Be Cautious of Scammers!

If you follow my Twitter I mentioned this, but I thought I’d blog about it. And I kind of know the whole story a lot better than when I was tweeting it haha. Yesterday (as I’m typing this) my grandma who’s currently staying in China right now for the winter, got a call on her cell phone. The conversation pretty much went like this:

Man: Hello!
Grandma: Who is this? (She has caller ID but doesn’t recognize the number)
Man: Your relative!
Grandma: …..Who????
Man: You can’t tell?

At this point my grandma thought the voice sounded very familiar…

Grandma: Ohh!! Is it Kevin?! (My uncle in Vancouver)
Man: Yes!! I’m actually with a friend right now and we’re driving to Guangzhou that means we’ll be close to your city and I thought I’ll come visit you!

Later on when my grandma was on webcam chatting with us she told us that my uncle called to say he’s passing through Guangzhou so he was going to visit her on the way. We were so confused because of a couple of things.. 1) Usually if my uncle leaves the country for business he lets me know through e-mail. I don’t really know why, but it has always been what we do since we started e-mailing each other. 2) None of us knows my grandma’s cell number in China. We thought maybe my dad gave it to him. When my dad came home though we asked and he said he never did because he doesn’t know it either.

At that point we didn’t know how the conversation went between my grandma and that man. I was really curious so I kept asking why or what made her think it was my uncle that called her. Did he say he was Kevin? Did he say he was my dad’s brother??? So I texted my uncle to get a quicker answer to see if he actually did call my grandma and told her he’s going to meet her. He quickly replied, “No?!”

Me: Ohhh my goddd…
Uncle: Why?
Me: -explains situation-
Uncle: No, that’s not true. Tell her to be careful, all kinds of odd things happen in China! That was not me that called her, like you said I don’t even have her #. Tell her not to see “that person” or send any money to anyone who claims they are me!
Me: So creepy omg…
Uncle: I’m still here in Vancouver! Will be in Vegas Dec 22-25, not China though..

It’s funny because we (uncle, mom, and I) guessed that he’s gonna ask for money. Both mom and uncle said he’s probably going to say he can’t reach my grandma’s hometown and will need some money because of some emergency situation. I laughed after though because we were texting back and forth and then he said “Don’t believe that crabs.” I was like…”Did you mean crap? haha!” I think he got auto corrected on his iPhone. He’s just like “Whatever! Crab or shrimp or crap …haha!…good night!” After he had said no from the start though my mom quickly called my grandma to tell her it was a scammer.

That was when she told us the whole conversation. I was like, “Well if you told me that conversation I would’ve told you it was fake from the start.” So I just wanted to warn everyone, if a suspicious number calls you and they won’t let you know who it is, don’t just randomly blurt out a relative’s name. I guess if you think about it, it’s kind of bad when friends call and ask you to guess who it is because usually you would guess haha!

We’ve read about these things a lot but now I learn that it happened to a family member too. Do not ever just transfer money if the person asks. You better grill that person to make sure it’s who you think it is!!! That’s what scammers do, they ask you open-ended questions that would prompt you to answer. Of course they’d just agree to whoever you name after that. Even if you think the voice sounds very similar make sure you ask questions only you two would know. Don’t ask easy questions. Like the person called saying they’re going to Guangzhou because my grandma’s hometown is near and more likely than not we’ll probably have relatives living in or passing through there. Always, always be cautious!

My grandma… my dear, crazy grandma… LOL she was like, “>_>.. Should I ask to meet him?” I was like, “WTF WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT! LOL! Omg.. don’t.” What if they have knives or something in case it went wrong. Anyway, today they called my grandma again. The first one she ignored but then they called again. One of my aunts picked it up and was like, “Who’s this?” they were like, “It’s me! I just called yesterday!” Dude.. you could’ve at least written down the name/relationship you have to our family LOL. I’m sure they have like a list of people they go through… wouldn’t kill you to get pen and paper to write down the information.. amateur.. My aunt just pretended not to know and she’s like, “Ohhh really?”

My oldest uncle on mom’s side was like >_> -calls back the number later- “Ohh heyy!! So when you coming down. We’re all here to meet you.” He was telling the guy how they’re all excited to see him again, etc. HAHA. I think the man chickened out or something. He stopped calling after that even though he kept calling my grandma’s house every 2 hours or so before. My grandma, I think got lucky that she asked us about it on webcam though, last night. I have a feeling she might’ve fallen for it.. LOL.

Apparently this happened to my oldest uncle’s wife too. That aunt coincidentally had a brother-in-law come down to visit the time the scammer called. I swear it was such a coincidence because when he called my aunt and my aunt asked who he was he also said he’s her brother-in-law. In Chinese it’s harder to scam by picking a relationship because it’s not like in English where brother-in-law could mean any one of them. For the Chinese language your mom’s side and your dad’s side will have different names for your relatives. She also thought the guy actually sounded like him!! I wonder how they do that or if that was really a coincidence..

Anyway, they talked for quite a long time until he was suddenly like, “Wow we’ve talked for so long. I’m actually out of minutes on the calling card. Do you think you can transfer like around $200 to my bank so I can buy some more?” That set off her suspicions about him because that guy actually has money. Why would he have to ask her when he has more money than she does?? Especially when it’s just for calling cards.

I mean yeah I think our chances here of that happening isn’t as big as in China. Still though, it’s good to be aware of things like this. If the person calling you claims to be xxxxx but it’s from a weird number, ask him/her questions that would prove they are who they say they are. Actually.. just don’t listen and don’t send them money LOL. In this day and age I’m sure it’ll be easy for you to confirm with people around him or her if that person really is in trouble. I mean come on… I just texted my uncle and he told me he’s not even in China…..loser.

I’m curious, since they called with a number and it’s obviously not pay phone since my uncle could call them back, can you report it? If you go to the cops will they take that number in to track them down?

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