Scam?

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Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

Twice over the past month I've answered the phone to have an unusual conversation with a foreign sounding person and a blocked number on caller ID.  "Is this the owner of the business?"  "Do you take American Express?"  I answer and then they thank me and hang up.  Although 99% of the time blocked calls are a waste of time I've gotten reservations from blocked callers so I do have to answer.  I just can't figure out what the purpose of these calls is.

Kay Nein's picture
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02/13/2012

Good evaluation #3, Swirt! I have heard about companies tricking you into saying YES so they can paste it into a different conversation and say you approved a charge.  That's so evil!!  Can't trust anything or anyone at all anymore.  These thieves are getting trickier and trickier!!  

Madeleine's picture
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When the first question is, 'Are you the owner?' or 'May I speak to the owner?' I tell them this is the answering service and may I take a reservation.

I've had those calls as well. If I have to answer anything I say, 'Speaking,' to the ownership question and, 'We take most major credit cards,' to the cc question. Always trying to avoid the 'yes' answer.

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Madeleine wrote:

When the first question is, 'Are you the owner?' or 'May I speak to the owner?' I tell them this is the answering service and may I take a reservation.

I've had those calls as well. If I have to answer anything I say, 'Speaking,' to the ownership question and, 'We take most major credit cards,' to the cc question. Always trying to avoid the 'yes' answer.

I had that question from the newspaper, I thought they were going to sell me a subscription but it was the reporter. I think people say that so be careful dissing them.

When the accent is foreign and they ask to speak to the owner or the man-uh-yer, especially when they pronounce our inn name with an Indian accent (which is every letter) and not how we would ever say it, then it is always solicitation. They say the first letters CALIB instead of CL.

But I am getting spam on my real email address and dang it I get all over these directories etc for posting it. The email I use for guest correspondence and confirmations. It is nearly time to get another one going...yet one more to manage and have dropped into outlook.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

A $14.95 charge flagged me that it should not be there so I called the number to find out what it was all about. Free credit score - they wanted my cc number to look up the charge. I said no way, I am calling my cc company to get the charge reversed.

Well I did call the cc company and once I navigated the infernal automated answering and got a real person, SHE called the offending company and stayed on the line with me through the conversation. Turns out there were 3 months of charges and it had been used by 6 names - none of which I knew of course. While we were doing that, I looked at the next line item - $42.39 and realized I did not know what that was about. So while we were on hold with the first one, I called the second one on my cell phone to find out what it was - real.com and games is what it was. So when we finished with the first one, we called the direct line number i had gotten while on the cell and the nice lady from my credit card company stayed on the line with me (I could only half understand what the people on the other end were saying with BOTH of those bogus charge places) until we were certain the charges were going to be reversed. Then we canceled my card and they are going to issue a new one before I leave for Vegas. I just have to call when I activate it to let them know I will be traveling so they do not put a stop on the new card.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I have had my card number stolen a few times. Each time with the card still in my possession. Each time it was traced back to a breach at a merchant or processor. The worst one was from a supermarket just over the border. We usually go to the other supermarket but thought that we would go to this one for a "change" of pace. A few days later their system was broken into and my card was used in Mumbai for several thousands of dollars.

What bugs me is that I can't manage to buy a pack of gum on my card without telling them that I'm going on vacation and where. But some guy can fraudulently purchase thousands of dollars of jewelry half way around the world.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Our card number was stolen from the same grocery store chain. And, yes, why is it that I can't use my card, with my card in my hand, in another country but someone without the card can? ''Splain that one Lucy!'

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I used to have a CC from one particular bank (by assets the 5th largest bank in the country) and I wanted to purchase some linens from LNT in the US. We spent 20 minutes on the telephone on a three-way call with the bank security department and LNT trying to process the transaction to no avail. The bank couldn't figure out why it wouldn't process. I switch to my other bank card, 4th largest bank in the country) and lo and behold it processes instantly.

If a bank security department can't figure out why a charge can and cannot process, then how the heck am I supposed to? Needless to say, the card went back to them in pieces.

swirt's picture
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05/17/2008

A couple of possible directions it could go:

1) In the event you did not take Amex, they might offer you processing.

2) In the even you do take Amex, they might offer to get you to switch.

3) They are just trying to trick you into saying "Yes" so they can record your response and use it to say that you agreed to xyz.

4) They just stole an Amex card and want to see if they can stay with you while they are on the run.

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02/18/2012

swirt wrote:

A couple of possible directions it could go:

1) In the event you did not take Amex, they might offer you processing.

2) In the even you do take Amex, they might offer to get you to switch.

3) They are just trying to trick you into saying "Yes" so they can record your response and use it to say that you agreed to xyz.

4) They just stole an Amex card and want to see if they can stay with you while they are on the run.

Or 5) They are in an English as a Second Language class and given the assignment to call local businesses, ask to speak to the owner and ask a question.  (Yes, my husband  had to do this in his ESL course).  I think now of those poor business folks in our small town who likely had a spate of odd questions from ESL students every ten weeks. 

Madeleine's picture
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CafeMae wrote:

Or 5) They are in an English as a Second Language class and given the assignment to call local businesses, ask to speak to the owner and ask a question.  (Yes, my husband  had to do this in his ESL course).  I think now of those poor business folks in our small town who likely had a spate of odd questions from ESL students every ten weeks. 

I had to do this at the mall to practice ASL. The whole class got thrown out.

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