After reading my last post, my wife suggested I address one particular vampire. I’m doing two because I’m amazed at how long one of these vampires has been around. Over the last month both she and I have been getting daily text messages from “BOA”, “B of America” and finally “Bank of America” to call about our account.
Of course neither of us has a Bank of America account and even if we did, googling the number immediately shows that this is a scam. Given that I’m not going to call anyway, this is only a petty annoyance that I could easily ignore.
What amazes me is that I’m been getting these text messages for over two weeks. Doesn’t Bank of America care that someone is trying to scam their customers? You can’t tell me that this same text message hasn’t found its way to the police. Doesn’t anyone care? This isn’t an email address or website, this message is asking me to call a US phone number.
I’m not a lawyer but I remember something about a “deep pockets” law in Texas. It goes something like this, if it can be shown that you have 10% of the contributory negligence, you can be held responsible for 90% of the damages. By allowing this scammer to stay in business, both Bank of America and our law enforcement should be held accountable.
Of course, there’s always a chance that if I were to call this number, I would get a stern lecture from someone at Bank of America about responding to messages like this. Somehow, I think they’re going to ask me for my Bank of America account numbers first.
I’m at a loss how people like this stay out of jail. This is not a sophisticated scammer. Phone numbers, even cell phone numbers, have a physical tie. Are our laws not adequate to address something like this? Are our law enforcement people clueless about modern technology?
I have a friend that enjoys his computer but knows very little about the inner workings. Recently he got a call telling him his computer was infected and were calling to help. They even left a callback number. Standard practice for me, I googled the number. Nobody will be surprised to hear this is a scam. They call someone, tell them their computer is infected, convince the victim to allow them remote access to their computer and in the process “find” an infection only they can fix, for $69.
The surprising part was that the reports go back over two years. Two years and they are still calling people. I’m sure they have managed to get lots of people to pay for this fix. After all, they’re still calling people.
In both cases, there were a number of reports on the phone numbers. There were a number of people saying they had referred the incident to Bank of America or various law enforcement agencies.
Make no mistake about it, these are vampires preying on the uninformed. They will suck your bank account dry faster than you can write a check. If I did have a Bank of America account and responded to the text message, I would undoubtedly have a zero balance that day. If my friend had let his caller fix the computer he would be out $69 and if he wasn’t careful with his passwords, his account might have a zero balance too.
Don’t give out account numbers, don’t give remote access to your computer. If you feel you have a problem, call your bank, don’t click a link on an email. If you suspect a problem with your computer, have professionals look at it. Wooden stakes and garlic won’t deter these vampires, knowledge and common sense is your best defense.
A few of us are still going to be harvested by these vampires but if we work together we can make life very difficult for them… One moment, Bank of America is still having difficulty with my account.
Update Oct 4: The people doing the PC repair scam have been put out of business. It took cooperation from five countries with the FTC leading the effort but these vampires will need to find a new scam. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57525250-38/regulators-shut-down-global-pc-tech-support-scam/© Copyright 2012 Byron Seastrunk, All rights Reserved. Written For: Opinion by pen