Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Scams -- Why are people so mean?

A few weeks ago, I had a phone call on my cell phone. The display read Jamaica. I do not know anyone from Jamaica, so I didn't answer it. But there was that nagging feeling wondering who called and why.

Well, today, a friend received a call this morning and answered it. I don't think her phone displayed the place, just a number. The caller explained to her that she had won the third place prize in publishers clearing house and would be the recipient of a new car and a million dollars. She would need to pay sales tax on the car. But they only needed $100 on a green card from Walmart to give to the prize patrol (who were only 30 minutes from her house). They told her that if she could not get the card immediately, they would have to turn the prize patrol around. They even offered to stay on the line with her while she drove to Walmart to get the card. She immediately told them to turn the prize patrol around because she could not leave to get the card.

She hung up and immediately started questioning her decision. What if it really was Publisher's Clearing House and she had just turned down a new car and a million dollars? She called the better business bureau and they told her the call was from Jamaica but they did not have any records of the number.

We then researched scams and learned that Publisher's Clearing House never calls the big winners to notify them. They go in person. They will also never ask for money.

Needless to say, it was a international call probably with big fees associated with it. Sure was nice of them to offer to stay on the line while she drove to Walmart. (I have no idea if she will be billed, but I am guessing they are making money from it somehow.)

Now, I know who probably tried to call me. I am so very thankful for the display on my phone that showed the location of the call. Many times if I do not know a number and it does not have a Arkansas area code, I do not answer it. I figure if they need something they can leave me a message. I now feel reassured that not answering calls I do not recognize is a good idea. It is a practice that I will definitely continue.

But, I guess deep down I was rooting for my friend, hoping it wasn't a scam, and that she could turn the prize patrol around. 

Happy snipping, stitching, and quilting!


  1. Crazy! Who even thinks these scams up? The scammers must think that we Americans are suckers. Glad your friend wasn't gullible to the caller. If it sounds too good to be true, it's usually is. If she really won...even if it was from another sweepstake or such, they would have made a second effort to contact person, registered letter or such. Glad to be back to reading my blogs. Hope you are doing well.
    Beckie in Brentwood, TN

  2. I bet she will get billed for the phone call. I hate the way all these scammers work - if they aren't trying to get you on the phone then they do it with e mail. I have lost track of how many out of country scammers in email I have gotten in the last month.

  3. It is ridiculous; the way these people try to take advantage of us.
    I have them calling here too...different types of calls. If it sounds too good to be true; it usually is.



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