Monday, August 8, 2011

Classmate Scam

Another new scam has been hitting American homes lately and is becoming rampant each day. It is called “classmate scam”. There are two ways classmate scam is happening.

First is the classmate from far away. It may go like this:
Scammer: Hello. I am a close friend of your son/daughter in college. (The scammer is not really sure if the victim to be has a child in a college or university in another city or state.) I am sorry to say that he/she has some trouble in school. He/She asked me to call you for help. He/She needs this amount which you need to transfer as soon as possible. (Scammers talks in a hurry to prevent victim from asking too many questions.)
Victim: What happened to him/her?
Scammer: Sorry, Mam. But I cannot say that. Just please wire the money as soon as you can. This is the only help I can give to you and your child. (Scammer then proceeds to giving instructions on how and where to transfer the money. He will end up with a sentence of emergency and a bit of threatening kind of lines before he finally hung up.)
The poor victim, if got caught in the scam will be doling out his/her money at this instance.

Second style is the class reunion organizer. A scammer will call and talks in a bubbly and “miss you and can’t wait to see you again” voice. The scammer, having done his homework have already researched on the batch’s names so when he calls the victim, he would sound so convincing because he will mention names from the batch. He will tell the victim that a reunion Is being organized and that he is the one of the organizers of the event. He will update the victim on what has been accomplished with the organizing and what are the things that still need to be done. He will say that batch mates have already given their contribution for the big day and would ask the victim if he would like to donate some money too for the expenses. If the victim falls, he will then be asked to transfer the money to a person and address the scammer will provide. The victim will be giving out the money but there will not be any reunion in the weeks to follow.

If you receive such calls, do not immediately dish out the money. Confirm first from your children if you receive the first type of call or from a classmate if you receive the second. Another important action is to verify the phone number, get the details about the caller and report to proper authorities that can help you like the FTC and the police. Warn your classmates and batch mates as well. Confirm the status of your child in college and warn him/her also of what has happened. Create awareness to as many people that you know as possible. Fighting these scams is tough but one helpful ball is by informing people of what is going on because awareness somehow helps in stopping these phone scam crimes.

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