A woman was talked into giving her bank account information to someone pretending to be from an electronics store, a scam that was discovered after a metro Detroit store clerk paused her effort to buy gift cards.
The attempted scam of the Downriver woman was a duplicitous two-step effort, with the scammer acting as if he was helping prevent a scam. . . .
Upon their arrival, the woman told police she received an email from an individual who said he was a member of the “Geek Squad” from Best Buy, a company she has used in the past.
I’ve been getting a ton of these emails. They are worded as invoices and say things like “thank you for signing up for a year of Geek Squad, we’ve charged you $431” or whatever. It’s clear they’re trying to make you think, “What? I never signed up for that!” then call the number in the invoice. Then they have you on the phone and they can do whatever scam they’re gonna do. Probably get your credit card info for a “refund” or something.
It’s easy to spot as trying to look like an invoice from someone who doesn’t quite have the graphic design chops to make a professional looking invoice, but it’s surely good enough to fool a lot of people.
And as usual, they don’t want to talk on the phone to the people who can spot the scam from the email alone anyway. Making too convincing an initial fake only increases their workload without increasing the revenue.
It’s such a mishmash of bad, yet my MIL has responded to a similar one “to make sure they weren’t charging her anything” and of course that ended with having to cancel her credit card and a subsequent avalanche of copycat emails over the next few months.
Another downside of this is the fact that some Indian and Pakistani folk are getting roped into this.
Illustration 1: My dad had a panic attack about two years ago - an Indian guy on the other end of the phone managed to convince him he was from Microsoft and our internet was down etc. (you know the rest of it). I took over the phone, reverse-looked the number and yes, the poor bastard was in some sweatshop in Paris. I hung up as politely as my temper would allow.
Illustration 2: In the pub yesterday afternoon, a friend of mine gets one of these scam calls, and within seconds recognises it for what it is. But then the tirade of abuse he spat down the phone - something to do with incest, but I won’t repeat it here - made me feel for the poor little sod on the other end.
We get these calls 6 days out of 7 - most of us. And all it seems to do is ramp up the racism in an already racist country. It’s a pretty hopeless situation, tars and brushes and all that.
Yah this is exactly the reaction they are engineering these emails for. They know older people won’t sit and wait to see if any actual charge appears on their card or they get an invoice in the mail. It’s kind of a perfect Boomer storm of ignorance of technology combined with proactive conscientiousness about money and their credit rating. They can’t let something like this go and they “just gotta check”.
They also aren’t protected by basic internet hygiene, like using fake names for things. So the rest of us get these spam emails addressed to various fake names we’ve used over the years which of course is a dead giveaway this isn’t some legit service we signed up for, nor could they actually be charging us since they don’t even really know who we are.
All true, though some look much like the real thing, presumably to target more savvy marks.
I get stuff on my org email that looks like it’s come from an internal email address. Sometimes internal names even get used as the sender. Most of it is detectable if you look carefully before clicking on anything, but I have learned not to read work email before my morning caffeine hit!
Yah some of them are very good. I nearly clicked on one from eBay that looked exactly like the real emails they send. Every single link in it was valid except the login link. They were phishing for usernames and passwords, but all the other normal links in an eBay email, such as clicking the logo to go to the main site, the contact form, the unsubscribe link, etc, were all valid. Only the convenient “click here to see your auction” or whatever link was the phishing one. They almost got me except I wasn’t expecting such an email so I moused over the link before clicking.
Nowadays I never click on links in emails at all. I don’t trust myself to be careful as I get older.