Posts Tagged ‘scam and theft’

Scam/Theft;Bank Account Frozen Again

Before I talk about the topic of scams and thefts, listen to this song first. Well, actually, it’s for my own listening pleasure, and has nothing to do with today’s topic.       (^_^)


That one is one fantastic song by Bonnie Raitte, released in 1995. The title is “Something To Talk About”


Well, here’s something I like to talk about. …. scams and theft. We have been victimized three times in 3 years, one each year, which sets me thinking, are we just one unlucky family? ( ~o^)

First case:  Mom was at the frontyard cleaning up when she saw a police officer knocking on our neighbor’s door. Mom being nosy and all that, she told the cop there was no one there, and ” is there a problem, officer?” , so the cop approached her and informed mom there was a series of thefts in the neighborhood. Meanwhile I was in the house when I got a call from a sheriff, so I called mom, who at that moment, was still having a conversation with the cop. The sheriff on the phone said they caught a man in the act of stealing mails from mailboxes, and in his possession was my parents’ checkbook. Minutes after, we got a call from the bank informing us they had frozen my parents’ bank account.Apparently, the sheriff called the bank first.

Second case: We have another house we are renting out. The tenants moved  out, so we had it listed on Craigslist as house for rent. Craigslist is worldwide so we weren’t surprised when we received enquiries from Canada, England, and South Africa. The most promising was the one from England. The person was so interested that he actually offered to send us a deposit and 2 months advance payment before he even checked out the house.  Two days after, we received a manager’s check  from England in the amount of  $ 7,000. We were all surprised  because the person was extremely trusting and the amount was  $ 2,900 over the agreed first payment. So mom emailed the person and the person emailed back and told mom there was a mistake and could mom send back  the $ 2,900 overpayment as that was for his airfare to the US.  Mom was immediately suspicious and told the person she would first deposit his check and if  the check was ” good”, meaning, money was transferred to her account, then she’d send him the money. The person didn’t respond anymore, and one day after mom deposited the check, the bank informed us that our account had been frozen and would remain frozen, pending some investigation. Apparently, this scam had been going on everywhere, and majority of the victims were like us who were renting out houses. It was really a stupid scam, but surprisingly, quite a number  actually sent money to the scammer.

Third case: This is the most recent…. it happened Friday last week. Last October 17, mom put 6 mails in our mailbox, and all were bill payments, including that for American Express, my parents’ main credit card company. Then , last Friday, dad got a call from the bank , informing him that there was a man who was trying to encash a check issued by mom, in the amount of $ 1, 394.00, and according to the bank, it was for a roofing service. Dad said to hold it because there was no roofing service done. Mom was not home when the bank tried to contact her, so the bank told the man they wouldn’t encash it until they got approval from mom who signed the check. The teller got the check # and compared mom’s signature to the one on the check and deemed it authentic, just the same. Last Monday, mom went to the bank, and was surprised to learn that the amount the man was trying to encash was the exact amount on her American Express bill. She then inquired if  checks issued Oct. 17 had come in, and bank said nothing had come in yet. In other words, the mails were stolen from the mailbox, ( that is a federal offense), and the checks were ” washed “….. according to the bank people, that’s how these scammers erase or alter whatever is written on the check. In this case, American Express was changed to the man’s name, and our AE’s account number was changed to ” roofing service”. The bank immediately froze our account prior to changing our account number, and advised mom to immediately contact American Express since our credit card had also been compromised. With our American Express account number , name, address and phone number already known to the scammer, he could easily make online purchases. Thank goodness AE said no recent purchases were made, and they gave mom a new credit card number. …. Whew !  By the way, dad went to the police station to file a report but the good folks there said they couldn’t file any report until they got an ” incident ” report from the bank.  So mom’s going to the bank tomorrow to talk to the manager. The cop said they’d go to the bank to look at the videos.

< shakes head>  At least, we’ve learned one lesson. Don’t put any mails in the mailbox anymore. How troublesome.

Well, this is it for today. Peace !