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 What a way to start of the new year :(

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justice112010
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Joined: 09 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I didn't really know what scambaitting was until I registered with this site. Although it's not what I was looking for I will post my story anyways. I was searching for investigative relief when I found this site. My family fell victim to this scam. We have incurred a large loss and a major change in quality of life. I have heard stories of older folks losing all their retirement due to these scams, but never thought I would ever witness it firsthand. Although our loss was not as high as many others have lost, still it's a life changing event. And we have run into a dead end for any investigative support thus far.

I live with my girlfriend and she stays home and takes care of our 3 year old daughter. My GFs’ parents are retired and barely get by living off their retirement. Her father worked for the same company for approximately 20 years and retired with an income of $15/hr. And he raised 3 kids off that income. We are not talking about a rich family here.

We bought him a laptop for Christmas last year and taught him a little bit about email and the internet, never thinking that we would need to tell him about security risks. To celebrate the New Year he comes up to visit us for a few days. One late night I was up working and hear him downstairs talking on the phone around 2am. I thought this was odd after I knew he had gone to sleep. Also his primary language is Spanish yet he was talking English so I knew it wasn't family. After he was off the phone he called his daughter (my GF) on the cell phone and woke her up. He asked if he could use her laptop and sounded like it was important. After she logs him on she returns to bed. I went downstairs to grab a drink and he asks me if I can type an email for him. He already had the message ready with addresses and asked me to type something about releasing the money and something about a code. I typed what he asked me and he sent the message and went to sleep.

The next day my GF and I had a discussion about how odd the night was. This was New Years Eve so we didn't think anything more of it and went out for our celebration. We returned home around 2am and got ready for bed and went to check my email for the night. My GF comes in the room and says she is going to be sick. Then tells me that she thinks her dad is sending money overseas and doesn't know why. She logs me into his email and shows me a few messages. I knew right away what it was when I saw it. Bad grammar, send money, UK...could only be a scam. After digging through his email I finally found the original email that started it all. Then I was able to follow the whole chain. They lured him into thinking he won a lottery and a car. They started off by asking him person info which he gave. Then for a small amount of money which he sent. Then the story changed multiple times of why they needed more and more money. He kept sending. This was going on for a month. He sent money grams and western unions totaling about $40k. We checked his phone records and they called him more times in the past month than he spoke to his own family. If this is not bad enough we wondered where he got all this money from. When we logged onto his bank account we couldn't believe our eyes. He cash advanced 22K from one credit card and 4k from another. Then we saw that his LOC on the house was maxed out, but we were unable to see the transaction of how much he pulled out. We also discovered that he sent them a scanned copy of his DL and passport and copies of all his transaction receipts. This also startled us because he doesn’t have a scanner and doesn’t know how to attach files. It looks like he may have been working with a local Spanish translation company that may have been helping him send this stuff.

We had no choice but to give him the hard news about what he was into. The next morning we filed a report with the local police department, western union, money gram, the ic3 website, and emailed all the info to the FBI. And pretty much have gotten nowhere since it's not over 100k the FBI won't touch it. To this day these damn criminals are still calling him on the phone and emailing.

Now this retired man has to go try and find a job which will probably only pay $10/hr and try and pay back what he borrowed. I will be doing what I can to help him also. This is a real shame. We don’t know what else there is to do are afraid there is nothing else we can do.

Give em hell.
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the vampire
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:50 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm very sorry to read this Justice112010. You did the right thing to tell your GF's dad that it was a scam. Are you still in contact with your GF's dad? Did he stop all communication with these scammers? Please keep an eye on him as it will be hard for him to accept he lost all that money which he'll never see again. Allso, if he dropped these scammers they could come back with an compensation scam. They try to make the victim believe they can compensate victims who fell for a scam with a large amount of money, but they will start asking the victim to pay for fees again and everything starts again.
Please visit our sister site: http://www.scamwarners.com/forum/ and tell your story there and show your GF's dad that site too. The support members there can help you and your GF's dad deal with this.

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Black Dog
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Post the lads email address for a mass bait!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you for posting this Justice. I feel odd saying this, but we need to hear these real life stories. It's completely messed up this happened and I feel badly for those affected.

So often we are laughing at what we make these scammers do for us, the mission of what we're trying to achieve gets clouded. We never forget why we bait, and we all have our own reasons for being here. What happened to your family puts things back into perspective.

Thank you for sharing.

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Haban1336
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Justice, I'm very sorry to hear that, I hope that you and your family will be good after all.

If you were able to find the first e-mails, please publish those, so we can mass bait the lads. As this won't provide any money back to you, some of the most experienced baiters here might be able to send them to a safari, or get them tattooed...

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r2d2
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

justice, i'm sorry to hear your story.

all of us on this site would love to help you recover the money, but it is virtually impossible to do so.
it's almost impossible to identify the guilty parties (they use fake names and untraceable contact details).
and even if it was possible, they live in countries with corrupt legal systems, and they can buy themselves out of trouble.

if you can provide details of the scammer's fake names and email address(es),
and give a brief summary of what the scam-mail said (which lottery, how much, etc),
then there is a possibility that another potential victim will google and be saved.
i'm afraid that the only way you can hurt the scammer is to stop him from getting even richer at someone else's expense.

your gf's dad doesn't seem like an experienced user, if you had to log him in and type a message for him.
you mentioned there were other emails - how did the scammer make contact with him in the first place?
normally, people get scammed when they read a spam-email that has been sent to hundreds of people,
but your dad wouldn't receive spam emails unless his email address was splashed over cyberspace,
and that seems unlikely given his limited knowledge of email.
so i'm wondering if he was conned by someone via a different route
- fx, does he think he is helping a neighbour or friend by lending money?

i would also recommend the scamwarners site that vampire mentioned.

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Vampiremerchant
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Justice
So sorry to read of what has been happening to your family, alas it would seem that you will not be able to get any of it back.

As previous posters have said post the email addresses and if possible the headers and we can try to bait for you, the most important thing is that you do not try it

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justice112010
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Joined: 09 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you all for your replies. I will post the info on the scammers when I can. Right now I am home holding down the fort while my GF went out of state to stay with her parents. When I can talk to her and get access to his account I will post what you want.

vampire - yes we are in close contact with my GF's father. Any phone call he received my GF finds out right away. He has stopped answering their calls altogether and stopped responding to their emails. But they continue to call and email. We have just created him a new email address for him to start fresh again. We may have to change his number if the calls don't stop.

r2d2 - yes the original message that started all this was a spam email. He has signed up for accounts on other sites such as facebook and may a job site so I am sure his email address is in a DB somewhere.

No he is not an experienced user. He has been using the computer and been on the internet for a year now. Although when I mentioned that we had to log him on, I just mean that we had to get him logged on to my GF's laptop because he didn't have the password. And I am guessing that he asked me to type that message for him just because it would take him forever to type a sentence and he was tired and just wanted to go back to sleep.

He really thought he won this lottery and a car that was mentioned in the initial email.

We will take a look at the scamwarners site.

Should we be concerned that he sent them a scanned copy of his passport and state D.L.?
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Jammy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:29 am Reply with quoteBack to top

justice112010 wrote:
Should we be concerned that he sent them a scanned copy of his passport and state D.L.?


Probably not. They may recycle those as part of another scam, but usually scammers ask for these things just to see if they have a compliant victim.

If you are worried about identity theft, you can file a "fraud alert" with the credit reporting agencies to make it more difficult for someone to borrow money in his name. See: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/helpfaq#fraudalert

Good luck.

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r2d2
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

justice112010 wrote:
We may have to change his number if the calls don't stop.

telling the scammer straight out that you know it's a scam should stop them asking for money for the lottery scam
- they don't waste time on people who won't pay [or won't pay more].

but please watch out for what we call a 'recovery scam'.
someone may call or email, to say he can help your gf's dad get his money back.
he may claim to be a policeman, or an anti-corruption official, or something like that.
he will say that your gf's dad can get his money back - for a fee.
of course, this is another scam - any further money paid will also be lost.

i agree that there is little to fear from the fact that your gf's dad sent a passport scan.
they ask for personal details so that they know they have a compliant victim
- anyone who will not send scans will probably not send money and, from the scammer's perspective, they are a waste of time.
they also ask for id scans so that they can be sure they are not dealing with a scambaiter [but we have ways...]

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bumsnacks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Let me add that the bank that your GF's dad has should be notified as well. They won't be able to recover the funds, but in case that information has been sent to the scammers as well. Maybe add a code word before any info or money is released. Or that any money sent has to be done face-to-face. No phone call transfers or wires.
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devil_woman
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
He already had the message ready with addresses and asked me to type something about releasing the money and something about a code.


Sorry but didn't this alert you?

Older people can be very vulnerable, becasue they think everyone is as honest as they are, an need the help of the younger more 'streetwise' generation.

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tcm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Heart breaking, it's a shame this is a true story but this is what brought us all to baiting.

Justice, I know you are in a tough spot and you have probably resigned to the fact that there will be no silver lining here, I feel for you and your family, please keep an eye on your girlfriend's father, for him knowing that he has done something this foolish on such a large scale can have a serious impact on a person, please make sure he feels supported and reassured that this is not his fault, he is not alone here.

Take care,

TCM.

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justice112010
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Joined: 09 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:05 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My GF and my daughter are staying with him for support and to keep him occupied and his mind on other things.

devil_woman wrote:
Sorry but didn't this alert you?


What do you mean? Yes of course it alerted me, among other things. This is part of what led my GF and I to talking about how odd her dad was acting and in turn to finding out that he had been scammed.

I agree that older people are more vulnerable. But I feel that "age" is not really the factor, but rather experience and education. I think it's more so because younger people have more experience with the internet and email and can tell the difference between spam and links to fake websites. But that's not always the case. My parents are probably 10 years older that my GF's parents, but they have been using internet and email for 10 years or so. My GF's parents only 1 year. I feel terrible that I didn't educate him on the dangers of spam.

But I will be educating him more and more throughout this ordeal.

bumsnacks wrote:
Maybe add a code word before any info or money is released.


yep we did this. thanks.

Jammy wrote:
you can file a "fraud alert"


Worried or not I guess this is still a great idea to do. We will do this. Thanks.
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auguste
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm sorry to read of what has happened. I hope that evrything in you (and your family) will have a turn for the better.

Like the people before already said , if you can give us the initial emails , we might be able to bait them and keep them occupied.

If you are worried about someone re-using the passport, it might be usefull to google the name on the passport. This will show you where you GF's father has posted personal information and where the passport might show up.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

My daughter walked in while I was working on posting a fake document here and got to asking questions. When I explained what we do here, she said she felt kind of sorry for the lads who get safaried, tattooed, etc. It was difficult to convince her how ruthless these bastards can be. Stories like Justice's are very sad but very useful reminders.

Maybe there should be a forum here just for such horror stories so anybody who is feeling a little squishy about baiting activities can get a quick jolt of reality. Just an idea...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:57 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^ *cough*


scamwarners.com has a few examples, our sister site is more victim-orientated. There are plenty of heartbreaking stories to read over there.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry about all your troubles.

the elderly are very vulnerable largely because of their uncertainty around computers and the internet. all the old folks around me have had "the lecture" from me about scams.

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justice112010
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

scammer details here:

http://forum.419eater.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1491931#1491931
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sorry this happen, justice! Sad

I'm glad you found us and thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but is it wrong to question the credibility of the victims? This is not a very secure site.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

If you follow the link to where he posted the emails from the scammer, you'll see the evidence of the scam. Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:37 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I´m very sorry to hear your story justice. You are not the only one suffering from scams like that. I hope you and your family are able to recover to normal life again.

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