I recieved a phone call today from a foreign gentleman telling me that I had been selected by the government to recieve a $12,500 grant. He asked me if my name was correct, and spelled my first, middle and last names correctly. He then verified my mailing address. I was suspicious and asked him how he got my phone #, being as how it was my cell #, and how he knew my mailing address. He told me that he was affiliated with the Federal Govt, and that the call was being recorded by the govt. He said that $12,500 was waiting to be deposited into my bank account in 3 business days and all he needed was my account info. I was very skeptical and asked several questions, to which he very smoothly gave me all the answers that I was wanting to hear. He also gave me the phone # and web address to the company. I then gave him an account # to an account that I rarely use. He then transferred me to the verification dept, which was going to verify all my info and give me a verification # that I was to give to my bank when they called me to make sure that I was expecting a $12,500 deposit from the Federal Govt.
I was transferred to someone else who then began to tell me that in 2 business days a $59.95 processing fee was going to be drafted out of my account. I questioned the fee to which the girl said, "Have you ever known the government to not have processing fees? This is their processing fee that they need in order to get you your money." She then said that in 3-5 business days that I would get a packet in the mail that I needed to fill out and return to them, and then in 7-14 days I would get my $12,500. At this point I knew I fell into a scam. The last guy said in 3 days I would have the $$! And now they were going to draft $59.95 out of my account, send me some paperwork and THEN I would get my money! NO WAY! But of course when I questioned all of this they had all the right responses. I went thru with the rest of the phone call to which they informed me that at the end of this year $299 would be drafted out of my account for next years (2007) grant that would automatically be mine. There was also some long distance thing that was attatched to it all that after a certain amount of time would be getting drafted from my account.
I hung up and immediately got online to research this. I found THIS website with all these bad reports. I also looked at their website which I found to be very uncomforting and vague. I then called the company back and said that I had just gotten off the phone with them 10 mins ago and decided to cancel. The lady told me that she could not find me in her system, and since I had just signed up to call back on Monday and I would be in the system. I told her she was full of crap...they had just called ME and told me my full name and mailing address!!! She came back with some lame response.
I immediately got dressed and went to my bank and cancelled my bank account and told them of the situation. Not an hour after I cancelled my bank account, I got a phone call from a "Private" number, which is how it came up before. I didn't answer it, but I am assuming it was them.
Hopefully this ordeal is over for me. I can't believe I fell for it, but they were very smooth talkers! That is the 1st and last time I give out any of my account info!
Thank you ripoffreport.com for this website which immediately confirmed my suspicions of being scammed!
U.S.A. EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back! HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent! DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form. CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com EDitor@ripoffreport.com bad
Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!
We are not lawyers.
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We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency ...by consumers, for consumers CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.