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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

I Got Scammed

If this blog is “late” blame the scammers!!


It happened even though I thought I had done everything to avoid it…Scammed, hacked and frustrated!


I thought I could “pick out scammers in the crowd” but I guess Facebook marketplace is one of the worst sites for this.


I had posted an item on marketplace to sell and when I got a request, I asked my usual questions:

  1. Where are you located?

  2. Can you pick up the item in person?

  3. Cash only.


This person contacted me on marketplace and I asked my questions and I got really great answers. She or whomever, was local, just up the road in Clairmont working, what scammers know Clairmont? We agreed to meet in person on Tuesday and she even named a local place to meet, we arranged a time. It was slick, she or he had all the right answers. At the end she says, “I will send you the money right away.”


Okay.


I got an e-transfer from “manageautotransca” to my phone for the amount and clicked on it to deposit it, the screen was my usual bank screen. But the next page asked for more of my information. Quickly I backed right out, NOT accepting the e-transfer and I wrote to her that I was not comfy accepting the e-transfer. She agreed that was “weird” and said she would bring cash on Tuesday.


A bit later she messaged me asking if I had accepted the e-transfer because she could not get it back. I said, “let’s wait a but.” Not a problem, she seemed so nice.


I then got a text message to my phone saying that in order to refuse the e-transfer I needed to text the code the “bank” had sent me. I punched in the code. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!


What happened next was bizarre. I got a series of text messages, roughly one every 2-3 minutes and phone calls coming from Quebec. Brian wouldn’t let me answer those.


After about half an hour it all stopped, never heard from her again, I assumed she got her money back, oh she got her money all right!


In the morning my friend asked if I had checked my bank account. I went into it and was shocked to find that I had sent the company “Gigidat Inc.”

$48.00. I had $50 in the bank and it showed I sent them $48 Plus some e-transfer fees and now I was minus $1.50.


I called the bank right away to see what happened. The man was super helpful and said they take these incidents very seriously. We went over the process step by step and he said this is a very common thing taking place right now and that scamming is a big, big industry.


I had assumed it was some low life, sitting in his basement hacking people’s accounts, in reality it is a billion dollar industry that is taking the world by storm! They are slick, they are smooth and they fool thousands of people every day. They keep changing and updating their methods to continue to fool people.


The bank fellow asked what kind of info I had given them. I hadn’t given anything except my phone number. He reminded me that Facebook has all kinds of personal information on it, and what could they have gotten? I had known enough not to put my birthday on there.


He said that it is usually the buyer who gets scammed and I was different, but anytime a person has to type in a code, whether or not on your bank page or not, it allows scammers directly into your bank accounts. He said it was a good thing I did not have much money in there as they would have taken it all. You do not get it back.


He cautioned me that my bank account and phone had been compromised and that he was freezing my bank accounts immediately. Thank goodness for Gods favour that I had not used our “regular “ bank, you know the pay checks, savings etc. He requested that I go to my phone provider and get my phone “cleaned” (factory reset), then take a receipt or letter to the bank and they would decide if they would re-open or issue me a new account, card, password etc. Then I was to proceed to the police and make a report, followed by calling the Canada government’s anti fraud department and a call to Equifax.


All of these last things were in case the scammers create a new me elsewhere using my info.


Oh my stars! My head hurt so much that first day! I am not finished the whole process as you now must make appointments to open a new account.


When I stepped into the bank this sign, up too, was right there to read while waiting in the teller line. It’s not just me, it’s everywhere.


The teller at the bank told me that she too was recently hacked- right into her bank account. Hers was an email about a package she had ordered. She really had ordered a package so she clicked on the link- that was all it took. They were into her bank account.


Now you might wonder how that email link could be connected to her bank- I can’t tell you. Just like I can’t tell you how a text on my phone connected them to my account but all I can say is it did.


She and I commiserated together and she made me my bank appointment.


Other methods of hacking are: pop-ups on your computer stating that your computer was compromised and to call or click on the link to get “technical support “. Do not click on any link- take it to a local computer store.


There are websites, government and other agencies that put out bulletins on the newest scams out there.


ALWAYS report scammers and fraud no matter how trivial it might seem.


There is a current movie called “The Beekeeper” while it is not a Christian friendly movie, nor is it a true story. But it’s about someone getting revenge on scammers. It’s a very current theme.


Brian was telling me today that the city of Airdrie, Alberta has announced it is now totally “cashless “. A fellow went in to withdraw $3,000 of his very own money only to he told- they do not deal with cash anymore. They would be happy to e-transfer, or give him a bank draft. Which brings us right back to online scammers and their long reach into the money world. Kind of interesting don’t you think?










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