Friday, October 10, 2008

FRAUD, What is it good for?

Abslo-freaking-lutely nothing.

Today we are going into the topic of getting screwed.
"Why", you ask, are we heading into this dark realm?
Because we had a scam call at the shop the other day.
Actually we get annoying ,spam calls all day, every day. They usually are along the lines of, "I just need to confirm your info for our incredible online phonebook, the fake Yellow Pages"
If there are any small biz guys reading, NEVER DO THIS. They will send a bill for $29.95 for listing your biz address in a place anyone can find it for free about a half million times.
We also get loads of automated, "finance your impending doom" BS. "2" is your Friend(Altho I have a theory that pressing "2" just confirms you were idiot enough to listen to the whole message)
Back to point. Monday we got a call from a guy in Florida, two states and ten hours away, that needed two high end Specialized FSRs shipped next day, he had a CC number ready.
At this point you need a bell to go off and it is not the GREED bell. This is one of those things that falls in to the "To good to be true" column.
As luck would have it, our guys are not complete idiots and saw the con coming. They picked the guy for every bit of info they could get out of him. Then told him it would take time to arrange such a sale as we needed to assemble the bikes and then repack them to keep our dealer agreement(Wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
Now, What Do You Do?
Why you call the credit card company, they are being defrauded. Turns out the CC company could give a rats ass. "we don't do investigations" was their shrill call, "You must call the Police"

Do a quick Google search(PoPo, John Law, The Man) and call the first number that comes up.
It was a sad day, as at the other end of the line was Officer Himmel, of the Raleigh Police Department. Not only was he disinterested in a fraud of several thousand dollars, he was annoyed that we even contacted him. Seems we must have reached the secret number of the officer in charge of cafeteria at the RPD. And then called when he was busy with a rough salisbury steak crisis.
After much grumbling we finally got a number that had a receptive officer at the other end and we passed along all the info we had.
Then OJ went free, but seriously folks.

If you have a deal that just seems to good to be true, think about it. Don't think about the money. THE PRETTY GREEN MONEY, OH MY PRECIOUS, IT WANTS TO KEEP IT FROM.... Oop sorry. Anyway you get the idea. When someone contacts you from out of state, ready to pay right now with a credit card or money order, or wants to pay extra to "guarantee" the item, you want to think twice about the deal. If it sounds to good to be true, IT IS.

This all reminds me I need to do some stuff on buying/selling on Craigslist and Ebay. That should be up in the next week or two.

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