Tuesday, March 30, 2010

You haven’t actually won

Used up the proper title previously, but we’ve had something of a rash of lottery scam frauds here lately.  I’m always amazed at the people who get taken in by this, but I suppose if you make a hundred thousand phone calls, you will hit the jackpot every now and then.

Officer Rob Brenner handled an attempt earlier this month, in which the victim received a phone call notifying her that she had won $1.5 million.  She hadn’t entered any lotteries, but the caller told her that she had been automatically entered just for paying her utility bills on time.  Wow, who knew!  All she needed to do was send the $150 processing fee to Mr. Anderson in Jamaica---no doubt the first installment.

Here’s the good part:  Officer Brenner redialed the caller, and had a little chat, identifying himself as a police officer.  During the conversation, the scam artist tried to talk the officer into sending the $150 on behalf of the victim-winner!  Rob declined, but he did offer to go to Jamaica personally for some follow-up, if I would foot the bill for travel.  I think I will pass on that.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What really makes your head explode about these scams is that most of the victims are regular readers of local papers, regular listeners of local radio news, and regular viewers of local TV news programs. They have no doubt read, heard, or watched countless stories about similar scams - but still fall for them.

You'd also think that the older a person is, as long as they still retained their full cognitive capacity, that they'd be harder to scam every year that went by. Kids might have an excuse, not having much life experience to build a healthy level of skepticism, but age brings experience, and that should make one harder, not easier, to bamboozle.

If anybody tries to tell you that there weren't any con artists around when they were growing up in the 30s or 40s or 50s certainly has a selective memory. Scammers have been around as long as the human race, in one form or another.

Anonymous said...

My deceased brother got a letter out of Canada, advising he won a lottery, and they enclosed a check for $3290, to deposit. I saw it for what it was worth, and grabbed my BIC lighter, and torched it.

Anonymous said...

This is why I never pay my utility bills on time. :)

Timmy Fireballs said...

Chief,

My name is Dikembe Mutumbo. I am a Nigerian prince and stumbled upon your blog years ago while researching world police procedures. I am contacting you via your blog to ask you for your help. I have 2 million dollars US cash that I need to hide due to the political climate. For your assistance, i will graciously give you half of that sum. Please post your bank account, social security number, full name and address so that we can begin this transaction. Thank you so much for your kindness.

Anonymous said...

On another issue entirely, any news on the new Crime Analysis Manager, Chief? You mentioned having a process a while back and I haven't seen an update.

ARRRRG!!!! said...

Do you feel lucky?

Anonymous said...

Good try Timmy!

You need more spelling errors though, I totally no it's face b/c of the exemplary grammatical displayed!

Steve said...

Good job, Timmy! (Despite the grammatical proficiency)

Good effort by anon 9:06 as well!

Just a word of caution for the rest of you: Any offer from Haiti is liable to be a bit on the shaky side.

Tom Casady said...

10:26-

The position hasn't been filled. I have asked for the salary range to be increased, and intend to go back out with another announcement of the opening as soon as this is approved--hopefully in April.

Anonymous said...

I love that Officer Brenner, he is so witty!