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About Literature / Hobbyist Member ChrisMale/United States Group :iconoriginal-lit-yaoi: Original-Lit-Yaoi
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I've had two phone scam attempts on me or my family recently. I don't know if it's just random clustering or if this is a problem on the rise. In case it's the latter, I thought I'd mention them here so folks can be on the alert.

Grandson Bail Scam

My mother-in-law "Joan" didn't fall for this one, not so much because she's particularly savvy but because she was a poor target. The scammers call random elderly women, hoping to get one who has grandsons but doesn't keep in close touch with them.

A week ago, Joan received a call from someone claiming to be a court official from the Dominican Republic, saying that her grandson had been arrested and needed $5,000 to get bailed out. The "grandson" was put on the line. Joan didn't quite recognize his voice, but the grandson he sounded most like was my own younger son, who is 15 and autistic and very much neither under arrest nor in the Dominican Republic. She has three other grandsons, though. One, my older son, is 18 but severely disabled and also living at home. A third grandson was already in prison. That left only one possibility, "Jack", who she had not in fact spoken to for awhile. Jack had a tendency to get in trouble with the law and had been known to travel on short notice, so it was not impossible that it was him. So she asked "Is this Jack?" and was naturally told yes.

Joan may not have spoken with Jack in years, but she was in close, frequent contact with his mother, "Patti", who lives in my house and helps us with child care. Joan was suspicious, but after putting the scammers off she gave Patti a call, where she naturally found out that Jack was safe at home, gainfully employed, and neither in the Dominican Republic nor under arrest.

The scammers actually had the cojones to call Joan back to pressure her for the money, telling her the judge was waiting and time was short, but by then Joan had already reported the attempted scam to the police.

CNN story
FBI warning

IRS Investigation Scam

This happened just this morning, and it was simple enough. My phone rang at 6 AM with a recorded message purporting to be from the IRS. It had supposedly been found that I had failed to report all my income from 2012 and that I had to pay back taxes that were due before "legal action would be taken against [my] name," along with a callback number to the 202 area code.

While the Washington, DC area code might have made this SEEM legit, the immediate red flag was that the IRS never issues tax irregularity notices by phone. I know this from personal experience. Back in 1988 I received a noticed in the mail about unreported income from my 1985 tax return. I quickly figured out why, so the matter was easily resolved, but the point was the IRS always initiates these matters by mail.*

Online research showed me that the progress of this scam might run as follows: If you call back, you will be put in touch with an "investigator". He'll give you his name and badge number, and then tell you that you owe $1,000 or more in back taxes and penalties, that your bank accounts and other assets have already been frozen, and that legal proceedings will begin to seize your property unless you wire the amount owed to them immediately. He may even "confirm" your identity by giving the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. He may also suggest you get an attorney.

This is all calculated to scare the bejeezus out of you to get you to send the money as fast as possible, before you have time to think about it. Needless to say, don't do it.

Parade story
IRS press release

*I had taken an early morning paper route that year, for which I was paid like a contractor with the income reported on a 1099 instead of a W-2, and I had incorrectly reported this as wage income. What made it a wash was that the wages I had reported were higher than I could account for by any of my available records, so if I were to amend my return to reduce it to what my records actually showed the difference would have more than made up for any self-employment tax I owed.


Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm just here to show off my writing and to stare at the pretty pictures.

I don't usually thank people for faves, even though they're much appreciated, just because that's a conversation that never really goes anywhere. But I almost always reply to comments!

Current Residence: Santa Cruz County, California

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leothefox Featured By Owner Edited 4 days ago   Artist
Excited Thank you for faving

Sailing to Silent City by leothefox &Dark Castle by leothefox  
Pixx-73 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the fav. Thanks for everything! Have a nice day.
TixieLix Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for faving again ^^
jumpman2121 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was wondering if using DokuWiki.
Hi. I'm the guy of the read-only wiki.
lucsurr Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Many thanks for the :+fav: of Let's Do Some Sport - I. :)
leothefox Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014   Artist
Heart Love Thank you for faving

Scorpio collage by leothefox  
TixieLix Featured By Owner Edited Aug 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave on my Street Fighter and Zelda pics! ^^
ZacharyTC Featured By Owner Edited Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry to bother you, Lytrigian, but I-stamp continues to lie about whether he said all preachers were con artists or like con artists, him claiming it was the latter, while I can clearly see it was the former he said (it is there for all to see, for crying out loud). I have tried every tactic to have him come to his senses and admit he was using a stupid stereotype, but all he has done is come up with excuses. We need an outside verdict as to who won the debate, and fast, otherwise it will never end.…
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I appreciate that you believe I can descend on a conversation and impose some kind of arbitration, but I'm afraid that's a power I don't have. Even if I did, I've clashed a little with i-stamp in that thread myself. I'm already on record there that I don't think Mormons are Christian in any meaningful sense. And he probably is aware that I would disagree strongly with his idea that Christianity is simply stupid, that Christian churches can't keep their stories straight, etc. So I can hardly hold myself out as an impartial judge.

Besides, on this particular issue I think i-stamp is correct on his own terms. By his definition, which he explained at some point, anyone promoting or "selling" something false is doing the work of a con-man, whether or not he actually knows he's selling a con. His example was of someone who bought into a Ponzi scheme getting others to buy in as well. Such a person might not be in on the con, but he's helping it along. You'd be right to point out this isn't consistent with his claim that preachers "use misdirection and sleight-of-hand" to sell their ideas, since you cannot do that unconsciously, but he obviously has as strong an emotional investment in his opinion as you do in yours and will occasionally overstate his case. Perhaps he expresses himself as he does in order to be provocative. If that's his aim, he succeeds.

You are, of course, correct in your own, and in my view more reasonable, terms as well, where you require a "con-man" to be promoting something he knows for himself is false. I personally know no preachers at all who do this, and I have known quite a few.
augustablak Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for visiting my page! It really means a lot to me!
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I saw your post about emergency commissions and thought I'd take a look. The price is more than fair for the work you do. Is this points only, or are you taking Paypal?
augustablak Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm taking both as a matter of fact! And thanks so much for your interest! I was worried I was charging too much!
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Good! I'll think about what I want and let you know later tonight what I'd like. It's a toss-up between a character from my long-neglected fantasy series (in the hope I'll get inspired to continue) or my MMORPG character which would be just for fun.
(1 Reply)
panagiotios Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the fave! <3
Caroline1539 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014
Excuse me for being so rude as to start a conversation before we even know each other, but I have a possible reason why MH was stopped at Entry 87.
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