No, seriously. Internet scammers: they don’t ever change.
Imagine my surprise when I received a Facebook IM, out of the blue, from a high school acquaintance I hadn’t spoken to in about 10 years. And imagine my further surprise when she told me she’d been mugged and needed me to send money to her! In London! Where she doesn’t live! (Someone had tried to pull this same scam on Glark about a month or two ago, which he posted about on Twitter.)
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to keep the beginning part of the whole chat transcript, but here are some nuggets from the end of our (long) conversation:
Me: it seems like i should be able to call the hotel and the car company directly
Fraudster: settle some medical and other nagging bills
We will be fine
Me: give me the name of the hospital and hte doctor
Fraudster: I need the money directly
he is being treated by the hotel service
Me: that is so weird.
and what hotel did you say that was?
Fraudster: I need you to wire the money to me directly through Western Union
All you need to do the transfer is my name and present location
Me: i really want to help you guys but it really seems like the best way is for me to just take care of a couple of your bills for you
esp since you already have a flight back
that’s why i need you to send me the money directly
Me: ok but you need to give me the names of the htel and the doctor and the cab
no you guys have so much to worry about
just let me deal with them directly
Fraudster: how much can you afford to loan me?
No need to deal with them since we will be departing soon
How much can you loan me?
. . .
Me: it seems really weird to me that you won’t just let me deal with the hotel for you
if you’d just told me 10 minutes ago this would be over!
Fraudster: I have my reasons
let me have the money physically so i can handle it my way
I am so freaked out here
Me: you’re clearly in shock, that’s why i want to deal with these people directly.
Fraudster: not to that extent
would you speak to the hotel manager?
Me: i just need the name of the hotel
Fraudster: If you won’t helpful without these full details,maybe we should call it a day
Me: what flight are you on? i can pick you up when you land
Fraudster: you mean you can’t help me out?
. . .
Me: when was the last time you talked to my sister? i bet she can help you out!
Fraudster: you mean you can’t?
Me: did you see her when she was visiting ellicott city?
Me: too bad
she really could help you out. she’s studying in london actually!
you should call her
#facebook #scam #glark