It was the most involved, intricate scam I have ever been on the receiving end of.
That - being - this "lady" that we were going to go on a date on Sunday. These scammers
are using tactics that go beyond the stupid stuff that is totally obvious now. Apparently
they have figured out we are not all dumb. It is hard to imagine texting with a person
every day for a week or however long for extended periods to find out that they aren't
who they say they are. The alarm bells started ringing when I asked if I could call her
and she said - she had dropped her phone in water. The phone could text, but couldn't make
Anything can happen when water enters a phone, but I had a feeling about it. I didn't ignore
it, either. There were small clues all along - but what happened today finally busted it open.
She said all the nice, kind words and said sadly, I cannot pay my internet bill. I knew what was
coming before "she" (at this point, I am guessing likely a guy). "She" added to the list. I can't
pay my phone bill. Ohhh? How much is it going to cost you? Well I need your help. I am
going to lose my access to the phone if you can't help. And on and on.
It was the Western Union game - Western Union is the bank of thieves, they can get their money
and get away with it. Unless I personally know someone, I won't deal with Western Union. I
tested it with "her". When I said I would send the money to her name in her town, she replied
back that she didn't have ID and would have me send it to a "trusted friend". Ooookay. Kept
playing. Name of a person in San Antonio - same state but certainly not down the street and around
the corner. I then decided to check "her" phone number. Prefix in Minnesota. Then checked the phone number itself. A complaint registered on a website but no comment to say what it was.
So, she has a broken phone that won't make phone calls. A prefix from Minnesota, a friend in San Antonio to collect her money. So what, her friend is going to drive hundreds of miles to give it to her? I then offered to bring it to her. "She" is a 2 hour drive away. I don't much care about distance if it's the right person - as long as it doesn't have to be an airplane flight away, I have determined. She couldn't have me coming to see her, she allegedly can't make calls and she doesn't "like" using another person's phone to talk (I said fine, just use someone else's phone to talk to me). I then pretended that my Western Union account wasn't working and I would have to go to Walmart and do a money gram. And since you don't have ID, I will just the pasword option - I did this with a person I know very well in Mexico not 2 months ago. Instead of showing ID, you give them the exact passwords that the sender submits and that's it.
She didn't reply for a while and then said I didn't love her and yada yada. I had her number and I finally called her out on it in no uncertain terms and not actually too nice about it, either, considering she was willing to toy with my emotions to try to bilk money out of me. She completely disappeared.
I actually busted out laughing while driving the semi up I-49 today when I realized what was going on. I haven't met this person IN person yet, there were no strings attached to my heart.
Ohhh, dangit. I'm very tired and it's 15 minutes past my bedtime. Take this up this weekend.