My First Brush with a Telemarketing Scam
Approximately every six weeks a news story reports how some poor elderly couple was scammed out of thousands of dollars by a slick telemarketing scam. I don't know about the rest of you but I have always felt deprived because I have never been targeted for one of these scams. Well, yesterday everything changed when I received a call at work. I answered the phone, "Hello this is Monticore, how may I help you?" On the other line I hear silence and then just as I'm about to hang up hear in an easy to place foreign accent "Hello Heather you have been randomly selected to receive a US Government Grant for 10,000 Dollars. How are you going to spend the money?" I answered, "I did not apply for any grant. How did you get my information." Again the voice replies "I know this call must sound strange but I assure you that you have been chosen at random to receive this money from the US government," then explain that I would be happy to review the information at my leisure if they would mail me the offer. "Okay ma'am I just need to verify your address." She then reads off my old address and I reluctantly give out my current address. Then the voice asks, "Okay all I need now is your social security number, but only the last 4 digits so that I may verify your account and then you will receive the 10,000 dollar check in 3 business days.
Now at this point I am of course a little bit excited about the possibility of receiving 10,0000 dollars but there is no way in hell that I'm going to give out more personal information over the phone. So I immediately tell the voice that I am not comfortable giving this information out over the phone but I will review the information that they will send to me. The voice then asks me to call her back immediately with my information so that she can send my money to me. She tells me her phone number, grant account number and then has me read it back to her. Then she tells me her name is Shannon Smith. That's when I know there is no way this is true because there is no way this woman's name is Shannon Smith.
As soon as I get off the phone I google US Government Grants Scam and quickly find tons of hits about this scam. According to the Federal Trade Commission eventually you are asked to either pay a one time processing fee of 300 dollars or give your bank account information to this company. Bottom line the government never gives out 10,000 dollars randomly to people. So I quickly filled out a formal complaint with the trade commission and I felt so relieved I did not give out further information.
Right now I am actually hoping that Shannon Smith calls me back so I can call her out for the phoney she is and let them know that I called the Fed's on her ass.