Rod at work wrote:
Eric M Russell wrote:
Most phishing scams are automated and impersonal, while other scams hit closer to home. For example, last year my grandmother got a call from a guy pretending to be me. He claimed he was in a Florida jail and needed her to wire bail money to an attorney. To make himself sound legit during the conversation, he mentioned the name of another family member and other publicly available information he could have gotten from a google search. He explained his unrecognizable voice was due to having a broken nose resulting from a fight with the police. You can imagine how emotionally distressing that was for her. Fortunately, she hung up the phone and called my dad, who then called me and confirmed that I was in fact at home and doing perfectly fine.
It makes me think of that old Hank Williams Jr song:
".. I'd love to spit some beech nut in that dude's eyes, and then ......"
That's amazing, Eric. Sounds like that person may have either known you or your grandmother.
No, that would be a gut reaction, but I don't think so. After doing some research, it seems this is a very common scam and the caller was following the typical Modus Operandi, even the part about the broken nose.
All the scammer needs as a starting point is the name of someone with a living grandparent. From there they can go to a website like mylife.com and for a few dollars get a report of estimated net worth, related family members, phone numbers, addresses, etc. The scammer can say things like: "Hi, grandma, it's your grandson, Trevor. I'm sorry to call you so late, but I'm in trouble. I would have called Greg or Susan, but you know how busy they are with the new baby."
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho