Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How dumb do they think we are? Wait, don't answer that.

I got an e-mail today from someone purportedly representing the customer service department at Bank of America. It was advised that someone was using multiple computers and a variety of password combinations in a bid to secure entry to my Bank of America online banking account. It was urgent, said the e-mail, that I re-confirm my account information to them by tomorrow, or my account would be suspended indefinitely, "as it may have been used for fraudulent purposes." There was one really big problem with this e-mail. I don't have a Bank of America banking account. But you know what? I guarantee that someone, somewhere who also did not have a Bank of America banking account nevertheless sent personal and/or financial information to the site included in the e-mail. Why? Because they're dummies. And scam artists such as the ones behind the Bank of America ruse count on a certain percentage of their targets being stupid people. That's how they make money. There were other signs in the Bank of America e-mail that would lead any reasonably intelligent person to recognize they were a target of a scam. The bank logo was a grainy reproduction, and the entreaty concluded with thanks for my patience in this "mattern." We hear all the time through the media about dummies who give thousands of dollars of their life savings to people they've never seen or heard of, just because they're told that thousands more will be coming back to them if they do so. And yet people fall for this stuff again and again and again. There's an element of greed at work here, but the biggest factor is that some folks are just a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Anyone can fall victim to an identity-theft crime, but for some of these scams, you really have to be a dope to get shafted.

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Blogger PRIguy said...

I handle the web traffic and e-mail accounts where I work. I get at least three or four of the Bank of America e-mails each week. I also get them from Wachovia where I actually do my banking. But since I have a pulse and ears, I know that unsolicited e-mails from banks are always scams and have been since Al Gore invented the internet.

Speaking of stupidity and ignorance, this morning I read that this year will have a record number of delinquent taxpayers. Why? It stated that many of them withdrew money from their 401ks and IRAs...and claim they didn't know about the penalty for early withdrawal. I don't know how you can even set up one of those accounts without knowing that they'll take 40% minimum from you when you withdraw. That's why they're such a good deal...they're cutting you a break provided you go by the rules.

Oh, and the article stated that "Washington vows sympathy." Which begs the question, if taxpayers are funding the stimulus bill, how will it be funded if there's going to be a record number of people not paying the very taxes that were supposed to fund it?

April 14, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I received an e-mail purportedly from someone in Iraq telling me that $2.8 million was waiting for me on a private Visa card they were willing to give me. I continually get letters from Kuwait, Ghana, and other African countries telling me that the writer is the widow of a former finance minister who passed away leaving her XX million dollars that she wants to share with me. Occasionally the writer poses as a devout Christian whom God has told that I'm a great, trustworthy guy. I can't figure out how, if these folks can figure out a scam like this, they can also be stupid enough to think someone will fall for it. ButI guess all they need is one.

As for the IRS, flat tax says it all. But that'll happen the day I respond to one of those scam e-mails.

April 14, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

If it doesn't promise to make my willy bigger, I ain't clickin'!

April 15, 2009 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do those enlargement pills work?

When I first saw the mouse trap picture I thought the blog was about Obama and his faithful following of, "hypnotized sheep" free money for all, (except the rich.)

I got an email this morning about an undeliverable package from the USPS, and to click the link to resolve the problem. I deleted that one. I couldn't figure out how the post office got my email??

Did you hear about the TEA PARTY in Washington today? How cool is that?

April 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

It seems like it's coming way too late, if they're really worried about federal spending and taxation. Perhaps, just maybe, they were waiting until they had an administration they hate and the "wrong people" in control of Congress before they suddenly developed this deep fiscal concern.

April 15, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got an e-mail last week supposedly from Pay-Pal that said $420 had been charged to my credit card and something had been shipped to a guy in Brownsville (don't recall the name.) It had a link to click if I hadn't ordered it, and when you do it asks for your Pay-Pal account number. Since I don't have an account with them, I called the company and found it didn't come from them. I googled the name of the guy from Brownsville and it seems this is being pulled all over the country. What they want is that account number, with which they'll soak you for thousands.

Lou Florian

April 16, 2009 at 9:45 AM  

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