Phone scammer tried to con William Webster, the only person ever to serve as director of both the CIA and FBI: it did not go well


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he made the mistake of trying to con the 90-year-old William Webster out of $50,000 with a hamfisted advance-fee fraud scam, not realizing that Wallace is a top US spook, the only person ever to have served as chief of both the CIA and FBI.

William Wallace?


You took a check.

One California man reported receiving certified checks in exchange for sending “fees” to Jamaica, and wound up sending $85,000 to the scammers even though the certified checks all bounced.

You took a paycheck from a con artist? And it didn’t work out?


“We need to build a wall to keep these Jamaicans out!”


This is peak predation. Every single mode of human contact has been reduced to a channel for predators to access us. Everything from a trip to the Dr’s office to a Facebook post.


Keniel A Thomas is part of the wave of violent phone scam gangs that have led to chaos in cities across the island

What island?
(Looks down at end of article.)

Oh, Jamaica! Why didn’t you say so at the beginning?


So, next time I get a scammer email, I just have to call the FBI and they will bust the scoundrels?


After one too many scam calls, I (long overdue!) ditched my landline for good. My VoIP provider charges less per month than what AT&T charged for Caller ID alone. IMO, they shouldn’t rightly have charged for it in the first place if they can’t guarantee it’s accurate.


No - we need to build a DAM to keep these Jamaicans out. And those unsavory types from Grenada.
MAGA :wink:


“The phone call. . . it’s coming from inside your house!!!

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No story is fun if you look at the big picture, as you can always tag on “but human suffering continued unabated”.


The phone system is so outdated and broken.

There should be a way for my phone to validate that the call origination data is correct before ever ringing my phone. I should have the choice about whether or not I want to accept anonymous callers.


in band signalling is what makes phreaking fun

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In-band signalling is fine with the proper authentication. You’re reading this page and it was probably delivered encrypted with all the key exchange happening in-band.


yes thanks to the magic of certificates. how are we going to handle cert management for 9.99 landlines from radioshack sears target?


Also, in-band signalling between switches went the way of the dodo. SS7 sends signalling via a separate channel from the audio path. The transition began in the 1970s with CCIS, a predecessor that Bell Labs developed as they were designing the #4 ESS long-haul tandem switch.

These days, a lot of phone traffic, even at the carrier level, is now VoIP as well.

There’s quite a treasure trove of recordings, both raw and narrated, of 1970s-style phreaking over at the Evan Doorbell website.


Umm, from the previous BoingBoing post linked in the article -

telephone advance-fee fraud (419/Spanish Prisoner/etc) scammers who targeted American victims, bringing an estimated $300,000,000 to Montego Bay and its region, the epicenter of the scam.

What the hell?? How much does the US lose every year to phone scamming? Should the IRS start pre-emptively running these scams against the elderly to keep the money from leaving the country?

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Well… you do. I don’t accept any call from a number that I don’t recognize, or isn’t in my list of contacts. Not anymore.

I know that behavior is cutting me off from a chunk of humanity that would like my attention and aren’t looking to take advantage of me, but I’m really fine with that.

Yeah. That. Back when I was a kid, the phones were dumb as hell, but most of the time – from my experience at least – if they rang it was from someone actually wanting to talk with you, not sell something to you, or trick you.

Now? If I were answering calls from numbers I didn’t trust, the ration would be something like 80 predatory/sales calls to 1 actual person I would want to speak with,

Bah. (old man grumble)


I don’t accept any call from a number that I don’t recognize

Do you mean you just don’t answer?

What I want is for my phone to ring if somebody in my contacts list calls. Every other caller should get a busy signal. I don’t want my phone to ring and I don’t want a voicemail.


Yeah, the “don’t answer” option. Your idea has merit.

Instead of a busy signal, I would like an automated message telling them to remove me from their list (even though they wouldn’t), and add “if you know me and are someone who I would want to talk to, you know better ways to get ahold of me.”

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