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Thread: Seriously....

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by steppinthrax View Post
    I'm not sure if it was a SMECO customer but a business fell for this. I believe right around a thousand or so. The guy was on TV being interviewed, he didn't seem to be a dumb person. Most likely they called while he wasn't present and one of his employees took control of the situation because they were being told we would shut your power off immediately if you didn't make payment.

    It's somewhat understandable that some people may fall for this, I know my parents would probably fall for it.
    Fear, panic, confusion. Pressure people and I'd say 50% or more will do whatever they are told to do just because they are afraid of being wrong - even though they are sure the call is in err.
    Or in this case, a scam.

    Basically the same tactic law enforcement uses to get a confession. Constant pressure until the subject will say almost anything.
    It's not 100%, but there is a high enough percentage that even innocent people will confess.
    Your signature can not be longer than 100 characters - BS

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BernieP View Post
    Fear, panic, confusion. Pressure people and I'd say 50% or more will do whatever they are told to do just because they are afraid of being wrong - even though they are sure the call is in err.
    Or in this case, a scam.

    Basically the same tactic law enforcement uses to get a confession. Constant pressure until the subject will say almost anything.
    It's not 100%, but there is a high enough percentage that even innocent people will confess.
    I was watching a YouTube video of a live "IRS Scam" call that was being taken by an attorney. He knew it was a scam and had his camcorder ready to record. Anyway the guy on the other end was Indian and was pretty convincing. He had an agent number and had a "pitch" that would have convinced me if I was still in college etc...

    Problem is he wanted him to make the payment via a Visa Gift Card or a Western Union at Walmart.

  3. #13
    I'll admit the first time the IRS scam left a message it gave me quite a jolt. But then I realized it was a scam. The one with the British accent cracks me up, because you know it's real with that posh upper crust voice.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by steppinthrax View Post
    I'm not sure if it was a SMECO customer but a business fell for this. I believe right around a thousand or so. The guy was on TV being interviewed, he didn't seem to be a dumb person. Most likely they called while he wasn't present and one of his employees took control of the situation because they were being told we would shut your power off immediately if you didn't make payment.

    It's somewhat understandable that some people may fall for this, I know my parents would probably fall for it.
    My quibble with smeco is that they don't call or email before they send someone out to cut the power. I had an issue where the employee who gets the mail misplaced the power bill. No email, no text message, next thing they send a guy to remove the meter. If you call them, you can't process a credit card payment but it requires talking to a incredibly slow calltaker.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by BernieP View Post
    sadly the answer to your first question is yes, people do fall for it. It's not a matter of intelligence, more so than confidence. Some people are just easy to frighten and will comply out of fear the stated action will be taken. Some of us a more than cynical, we are genuine smart asses and we will try to play with the trained monkey making the call.

    SMECO can't do anything. I'll put my legalguy hat on and say that calling isn't a crime, should they get you to send money, then they could be prosecuted for fraud.
    But technology is on the side of the criminal. They can run their calls through an annonamizer and the number on your caller ID is worthless.
    how about conspiracy to commit fraud? Racketeering? phone abuse? something. watch em jaywalk or something lol

    Even if they dont' get you to send money, there's a chance someone else already did. Get a search warrant and find these idiots.

  6. #16
    Two years ago, I *almost* got sucked in. I had gone to BJ's to buy store supplies (and had a car full of home supplies including meat, milk, eggs etc). I ran into the store to drop off supplies and an employee handed me the phone saying it was SMECO and there was a problem with my bill and the electric was going to get cut off. I immediately went into panic mode and all I could think about was all the groceries in my car in the 90 degree heat and oh, crap I have a store with freezers full of raw food, two air conditioning units, computers etc. At that time, I don't think it was a well known scam. And I will give the caller this: she was persistent and convincing. AND the caller ID did say SMECO. On another day, I may not have been so easily fooled.

    So yesterday, two of my managers called (on speaker phone- in a panic) to say SMECO called and said there was a problem with July's bill and they are sending someone out to shut off the electric! I just laughed and said to tell them to come on over!
    "It's nice to be important but it's also important to be nice."

  7. #17
    Throwing the deuces RareBreed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequentflier View Post
    Two years ago, I *almost* got sucked in. I had gone to BJ's to buy store supplies (and had a car full of home supplies including meat, milk, eggs etc). I ran into the store to drop off supplies and an employee handed me the phone saying it was SMECO and there was a problem with my bill and the electric was going to get cut off. I immediately went into panic mode and all I could think about was all the groceries in my car in the 90 degree heat and oh, crap I have a store with freezers full of raw food, two air conditioning units, computers etc. At that time, I don't think it was a well known scam. And I will give the caller this: she was persistent and convincing. AND the caller ID did say SMECO. On another day, I may not have been so easily fooled.

    So yesterday, two of my managers called (on speaker phone- in a panic) to say SMECO called and said there was a problem with July's bill and they are sending someone out to shut off the electric! I just laughed and said to tell them to come on over!
    I have a problem with the "Is this so-n-so?" and then you say "Yes" scam where they use your "yes" to make it seem like you agree to all sorts of things. I catch myself saying yes and then go into panic mode. It's just so routine, I don't even think about it. I hang up immediately and hope I didn't just screw myself.

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