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Old 06-28-2019, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Out West
273 posts, read 179,316 times
Reputation: 551

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTsnowbird View Post
They cleaned out his bank account most likely.


The scammers are usually content with getting the victim to buy Google Play cards or something similar, and read them the numbers over the phone, thus getting the value off the card.


The really devious ones convince the victim to transfer all his bank accounts to a "safety locker" with the promise that they will be returned soon. It is usually a "mule" account with no traceable link to the actual scammer.


I do hope someone is now overseeing this person's finances.

VTsnowbird, this sounds exactly like what happened to this man. Our friends said the brother panicked and lost his ability to think clearly. Advanced age and the stress imposed on him made for a serious error in judgment with profound consequences. He must also live with the shame over falling for this scam.

I posted this in the hopes that it will spur those of us with older relatives to forewarn them about these sort of criminals. If a scammer can make someone panic, they can get them to do something foolish.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Out West
273 posts, read 179,316 times
Reputation: 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Yeah, but not millions from a single person. The article you linked to states that the median loss was less than $1,500 and that scammers got victims to purchase gift cards. They didn't clean out people's bank and/or investment accounts.




And I'm questioning how the alleged victim in the OP had his entire retirement savings wiped out. It's not as if giving out account numbers is divulging super-secret information. Hell, whenever you write a check you're giving out your name, address, account number and bank routing number. Not to mention an example of your signature for any scammers to attempt to copy.

Even if the OP's friends' husband's brother also gave out his SSN (which would have been incredibly stupid given that the call was purportedly coming from the SSA and they would have known what the number was since they said it was compromised, lol), that still wouldn't be enough to clean out his accounts. And if the scammers somehow got the bank to authorize a wire transfer out of the victim's account by using the above information, then Regulation E should have limited the victim's loss to $500 Or, if we're discussing retirement accounts at multiple financial institutions, then $500 per account.

So, again, I'm confused how the victim's entire retirement accounts could have been wiped out.
MadMan, Our friends told us the brother did not have a great deal of money in the savings/investment account that got cleaned out, but his modest nest egg was all that he had left. He apparently completely believed he was dealing with Social Security, and gave them whatever information they requested.
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Old 06-28-2019, 01:56 PM
 
Location: NJ
10,669 posts, read 21,344,566 times
Reputation: 8818
Quote:
Originally Posted by PartIrish View Post
Some friends of ours who are in their early 70s visited us this week and told us of a sad thing that happened to the husband's older brother. His brother, a retired college professor, got a call that purported to be from Social Security (caller ID said Social Sec.) and they told the man that his Social Security account had been compromised and all his money, including money in his financial accounts, was at risk. They convinced him to provide his account details so that SS could keep his money safe. The scammers promptly cleaned out his accounts. This is a man in his late 70s/early 80s who is intelligent, but he panicked, got caught in the scammer's net and as a result lost the remainder of his savings. Our friends' family members are each contributing something to restore some small level of the brother's nest egg. The victim is humiliated that he fell for the scam.

It's easy to say we would all be safe from such scams, but these scammers were very skilled, and our friend's brother was alone and vulnerable. If you know someone like this man, forewarning them about this type of scam in advance is highly advisable. Not all older people are tuned in to these sorts of crimes, and in the panic of the moment, they can become highly vulnerable.
So sorry your friend fell for it. After reading all of the input and about gift cards, I'm clueless how anyone would fall for it; but as you said, his caller ID said the call was from the SSA so I could see why it was so easy for them to do and confuse him.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:03 PM
 
8,009 posts, read 7,295,370 times
Reputation: 6387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
So sorry your friend fell for it. After reading all of the input and about gift cards, I'm clueless how anyone would fall for it; but as you said, his caller ID said the call was from the SSA so I could see why it was so easy for them to do and confuse him.
As someone said earlier, they are trying to scare you into blocking out rational thinking, imagining negative scenarios, and short-circuiting the decision-making process by forcing you into quick decisions without exploring all the facts.

You see it all the time with Alzheimer's patients freaking out when they're out of their comfort zone, aggressive people quickly challenging people to fights over little things, and normal people freaking out when they're angry or scared, and so on. Their brains are overloaded with stimulus.

anxiety and brain fog
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:08 PM
 
42 posts, read 9,508 times
Reputation: 126
Got a robo machine talking call yesterday saying my social security number was going to be arrested unless I call a certain number back. If all you’re arresting is my number, have at it. Bring a search warrant.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,883 posts, read 14,224,806 times
Reputation: 16076
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I'm not saying it's not a real scam. I'm questioning this person falling for it.

Some people are book-smart and nothing more. They might be lacking common sense, or street smarts and more.
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:59 PM
Status: "I am Blessed." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Spurs country. "Go, Spurs, Go!"
3,400 posts, read 3,963,274 times
Reputation: 8776
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancymyers2000 View Post
The SSA will very likely call you when you sign up for benefits to verify information. It is not uncommon at all.
But this is relayed to the new beneficiary that this will happen, and it happens very quickly after applying/contact with a SS rep. Not "out of the blue" years later.
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:54 PM
 
39 posts, read 10,897 times
Reputation: 113
Agreed, but many people on here insist that SSA NEVER calls, with exclamation points and bolding and all sorts of things and I just want people to understand that is not true. They do indeed call and you will need to speak with them in order to get your benefits approved. And in my post I said "when you sign up for benefits".
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Old 06-28-2019, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
3,976 posts, read 2,537,158 times
Reputation: 8492
I have gotten this call several times on my cell phone. A kind of threatening sounding voice. Fortunately I figure anything this important they would mail you a letter and I just hang up.
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Out West
273 posts, read 179,316 times
Reputation: 551
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
So sorry your friend fell for it. After reading all of the input and about gift cards, I'm clueless how anyone would fall for it; but as you said, his caller ID said the call was from the SSA so I could see why it was so easy for them to do and confuse him.
To be clear, Roselvr, it was our friend's brother, not our friends, who was the victim. I have not met the brother--I only know that he is older but highly educated. I agree with some comments here that his response could be evidence of cognitive decline, and I think our friends will do everything possible to keep him safe going forward.
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