I want to know why I of all people have encountered two of the most elaborate scams that any one that I've ever known has encountered.
Scam artists have become so thorough these days, that even the most intelligent people can fall for them. Last year I was subjected to an employment scheme which involved interviewing with a man regarding a job that would be done at home (yes, those jobs exist as I currently do freelance internet marketing/promotions on the side). It was so elaborate that I, along with hundreds of others received extensive paperwork that was typical for any job and applied for it accordingly. All of our information was taken but fortunately enough never used. His real identity was revealed and he technically was not liable to be charged unless he had physically done something with the identities. He never did, so I was lucky. (Unless of course I realize 10 new accounts are opened under my name next year.) With my luck - that will happen.
Tonight I witnessed another scam that makes me indescribably disgusted. I nearly tore this woman's head off over the phone. A few weeks ago I was contacted by a marketing company at work. I knew it was a marketing company because our work has a business caller ID. Since I'm quite familiar with focus groups and market surveys, I agreed to do a harmless one that they had offered. After doing the survey, they thanked me and said that in turn, they were rewarding those involved with an all-inclusive cruise. I said (Ha! I'll believe it when I see it.) They simply asked me for my cell phone number and full name and said that I would be receiving a phone call soon. Obviously I did not get excited because I wasn't sure what this was all about anyways but figured maybe somehow it was possible for this to occur.
Today I missed a call from an unknown 800 number and tonight I called this number back. There was automated man's voice on hold thanking me for calling Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines and to please hold - a representative would be right with me.
A woman picked up and knew my name right away. Apparently, they had a caller ID system that enabled them to know exactly who was calling based on previously "registered" participants. She then spoke to me about this lavish all-inclusive trip. I asked question after question - including "What is your website so that I may look at this information?" She replied, www.VacationMoments.com. I looked it up, and there before me was a very bootleg site that as a person who is somewhat proficient at designing a website, thought was extremely unprofessional. I then asked them who exactly they were. She replied that they were indeed Imperial Majesty. Obviously that actual cruise line has their own damn website.
I questioned her on that. I told her that I needed to be cautious naturally and she was so sweet and understanding insisting that she liked that I was asking her, because too many people these days aren't cautious enough. She continuously tried to relinquish any doubts that I may have had. On the other hand, she was pretty stupid in saying that her crappy website was given to people because the original website did not include the "Virtual Tour". Think she can pull that one on me? Why would any company not put a virtual tour on their professional main site and then put it on some half-assed website made in 30 mins? Disgusting.
I then googled some more to see that it was indeed a scam. And the original site is really
www.MYVacationMoments.com Haha, funny - she forgot the "My" in front of the rest of the URL.
By that time, I had already hung up and said I'd think about it, after she had already pushed me to give my credit card number to pay only for the port taxes. ($59) She even said that my call (while giving my credit card info) would be recorded for "security purposes". She said she would forward it over to a "specialist". (Wow the lies kept getting better and better.)
I tried to call back but because of the caller ID, that automated voice spoke over and over again for about 10 minutes, so naturally they did not take my call.
I am sick to my stomach. I cannot believe the multitude of heartless people that actually can live with themselves while scamming every-day hard working people out of their money. Most of these people probably cannot even afford it. They become so excited about going on a cruise because they have never in the past been able to afford one. (I've never been on one either actually). I am not a violent person, but after something like this happens to you personally, one could say that some con artists deserve death penalties. They ruin lives. Absolutely ruin lives - all while remaining calm, cool, collected and sweet. They lie through their teeth, hearing excitement in people's voices only to know their soulless selves are about to steal massive amounts of money from you. If that is not the devil in disguise, I do not know what is.
I wanted to call her back and say the most horrible things to her in the most calm tone. I just cannot believe the great lengths people go these days to benefit themselves.
Hopefully this article will prove to help others out before it happens to them.
BEWARE of anything that is "FREE". Nothing is ever fully free.
NEVER give out your credit card information over the phone. Even if they insist that your information will be protected.
ASSUME it is a scam. Better to be safe than sorry.
Those folks will get their day . . . karma is a bitch.