Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scammers are SCUM!

**Foul language warning**

So, it started out as a kind of bad day...there was a minor car accident in the family (thank God it was minor) but it was looking up. Bear was working at the new salon and offered to touch up my hair for me.  I cruised over and plopped in the seat, and she preceded to start working her magic.

About 3/4 of the time thru waiting time on the color to take hold, my phone rings. It's my Mom. She is in a panic. She needs to transfer some money, and it's an emergency. WHAT?  She says she can't tell me why.  Bullshit, I say, you need to tell me. She tells me my son called her, that he's been arrested for drunk driving (WTF!?) and he needs the money to get out of jail.  Now remember, my son is going to college 2300 miles away. He begs her not to tell us...he promises to tell us after everything is "taken care of." She agrees to keep his secret, but she can't. She is so upset, she can't do this alone- that's when she called me to help with the phone call, etc.

I am floored! I practically scream at Bear to get the color out of my hair and I fly to meet my Mom at the store where she is making the money transfer.  I get bits and pieces of the conversation she had with my son, and the boy was arrested for drunk driving (strange, since he doesn't have a car where he is..maybe he borrowed one?) he spent the night in jail, and the lawyer says that the money will go to cover court costs and once it is transferred he should be able to get my son out of jail. Mom has a name of someone in Santa Barbara, California to send the money to (Why Santa Barbara? I didn't get a straight answer....) This person, MERECEDES MARSHANEE RITZBERG, will pick up the money, let the lawyer know the receipt number, or something along those lines...and my son gets out of jail. Right? Sound legit? Hmmmm...

I ask my Mom if she is sure she talked to my son, she answers yes. She spoke to the lawyer, he sounded official.  I am just blown away.  My son just turned 20, I know he is not perfect, but he is a smart kid. I can't possibly imagine that he would drink and drive. I am just beside myself.  I help her  make the transfer using Moneygram at our local Albertson's.  It wasn't cheap.  The lawyer needed $2410, and the transfer fee was $170. It needed to be cash...say goodbye to Christmas.

I am so upset, between the car accident this morning involving a different child (again, thank goodness it was only the car that was injured and not my child or anyone else) I can barely think.

Mom and I go back to her place to await the next call from the "lawyer".  He calls, right on schedule to ask if the transfer was made.  It was.  We give him the receipt number. He says he will call back once he sees the judge and my son is released.  He says it will be a couple of hours, and that we should wait by the phone.  We start to wait.

I decide to try to text my boy, knowing that he is probably sitting in a cold jail cell in Indiana. 

Me: Are you ok? We sent the money.

Surprisingly, I quickly get a return text...

Him: Is that supposed to be a hostage joke? haha, finals, finals, finals.

Me: Don't bullshit me buddy, I had to help Gma. Are you ok? No secrets here.

Him: Grandma sent money in the mail?

Me: This isn't f**king funny. Where are you right now????

My phone instantly rings, it's my boy. 

Him: I'm in my room, studying for finals! What's wrong!?!

Me: Did you get arrested last night?

Him: NO! Are you kidding me? I've been studying for finals! What are you TALKING about???

Me: Oh my God, Grandma got scammed! She just sent $2580 to someone to get you out of jail. Holy shit, let me call you back.

That, my friends, is how a scam works.  Un-fucking-believable.

My Mom got a phone call from a young man.  He said, "Grandma?"

She answered, "Yes? AJ?"

He said, "Yes, grandma, it's me, I've got a problem...." This guy gave her the bullshit story, and she bought it. Her hearing isn't the best, and she thought he had a cold and that's why his voice didn't sound 100% right to her. When the "lawyer" came on the line, he sounded official enough for her to buy this bullshit, and put her in a panic.  There is nothing she wouldn't do for her grandchildren, so of course there wasn't a question that she would help.  She went to the bank, got the money, and made the transfer.

What these assholes didn't count on was us trying to reach my boy.  The second we figured out it was a scam, I called the Albertsons to ask them about canceling the transfer. They said it was probably too late, but they gave me the Moneygram number to try. I called, got ahold of the right person, and THANK GOD, and a sweet lady named Becky, we were able to cancel the transaction before the money was picked up on the other end.  Thanks to quick thinking my Mom got every penny back. TAKE THAT YOU SCAMMING SCUMBAGS!!!

You hear about this crap happening to other people, but you NEVER think it will happen to you, or someone you love.  Don't let it. 

The transaction was coded as a fraud, so hopefully when this person, MERECEDES MARSHANEE RITZBERG goes in to pick up the money, they snag him/her.  I don't know what else we can do...we should have known better.  I know I know my son better, but in a panic mode, you just don't think logically.  I know my Mom didn't.  I am just SO thankful that this fucker didn't get her money. 

Talk about a hell of a day...I am SO ready for this day...and this year to be over.  Come on January!


Kim said...

Thank GOD you caught it before the money went through. I was reading through that whole account getting madder and madder that those scumbags got away with it. And thank GOD your son wasn't really in that kind of trouble. I know how much you love him and for you to have to spend any moment of any day thinking that had happened, is horrible. I hope karma bites those scammers in the ass...HARD.

kks said...

Wow! That is unbelievable! Makes me so mad! So glad they didn't get any $! I've heard of this scam....

Curt Rogers said...

I am so grateful you guys were able to stop it.

Scammers are very good. I almost got scammed a few weeks ago and I consider myself a fairly intuitive, cautious and reasonable person. But they prey on emotion, typically fear, so even the best of us are susceptible.

Good for you! Thank God your mom called you.

I hope those bastards get caught!

Gulf Coast Girl said...

This is happening a lot. One of my friends was supposedly stranded and in jail in Scotland. We figured out that it was a scam but it sounded so believable! People were getting ready to send money to bail her out!

I hope all of these fools pay for what they do to people. I hope they pay DEARLY.

Glad y'all are okay!

Shelly Carter said...

I was on pins and needles the whole story so glad it worked out so sorry we had scam-er a few weeks back saying they worked for Microsoft and our computer had a virus long story short my hubby is a coputer guy. But It sounded legit to me stupid people.