Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Day, Another Scam

I know I post a lot about Western Union scams, but I do it so that people will read these stories and NOT FALL FOR THEM.

We had a deaf woman come in the other day who wanted to send $2,000 to Nigeria through Western Union.

I always know that it's a scam when it's to Nigeria, but these people are blinded by all the talk of money they will receive from these scammers.

Writing on a piece of paper, I asked her if she knew the person in Nigeria and she assured me she did. I wrote that this was probably a scam. She kept shaking her head no, insisting that she wanted me to send the $2,000.

So I did. But I added a test question to it so that the person on the other end could not pick up the money. A test question can be anything such as 'What is my favorite color?' or 'How many cats do I have?' in which the person picking up the money has to correctly be able to answer the question in order to complete the transaction. It's an extra security measure that Western Union uses.

So after I completed it and gave her the information, she came back in a few minutes later saying that the person in Nigeria never received the money and that she was supposed to re-send it. The scammers were telling her to resend another $2,000 because it didn't go through to them. And she was going to do it!

I told her to wait about an hour for it to go through and to come back. Well, she did wait an hour and then came back with a return number from Western Union in order to get her money back. She said the person in Nigeria never got it and that Western Union re-issued her the money.

First, Western Union doesn't automatically re-issue money to anyone. They make you wait hours, days, even weeks in order to get your refund. They are pretty shitty in getting anyone's money back to them.

Second, I didn't want to go through Western Union to give her the money back because then she'd turn around and send it right back to the scammers.

So I told her that we couldn't issue a refund over the weekend and that she'd have to go to come back on Monday morning.

I hope that during the rest of the weekend when her money was stuck with Western Union, she realized what a scam she was getting into.

Sometimes these people just don't want to understand or listen to what we are trying to tell them. $2,000 is a lot of freaking money. Most people around here never see that much in a year.

Western Union should just stop sending money to Nigeria. We have. Whenever someone comes in from now on and wants to make a transaction to Nigeria, we are telling them that we don't send money there anymore. Hopefully that will stop some of the scamming bullshit going on since Western Union doesn't seem to want to stop it themselves.


  1. Hopefully the woman will realize the scam. At least you went above and beyond trying to do the right thing. Kudos to you!

  2. UGH, I used to work for a bank, and people would get SO mad when you tried explaining to them why they shouldn't send 5K to a COMPLETE STRANGER!!!

  3. It really makes me wonder what kind of dipshits walk among us disguised as intelligent, grown-up human beings!! I mean, these dumb mofos probably DRIVE VEHICLES!! That is a scary, SCARY thought indeed. I agree, WU should just STOP sending money to Nigeria.

  4. That is a real shame. I hope you also warn people of other domestic scams. Somebody once tried to get me to accept counterfeit (although really good counterfeit) Moneygram money orders for something I listed on Craigslist.

    Not all scams originate in Nigeria....

  5. There is a scam aimed at the elderly here in Florida. Someone from Canada will call and tell them hi this is your favorite grandson and I'm stuck in Canada can you wire me some money through MoneyGram.

    I had one customer come in one day and told us someone tried to scam her that way so she asked which grandson it was. The person said your favorite one don't you remember. She said I have so many what's your name. There was silence. Then the woman said nice try I don't have any grandkids and hung up on him.

  6. I have a co-worker who is surprisingly ignorant given our field of work. She's the type that will offer up her personal info and bank account number in a heartbeat, so long as an e-mail told her to do it. I have to monitor her e-mail now...and this woman is technically my boss. So sad.

  7. I play with these scammers until they reveal information such as a website that they registered, or an email server they use for the money demand, or a name and address, and then I go after them. In the past couple of weeks, I've shut down three websites, several email accounts, and a couple of bank accounts. If I can't get this information(like when they get suspicious), I send them each others' scam spiel. It pisses me off that government, banks, website registrars and money agents do so little to stop this, when somebody like myself finds considerable success shutting them down with basically play time.



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