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New Telephone Scam

Updated on March 21, 2011

Scam Alert

Whether you know them as schemes, fraud, or scams the people that perpetrate them are out there thinking of how they can con you next.

Scams out there are a dime a dozen. In the past we have heard of some pretty inventive ones. There are western union scams, check scams, new renters scams, scamming of the elderly of personal and or financial information, credit card scams, craiglist scams, 809 area code scam, the all too well known Nigerian scam etc... All executed for an end result of financial gain. The one I've just experienced is too for financial gain the difference is it plays with peoples emotions. Scammers are getting more desperate and deceptive, mastering the lies to convince you to open up your personal vault and wallet. Be aware and don't let these scammers take advangtage of you.


If You have given out your bank account information

  • Report the theft of this information to the bank as quickly as possible
  • Cancel your account and open a new one

If you have given out your credit card, atm or debit information

  • Report the theft of this information to the card issuer as quickly as possible
    • Many companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with such emergencies.
  • Cancel your account and open a new one
  • Review your billing statements carefully after the loss
    • If they show any unauthorized charges, it's best to send a letter to the card issuer describing each questionable charge.
  • Credit Card Loss or Fraudulent Charges 
    • Your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50.
    • If the loss involves your credit card number, but not the card itself, you have no liability for unauthorized use
  • Your liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card depends on how quickly you report the loss.
  • You risk unlimited loss if you fail to report an unauthorized transfer within 60 days after your bank statement containing unauthorized use is mailed to you

If you believe your ebay account has been compromised

If someone else is using your account to bid, leave feedback, or list auctions without your permission:

  • Contact eBay
    • eBay has set up a link for HIJACKED ACCOUNTS
    • If someone is currently listing auctions on your account, you may also use the hotline options:
      • Member Problems... Law Enforcement... Please Investigate a Current Listing for Possible Fraudulent Activity
      • Only use this option if there are current fraudulent auctions.
  • Attempt to sign in and change your password
    • If you are able to sign in, change your password and hint immediately, and begin to undo any damage done by the hackers
      • remove any bogus auctions, contact bidders and sellers, etc.
    • If you were unable to regain control of your own account, eBay will likely suspend it for a while until they complete their investigation.


Telephone Scam of the Day

Today was a strange day. Early afternoon we received a disturbing telephone call to one of our business lines. My husband answers the phone as he routinely does. After 20 plus years in the bail business one gets used to land lines and cell phones ringing at all hours of the day and night. Listening to the caller, almost immediately he starts pacing back and forth in our small living room. The behavior catches my attention and I look up from the dining room table where I had been sorting mail. I listen in on his call. My husband is visibly irritated. Maybe even preoccupied but I can't tell just yet. All I know is something is not right.

I can only hear my husband side of the conversation. "What?! A family member of mine is hurt?  Where?  Who is it?  Give me a name!"  He holds his cell phone to his ear with a death grip and listens attentively with pen in hand to jot down any important information. He can barely understand, maybe their cell phone is breaking up. He immediately fires his own questions. "Okay, slow down...I don't understand what you are telling me." "Who is hurt and where? I need a name otherwise how do I know what you are telling me is true."

By now I myself are on another phone dialing my son. I don't know the details and I don't really care at the moment, I have to know my kids are fine. My son had gone fishing early in the morning and that in itself is odd for him. He tends to get seasick and is not an avid fisherman but living close to the water his friends will occassionally talk him into it. He had dropped off his two year old with me early in the morning so he could go try his luck. His girlfriend, the babys mother had volunteered for a local pet adoption event. Normally they would have both been home with the toddler on a Saturday afternoon.

I am still trying to get my son on his cell. The phone rings several times. I know sometimes cell phone reception is very poor out in the ocean but he was only going about 3 miles out. Still I felt a tinge of fear and swallowed hard. Thank God he picks up after several attempts. I ask him if he is alright and detecting something off he questions me. "I'm fine mom, what's going on? Is the baby okay?"  I told him about the strange phone call and he and I immediately ran a mental family member list starting to eliminate other possible family members as victims. Earlier that morning he has spoken to one of his cousins that lives out of town. I called and spoke to one of my nephews locally, although he is underage unlikely he had gotten himself in any type of altercation. Two of my more lively nephews remained unaccounted for and my son hung up with me to call them and find out their whereabouts.

In the interim I got more of the story from my husband whom was still on the phone with the original caller. He went on to tell me that the caller told him that apparently this family member of ours was at a bar. It is unknown if he knocked over a motorcycle intentionally or accidentally. The owner of the damaged bike and a few buddies apparently beat the offender up and had him in a back room of a bar threatening to kill him unless he came up with the money for the damages. The caller claimed he was just a good Samaritan doing this poor guy a favor and calling the number he was given to advise someone of this mans predicament but claimed not to know the guy or his name. My husband believes it is a scam but as a precaution asks me to start calling all our male family members. Unknown to him that had already been underway. Not that we knew any of our family as bar brawlers, much less at a bar frequented by bikers but being in the middle of spring break and our nephews of college age you just never know.

I was hesitant to call my sisters and sisters in law because I did not want to alarm anyone. While thinking what to say to them my son calls back and advises me that all his cousins are accounted for. They are all safe and sound. What a relief! My son wants to talk to his father but my husband is still tied up on the phone with the caller and scammer trying to extract details and additional information. Upon asking the caller for the name of the bar the caller refused to give the information until he knew for sure we were on the way with the money. Now, that sounds suspicious! Why would a do gooder not want to give out this information or even call the cops himself? Unless of course he is involved or scared of these individual  thugs. At this point we realize it's either a sick prank or a disturbing telephone scam. My son is adamant about us calling the police and reporting the call and giving them the cell phone number that came up on the caller Id.

What we do in these types of situations is important. I think of what could have happened had we agreed to take money. Would that have been the end or would they have taken our money and harmed us. Nothing is out of question when it comes to these scammers. What is important is to get this new telephone scam out to as many people out there so they can avoid becoming victims. Playing with peoples families and emotions is the sickest of scams yet to emerge.



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    • Guanta profile image

      Guanta 6 years ago from New York City

      Bail Up !, thank you so very much for writing about this situation. I am going to definately pass this on to my family members. Also I did get and IRS e-mail,Fed Ex and parking violation notices (I don't have a car) which I deleted. Thanks again.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago


      That shows the length these people will go to find a victim. I'm glad you didn't get taken, you did right by not giving any personal information and asking them to stop. At this point they have to realize the scam is over.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I received about twenty phone scam calls last week, and had never had such persistent callers before. It all started with a lady calling from Phoenix Arizona, or that is where she claimed to be from, telling me I had won a free Visa card because I use my Visa card when I pump gas. Right off the bat I knew this was a scam because I never have driven, or pumped gas, and the lady on the phone refused to give me a legitimate name of their business. An hour later a man called back telling me I won a free Visa card, and I told him if that were so, then just send it to me. He said he needed more information to send it, so I hung up on him. That night they kept calling back, and I even put the phone up to the TV to let them listen to commercials about five times. This did not deter the scammers, and they continued to call several times when I was away from the phone.

      Finally I told them the last time they called I wanted to sell them some used tires, which made the lady on the line laugh. I told them to stop calling me, and they finally did. I also found an online forum complaining about calls originating from this number. All I can say is you know it is a phone scam the minute they start asking for personal information of any kind, which I never give out. This phone scam was so persistent and weird. I am just glad I got them to stop calling me, but I think they got bored.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      susan miles

      Being informed and learning from others scamming misfortuntes hopefully will alert us as what to look for to prevent it from happening to us. Scammers are always trying to keep a step ahead, should we. Thanks for the read.

    • Susan Miles profile image

      Susan Miles 6 years ago

      Great hub and thanks for the heads up on this scam. I've been hearing about scams on the internet lately too. Whenever money is involved one must question. What dirty tricks scammers will play.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago


      I think you are right. We are on to them. Remaining alert is one way to deter them.


      Even fishermen go home empty handed sometimes.


      Thanks for reading.

    • NateSean profile image

      NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

      I think tricking would imply that they actually did any work. It would be more apropos to say that they are simply fishing for "live ones" as it were.

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 6 years ago

      I've also received several calls.Since people are becomign more alert on scams, the scamers are looking for new ways to trick people :)

      Thank you so much!

    • Balinese profile image

      Balinese 6 years ago from Ireland


      i never check out my phone bill - i better do it now


    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      Alexander Pease

      Scams are a dime a dozen. Hard to tell what they will be coming up with next. Best thing is to just hang up and refuse giving any information at all. If you think the call is legitimate like in the case of a vet bill, you can always call back.

    • Alexander Pease profile image

      Alexander Pease 6 years ago from Maine

      I once got a call similar to that. They told me that I have unpaid veterinarian bills. It was easy enough checking over, because all of the bills were accounted for. Upon telling the scammer this, the line went dead. They probably went off to scam someone else.

      There are so many different types of scams, and so many different ways to execute them. Great job bringing awareness to a not-so-heard-of topic.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago


      Thats exactly what I felt like doing, tracing the call and going after this guy. However this is not my job and could get real ugly real quick. It's reported, I hope the law catches up with him.

    • NateSean profile image

      NateSean 6 years ago from Salem, MA

      All I can say is bloody heck, you have to be kidding me. Please do me a favor, if you ever get the chance to trace the call, find this person and beat them to within an inch of their life for me. Oh...and for good measure, call their family members and tell them he's dead.

      Because I'm all about giving people a taste of their own medicine, with the exact same spoon no less. And as I've experienced the pain of finding out about the death of a family member by phone, If anyone ever pulled that with me, their days would be seriously numbered.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago


      I think the call was random. I don't think we were targets for any particular reason. You are so right about not being able to trust strangers anymore. Be careful out there and thanks for sharing your thoughts.


      Scammers are very deceptive, master manipulators. Always be careful when dealing with strangers.

    • Puppyluv profile image

      Serena Zehlius 6 years ago from Hanover, PA

      Thanks for the heads up on that one! It's sad to know you just can't trust people anymore...

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I know there a lot of phone scams out there, but the one you received is one of the worst ones I've heard of as I really think you would have been robbed and maybe harmed if you follow those directions. Plus, anyone is going to take money from you is going to be armed because you're not understand to him any other way. It's interesting that you are in the bail bond business and would probably know how to handle the situation a little better than many people. You just can't be too careful anymore and you certainly can't trust strange phone calls or strangers at the door. It's a very sad commentary on society today. Thank you for sharing this experience in a very well-written hub.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      A.A. Zavala

      You are welcome. Call blockers are great for cells. In the past we've shyed away from them because in our business you never know who might be calling in an anonymous tip. Thanks for the idea though and your comment.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      Thnak you for the heads up. I use my cell as my primary phone, and have a good call blocker to prevent this from happening. Thanks again for sharing.

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago


      I'm gettin tired of always having to keep a step ahead of these scamming crooks. Just when you think you've seen it all, they come up with something new.


      I get the nigerian emails frequently as well. At least you have a choice on whether to engage them or not. When they call and actually talk to you and use your family as bait, thats above and beyond the typical scam.

      partisan patriot

      I hope this prevents someone else from getting scammed. Thanks for the rating.

      and thanks to you ALL for stopping by.

    • profile image

      partisan patriot 6 years ago

      Great hub; rated up and useful!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I get 'Nigerian emails' on a regular basis but this phone scam is a new one to me. Thanks for the scam update.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Thanks for the heads up. There are so many sickos out there that it is hard to keep up. Voted up and useful.