<VV> Scam Warning (No Corvair)

roboman91324 at aol.com roboman91324 at aol.com
Sat Jul 4 01:22:24 EDT 2020

First, forgive this off-topic post but I think it is of interest and value to everyone.
I am posting this as a warning to people.  I don't think it is a surprise that there are a bunch of con-artists out there.  These people are the scum of the earth but they can be very clever.  They keep coming up with more sophisticated scams.  I try to circulate a warning whenever they come up with a new twist.  That is what this post is all about.
When I received a call today allegedly from Publisher's Clearing House, I knew immediately that it was a fraud.  I did what I usually do when I have the time and that is to let them keep talking so I can see what the game is.  I think most of the people reading this would recognize this for the scam it is.  However, I also think that most people reading this know vulnerable people who might fall for it.  Here is how it goes.
1) They know who you are.  There is no surprise there.
2.) They qualify you as someone who responds to Publisher's Clearing House (PCH) online or by mail.  I suppose they will just hang up if you say you don't respond to PCH.
3) They tell you that you have won "The Big" prize of $2.5 Million, $7000 a week for life and a 2020 Mercedes.  I chose the silver Mercedes.
4) They tell you that they have temporarily suspended their in-person surprise awards because of the pandemic and are doing everything by phone, email and snail mail.  Further, they tell you they sent a notification letter but are now calling because you didn't respond.  Where have I heard that before?
5) They tell you that they need a bank name and account number where they can transfer funds but to allay suspicion, they tell you to open a new account specifically for the transfer.  If it is a new account with only $1, how can they steal from you?
6) They grill you for as much information as they can about your finances.  They ask where you bank, how much you have in your accounts and how much equity you have in your home.  They never ask for account numbers.  They want to know if you have enough assets to justify their time.
7)  They ask for your email address.  I would have thought PCH would have this already.  They told me that they would be sending me documents by both email and snail mail.
8) As promised, they sent an email.  The "From" address said "InternalRevenueService2016 at yahoo.com" which is designed to get your attention.  There were two attached files.  One was a .pdf and the other an MS Word file.  This is where the real information mining operation starts.
9) Shortly after I got the email, I received another call to verify I got it and to discuss it.  I asked why they were using an IRS address.  (Keep in mind that the IRS wouldn't be using a yahoo address.)  He went into a speech that you must pay taxes on windfall income.  I told him I was aware but I couldn't open the files because my virus protection program told me they were infected.  I told him that I would wait for the hard copy in the mail.  This is where the conversation took a turn for the worse.  He changed the story and said they weren't sending a letter despite saying they were doing so in a previous conversation.  I asked, "Why not?" and he told me he is an executive at PCH and he was not going to argue with someone he was trying to turn into a millionaire.  I then told him that I admired his work ethic.  He wasn't expecting that and asked why.  I told him that it was after 7 PM on the West coast and I knew PCH was in New York.  That meant his conversation was taking place at 10 PM NY time on a Friday before a three day national holiday.  At that point he knew the gig was up and he hung up on me.  He didn't even say goodbye.
10) I believe there were three possible goals for these people.  At a minimum, the first goal of the document would be to gather your Social Security Number.  The second might be to plant a virus to take over your PC/data.  I never opened either file.  The third might be to attempt to get you to pay your taxes directly to these scumbags in advance.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE copy and paste this warning to every social, and club site to which you have access.  The faster and further this warning spreads, the fewer people will be victimized.  Besides re-posting this message, make sure you protect anyone you know and care for who might be taken in.  Remember, even if you are sharp enough to protect yourself from this kind of scam, a small percentage of people will fall for it.

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