, but if I were you, I'd switch banks."

 

 

-Brian

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Uggh, I hate that this happened to you, or happens to anyone. I hate these scammers. I hope you can recover some of the funds.

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I've known two people who had their bank accounts cleared out when hackers got into municipal water bill accounts. In two different cities in two different states. One bank didn't bat an eye at a $35,000 transfer, and my friend didn't find out until her next payment bounced.  Took two months and legal action to fix that. The other one's bank was at least paying attention, and called to ask "hey, did you really want us to move all your funds to this other account?"

 

Just say no to automatic payments, no matter how convenient they may seem.

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