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  • Phone Scams

    Anyone been scammed (or attempted to be scammed) here? Just happened to me, lol. Didn't fall for it though.

    I was called and told that I won a Free Cruise to either the Bahamas, Mexico, or Costa Rica, and that the cruise would leave from either New Orleans, LA, Miami, or another place, don't really remember. I had to click 1 to accept the offer and 2 to reject it and give it to the next "winner." I clicked 1 out of curiosity/slight chance I actually won, and I was transferred to an operator/employee. I could reserve up to 4 cabins, and up to 4 people per cabin, meaning I could take from 4-16 people. It was all inclusive, meaning that all shows, activities and meals were included. Sounded fishy right about now. They pitched it well, and there was business-like noises in the background.

    They asked if I was excited, lol. Said "Sure." They then asked me how many people I'd be taking, and I said that I didn't know. They then asked if I would at least take 2, which was the minimum, and I said yeah, ok. They then told me that the only fee was $97, or something like that, per person as the "government fee" for the business.

    They then asked me for my personal stuff and without saying anything I asked for any way to validate the prize I supposedly won. They provided a website saying they were a legit travel group and that they didn't blame me for wanting to make sure this wasn't a scam, given the way things are right now. They told me to go onto a website, and I think it was this one:

    http://www.ustravelgroup.info/cruise/index.cfm

    I clicked around a bit and found it weird that it seemed to be fairly small for a true travel group website, especially since there was nothing under the Land Package tab, and repetitive and limited information on all the other tabs.

    They then told me that I would have to pay the "government fees" for the two places I had reserved thus far, and if anyone else was to be added, I had to pay later for them too. They said I had 18 months to select when I wanted to take the cruise and up to 30 days to add more people.

    They proceeded to ask if I was going to pay with MasterCard, Visa, etc., and I immediately knew it was a scam. I asked if there was any way to look into this random-winning program, and they told me that it was new. I then asked for a telephone number just to see if they gave me anything, and they said that they were not allowed to give that "confidential information." I then asked where they got my number from, as I never game it to them (supposedly US Travel group with a partnership with Carnival Cruises), and they said that was confidential too.

    I then told them that I would only give my information once I got the itineraries, dates, confirmation numbers, and all the other stuff that I "won," since that's how it works in real cases of winners. The woman stayed silent for about 10 seconds, and then said that without my info, I wouldn't get anything. I responded saying that without the stuff I "won," I'd give no info. She stayed silent for another 5-8 seconds, then said "Hmmm." and hung up.

    The number that called me was (202) 870-5954, and it says it's from Washington DC, but I think it's actually from another place and to fool people it says it's from DC. Put the number on Google and many others have been called from them for the "Free Cruise" scam.

    If anyone gets a call from that #, ignore it. This is the third time I've been called for a scam. The other two were for a car and $10,000. Stupid scams, lol.

    Props to clover_jeez!

  • #2
    I like the idea of this thread. It could be very helpful.

    My brother got a call the other day about credit card fraud. They said he had unauthorized charges to his card, then read him his card number and personal information (like address). He asked what the charges were, and they said something like, "Well, since the charges are all under $1000, we aren't by law allowed to reveal that" or something. He just kinda laughed and knew it was a scam because if it was your account, they would tell you whatever you wanted to know.

    Then they said to verify it's his account, to give them the 3 digit security code off the back of the card. He refused and they said it was necessary to prove who he was. He asked for a phone number, to call them back, and they avoided it. So he just said he will call his bank, where the credit card is through, and they immediately hung up.

    A few pointers I've been told if you are doubtful. First, if you ever win any money, you will never have to pay to get it. If they say it's for taxes, that's ******** because they take the taxes from the money you win AFTER it is in your possession. You really should never have to pay for anything you "win".

    Second, when in doubt, don't give out any information. If they really are trying to help you, they won't object to you calling them back. If they say you have to do answer/give info immediately, 99% of the time it's a scam. If you have a problem with your credit card or bank account, they won't refuse to allow you to call them back. Even if they give you a phone number, it's a better idea to look up your bank/credit card company's official number and go through the system. If there really is a problem, there should be numerous official employees to help you, not just that one that called you.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by iowatreat54 View Post
      I like the idea of this thread. It could be very helpful.

      My brother got a call the other day about credit card fraud. They said he had unauthorized charges to his card, then read him his card number and personal information (like address). He asked what the charges were, and they said something like, "Well, since the charges are all under $1000, we aren't by law allowed to reveal that" or something. He just kinda laughed and knew it was a scam because if it was your account, they would tell you whatever you wanted to know.

      Then they said to verify it's his account, to give them the 3 digit security code off the back of the card. He refused and they said it was necessary to prove who he was. He asked for a phone number, to call them back, and they avoided it. So he just said he will call his bank, where the credit card is through, and they immediately hung up.

      A few pointers I've been told if you are doubtful. First, if you ever win any money, you will never have to pay to get it. If they say it's for taxes, that's ******** because they take the taxes from the money you win AFTER it is in your possession. You really should never have to pay for anything you "win".

      Second, when in doubt, don't give out any information. If they really are trying to help you, they won't object to you calling them back. If they say you have to do answer/give info immediately, 99% of the time it's a scam. If you have a problem with your credit card or bank account, they won't refuse to allow you to call them back. Even if they give you a phone number, it's a better idea to look up your bank/credit card company's official number and go through the system. If there really is a problem, there should be numerous official employees to help you, not just that one that called you.
      i could def see people falling for this one. pretty tricky. thanks for sharing mayne

      Comment


      • #4
        Most of those things are definitely scams. The second they ask for money then you know it is. They will say they need $50 or in your case $97 and then they make sure to give you dates that you cant go on and that no one has time to get off anyways. They wont give you vacation days like Spring Break, Christmas, etc. Then they will tell you its non-refundable so you either skip the trip or you go during a non peak time. Then they make sure to book it as a POS place that is all torn down and stuff like that and that is if you get to go to begin with. Most of the time you will get a letter in the mail saying the company has filed for bankruptcy and you wont get your trip or your money back and that is there way of getting around it. Then they go out and buy another limited liability company and do the same thing again. Its really hard to fight them because your legal fees will be worth more than the $97 you gave them. It will also be hard to win because the company will make some stupid excuse like "I was trying to run a legit business but it just failed," and the odds are it will seem like a good enough excuse for the court.

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        • #5
          Next time this happens to me out of boredom I will play along and act super excited and make it epic, is there a way to record a phone convo..


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          • #6
            Originally posted by bantx View Post
            Next time this happens to me out of boredom I will play along and act super excited and make it epic, is there a way to record a phone convo..
            I'm sure you could find some way to bug your own phone. Can't be that hard, right?

            Sig by Fenikz

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            don't tell anyone, but Charlie Casserly is a dope fiend

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            • #7
              When I was living in the dorms my freshman year, some telemarketing company got the phone numbers to the rooms, as they all had local phone service. Well, I guess I was the only one who bothered to reverse directory them at the time. I found they were located in Indiana, so I just started threatening them, saying I would come to Indiana and kill their families.

              Pick the Winners Champion 2008 | 2011

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Brent View Post
                When I was living in the dorms my freshman year, some telemarketing company got the phone numbers to the rooms, as they all had local phone service. Well, I guess I was the only one who bothered to reverse directory them at the time. I found they were located in Indiana, so I just started threatening them, saying I would come to Indiana and kill their families.
                And your not in jail how?

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                • #9
                  I've received at least 4 phone calls in the last week supposedly from a bank in my hometown saying there was a problem with my checking account and I needed to call them immediately. Too bad I don't have an account there nor was the number the actual number to the bank.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by steelersfan43 View Post
                    i could def see people falling for this one. pretty tricky. thanks for sharing mayne
                    Yea, it definitely sounded tricky to me.

                    I guess the thing to remember is that in a time like that, a credit card company will never refuse to give you any of your information, any of the info on the charges, and won't ask for a security code/pin/social security number to verify your identity.

                    If you don't feel comfortable giving out any info at that time, you don't have to. The worst that will happen if it is legit, is that the people with your credit card number will have an extra hour to charge stuff while you figure things out and call back. In which case, you will still probably be able to get it taken off once you call back the company and say it's not you.

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