Wednesday, March 2, 2016
we was scammed
Or at least someone tried.
Monday evening at around 5:30 Mr. C answered the phone. A man greeted him with "This is your nephew Don." Well, Mr. C has a passel of nephews but none is named Don. So he asked the caller, "Who is your father?" thinking he could place him on the extensive family tree. The phone connection was so bad ~ or at least it seemed that way but the caller could easily have been jiggering with it to cause interference, cutting out, etc., so he could plot his next move. The guy finally said he was in Mexico at a wedding in Puerto Vallerta and would be down here (although I'm not sure where "here" was or if he knew where we were) in a couple of hours. An hour later he called back, again with terrible connection, to say he was running late and would call back to let us know exactly when he'd arrive. The next call came about half an hour later and this time I answered. Indeed, it was a chap with absolutely NO accent; total gringo speech. Now he wanted to know if we could help him out of a jam. He'd had a bit of a fender bender outside Barra and needed 5,000 pesos (about $250) to satisfy the victim. I could just go to the local Kiosko (like a 7-11 mini mart) and send a wire transfer to the Kiosko in Barra and he'd be on his way.
"I can't possibly do that," I said.
"Why not?" he barked back.
The line went dead.
We got perhaps 2 or 3 more calls; rang a couple of times and then stopped. We did not answer any of them.
Meanwhile I sent off a message to someone in town who knows the "Don" we mistakenly though was the caller. He is the fellow from whom we are trying to buy the car. He lives in Los Angeles and, although he did tell us a couple of month ago that he would try to come down "soon" we were positive he wouldn't come without telling us in advance. Our friend contacted Don who assured her he was NOT in Mexico, and not called us, didn't need 5,000 pesos!
The phone rang again, the caller ID himself as Don, and Mr. C snapped, "No you're not" and hung up. He called again and got the same response. He called a third time and, before Mr. C could say anything he said, "DON'T HANG UP! DON'T HANG UP! It's Don in Los Angeles!" And it really was.
I have no idea how the caller hit upon the name Don to use as his entrée, unless it was just luck and coincidence. Since we are currently dealing with a fellow named Don it did give us pause. I heard yesterday that another couple in town got the same call on the same evening. George answered, has no nephews and apparently gave the caller so much grief that he started swearing and hung up. If I had answered in the first place I could have done the same since I have no nephews.
We realized later that this same scam was pulled on Jack a few year ago; I'm your nephew, I've had a car accident while on my way to see you, can you please send money. Jack doesn't have nephews either.
All I can say is it provided some excitement in our otherwise calm, peaceful life here!