Scams You've Encountered

We thought it would be helpful to have a thread where users can describe scams they’ve come across, in order to warn others. I consider myself pretty savvy but have been surprised at how sophisticated scammers have gotten. So please share!

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I will start (a post I made in another thread).

Scam #1: D found a nice, small apartment on CraigsList for a reasonable cost in a good location. She texted the lister who provided lots of details. Then a new post appeared - it was the REAL owner of the unit, who said that listing was a scam. The other listing disappeared quickly.

Scam #2: D found another nice apartment on CraigsList in a large apartment building in downtown Portland. She exchanged quite a few texts with this guy. He said he was subletting it because he’d accepted an OOS traveling nurse position. He sent photos. He also told her he asked the apartment management people send her a letter confirming his occupancy. She shortly got the email, and the scary thing it was from soandso@backbaytowers.com. The email address looked legitimate! She was about ready to send him the deposit. He said she couldn’t look at the apartment since he’d already left town. That did sound odd. I told her to call the apartment complex directly, so at least she could look around the building. When she called, the woman who answered sighed and said, “Is it John Doe you’re talking about?” “Uh, yes…” “He is a scammer who has put up this post many times. We get it taken down as often as we see it, but he still manages to get it out there.” Poor D was so discouraged at this point! I think there was one other scam, too, but I don’t remember details. She also got ghosted a few times - people would start a text conversation with her and then stop responding.

She finally found an apartment that was legitimate, yay. $662/month, which is a steal in Portland. It’s an apartment in an old building. DH and I have looked at MANY residences in Maine as structural engineers, and we agreed that the floor slopes more than any other one we’ve ever seen, ha. But it’s in a great location and utilities are paid for. Her roommate is a year older, a Bowdoin grad who is applying to med school. The two young women are getting along wonderfully. So there was a happy ending, but the process was frustrating, to say the least.

Here is mine from another thread:

I’ve recently started looking for a job. I’m currently a Marketing Manager, but earlier in life I did a lot of proofreading and editing work. I’d like to get back to that for its flexibility and ability to work remotely. Anyway, I get daily alerts from LinkedIn with all proofreading jobs. I applied to one yesterday and received a LinkedIn message today from a Human Resources Specialist at the company inviting me to do a Skype interview this afternoon. She also sent me a connect request. I messaged back that I’d be open to an interview. She sent the info and I proceeded to interview with a director at the company. It was only a written communication; we weren’t video Skyping. He was asking completely normal questions, but I did note he took a while to respond to each one. At one point I went onto LinkedIn - do not remember why - and noted that her original message was gone. So I went to my email and clicked view profile from her LinkedIn request. Her profile was gone. Finally I went to the LinkedIn message that told me they had viewed my profile, which had a link to the original job. Also gone. I went back and ended the Skype call and deleted the interviewer from my Contacts. I’m not sure what the scam was. One thought was that they would offer the job and request my SSN. H thought maybe they’d ask for money to cover a background check or something. I have no idea what they were after but thankfully I gave them no information, and I’m really glad I started checking everything out. I never would’ve thought that this could happen via LinkedIn, so I wanted to just make everyone aware of it, for you and your kids. So many of us have kids who are looking for jobs now. I feel like I’m pretty aware of stuff like that but it was so well done a lot of people could easily be duped.

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My son has had attempted scams using Craig’s List. We aren’t sure what the scam is, but it involved the seller of a car (price was too good to be true, but he is young and didn’t realize.) The scammer wasn’t “able to show him the car, because he would be out of town,” blah blah blah…

I think the seller or whoever being out of town is a pretty common theme with scammers.

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Wouldn’t the car scams be those where the car is supposedly to be shipped after payment, but does not actually belong to the seller to sell?

One of my friends was almost taken in by one of the energy scams where a company says they are from your utility and can lower your bills.

We had the same group coming to our business last spring, during Covid!

Then there’s the “legitimate” energy companies that lower your bill dramatically the first year, then hike the cost by many times starting the second year. So it’s a legal scam, but still a scam. We got caught because we pay our utility company monthly. Central Maine Power is the SUPPLIER, and it was the PROVIDER giving us the “deal.” CMP didn’t monitor the supplier’s charges, and our balance kept building and building. I don’t pay attention to the balance, because in the past, CMP always adjusted our budget amount if it was needed. So anyway, all of a sudden we got a HUGE bill from the supplier, saying it was due immediately. I was so mad! Fortunately, a lot of other people were, too, and filed a class action lawsuit. We got a check in the mail, but it wasn’t very large.

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I think that was it, but also my son has had similar car parts scammers.

DH is looking for a new job and had an experience with a text-based Skype interview. After a short interview, he was offered the job. Alarm bells went off when they sent him a cashier’s check to deposit into our personal account in order to purchase “company software.” They also requested an emailed photo of the deposit including our deposit slip with our account information. Yeah, no. He filed a complaint with the internet crimes division but it taught us a lesson about how savvy criminals are.

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Do people still use deposit slips (as opposed to check image deposit or putting the check in the ATM by itself)? However, it can still be a risk to deposit the suspicious check if your account number gets added to the check or check image in processing, or if the check is returned unpaid with fees (cashier’s checks can be fake, and most people will not know how to recognize whether one is real or fake).

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I’m treasurer for several organizations and often use deposit slips since there are multiple checks. I don’t want to take photos of the fronts and backs of ten checks.

I use a different bank than my typical one for one organization. When I went in-person to deposit some checks and told them I needed deposit slips, they said they don’t use them anymore. And even my regular bank is “out” of slips right now. So I guess I will have to resign myself to not using slips much longer.

Ads that pop up in my Facebook feed saying that this insurance company’s Medicare Advantage plan will result in you getting the $148/month Medicare Part B fee refunded to you. What the initial post doesn’t tell you is that there is a $2500 deductible before the plan will pay anything. Even looking at the details once you click the ad that is not immediately clear.

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I should clarify: They requested we deposited the check via ATM, but we don’t bank locally. They objected to mobile deposit and agreed to accept a photo of our mail-in deposit slip instead. They were also very insistent that we deposit the check the day we received it. After DH broke off contact, they never contacted him again nor requested return of the check.

No doubt the check would have bounced.

@MaineLonghorn, just a quick question- did you pin this to the top of the page in the Cafe? I was able to unpin it but am still trying to figure out the new board - is anyone able to pin a post or is a moderator privilege? Thanks.

I pinned it. I think anyone can pin a post to their personal page, but I’m not certain.

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My parents have received phone calls shortly after each grandchild went off to college the first time. In each, the child was in jail and needed money to get out. Please don’t tell mom and dad, the caller cries. One was drunk driving, the other two drunken public rowdiness. They needed money for bail and a lawyer. They would say this is your granddaughter or grandson, no name given. Made my parents guess. After the first call, they gave a fake first name and told “grandchild” they would come and bail them out. Callers hung up after that.

Let your parents know about the scam. Too many have fallen for it trying to help their “grandchild”

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