Service of Swindles

March 20th, 2017

Categories: Scams, Suspicion

This is the 12th post I’ve categorized under “scam.” Here are some more new to me.

Pay to Stay

A reader forwarded news from the,State Attorney General Warns of ICE Scam.” Zak Failla and Jon Craig wrote:On the heels of a nationwide sweep by U.S. Immigration and Customs [Enforcement] that led to the arrest of five Hudson Valley residents, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is cautioning residents to be wary of a scam involving unauthorized agents asking for money.”

In addition:According to Schneiderman, the Attorney General’s office has recently received an increased number of reported scams in recent weeks, where agents demand money in exchange for not deporting possible immigrants.

“Schneiderman noted that no actual ICE agent would ask for money or threaten detainment or deportation if they are not paid. They also do not have the authority to enter one’s home without a warrant signed by a judge.”

No Information—Hang Up Fast

The next one, a phone swindle, has been around since 2003 and news of it was last updated on in April 2015 and yet I’d not heard of it; a friend just sent it to me. The caller identifies him/herself as representing your Visa or Mastercard account’s security/fraud dept. The caller asks if you’ve recently purchased something and notes the amount and knows your credit card number.

The objective is to get you to reveal the pin number on the back of the card. The caller says, ‘I need to verify you are in possession of your card.”  He’ll ask you to “turn your card over and look for some numbers.” Do not provide them. Credit card companies wouldn’t ask you for this information.

Let’s Face It—Is it or Isn’t It?

An email recently arrived from Facebook telling me “The balance on your ad account Jeanne Byington is empty. As a result, any active ads have been turned off. Please add money to turn them on or to create new ads.” The s on Ads in the signoff was a potential tell that this wasn’t from FB: “Thanks, The Facebook Ads Team.” More important, I’ve never bought an ad on Facebook.

I got a second email from the same source a few days later. “Earlier this week, we accidentally sent you an email that said your ad account is empty. Please disregard that message, which was sent by mistake. We’re sorry for sending incorrect information, and we’ve resolved the problem that caused you to receive it.”

If someone from Facebook really sent this, they’d best get another team member to write their emails. They didn’t send me incorrect information about my “ads” account, I don’t have and never had an account. While they’re at it, if real, they should select another name for the team: Facebook Ads Team irritates me.

Have you noticed these or any new scams and swindles lately?


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9 Responses to “Service of Swindles”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Con artists are becoming sharper in the face of a warier and more informed public. While there’s no formula for total escape, it pays to either not answer the phone when an unknown party appears on the caller ID, or to pick up the receiver and remain silent. If a caller starts to pester in earnest, block the call. Not all telemarketers are dishonest, and I’ll miss some of the pleasant chats with a number of legitimate callers. Unfortunately, this pleasure has morphed into a threat.

    There are false friend requests from FaceBook, and fake email messages from friends — easily identifiable by identical message regardless of sender. That’s what the “trash” is for.

    During WWII, the public was warned: “Loose lips sink ships.” It’s a good policy to trot out that old maxim and bring it back into use, since now the sunken ship could be ones own.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I agree to the point of being paranoid. I have called companies I deal with to confirm that an email I received is legitimate as it’s so easy to cut and paste or download a logo and be off and running with a scam that’s just a link and a click away.

  3. hb Said:

    We live in a world which is both jaded and insecure at the same time. Hypocrisy is king and who knows whom or what to believe. Even the humor is cruel.

    The Academy Awards come to mind. The general vulgarity (as opposed to elegance) of most of the show was such that Price Waterhouse’s screw up over the “Best Picture” winner, came across more like some bad taste, sour comedy skit gone wrong, not the biggest snafu in movie history. Do I care? Not really.

    But then, we are all victims of the greatest scam of them all. Despite all that money and advanced electronic stuff all around us and our much vaunted status as the “most powerful country in the world,” we, of our own free will, chose Donald Trump to be our ruler. It was we who pulled off that “greatest scam of them all.”

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I, like millions of others, am baffled by the greatest scam of them all that you reference as regardless of mounting evidence, supporters excuse and support each and every gaffe, lie, misstatement, false accusation and underhanded or inappropriate action such as the dynasty style nepotism on steroids taking place with the moving in of family members to the west wing of the White House. Politicians have always overstated things. I remember George H W Bush saying, “Read my lips, no more taxes” when new taxes there were and not all the change we’d hoped for happened under President Obama but neither of these men consistently and blatantly said any old thing that came to mind like a secondhand car salesman.

    I wonder what it will take for the scammed to wake up and realize that the man in charge doesn’t care a whit about them or this country. If the new paintjob on their car repair peeled after a few weeks in the summer sun; the new roof leaked after the first spring rain; the dental implant exploded with infection and the miracle diet pills made them gain weight, and in each case, when they’d return to the perpetrators for remediation they were told “too bad, your problem,” would they know they’d been scammed?

  5. RCF Said:

    A swindle that I am aware of is promulgated by the people who run “time shares.” Once you can no longer use a time share due to age or inclination, there is no way out without paying some $3,000! Are there others who have experienced this?

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I’ve never owned a time share. I know a few who use theirs and haven’t tried to get out of the contract. I’ve heard commercials, though not recently, by a company that promises to help people in the predicament you describe though I imagine it costs to hire it and in addition to pay whatever fine required. I guess only death will cut that cord.

  7. Martha Takayama Said:

    HB has summed up my feelings about scams. Unfortunately as I moan and wring my hands, I cannot do anything, but second his incisive response. At the moment I am under siege as all my friends are because our country has been inexplicably scammed. Much of the world is wondering how we ever let this happen!

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I wonder if the entities that take bets have odds on how long this craziness will last. When will DJT or one of his people step over a line leading to resignation, forced or voluntary? I saw stats today that showed increasing dissatisfaction among his base but it was infinitesimal. The majority love all that he says and does.

  9. JM Said:

    My husband got several scams on his computer but CitiBank notified him in an email & took care of it.

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