Posts Tagged ‘678-932-8667’

tenacious

Thursday, June 25th, 2009
We had a deal!

"We had a deal!"

The Mystery Shopper saga continues, with the walls closing in. Sure, the whole thing seemed like a scam, what with ol’ Ginger Prior instructing me to take a $4800 cashier’s check and deposit in my bank and then — after keeping $400 for myself (so generous) — I was to take the remaining $4400 to a MoneyGram store (any MoneyGram store, incidentally, whichever one was closest, thereby seemingly negating the focused critique of the Mystery Shopping evaluation [unless, of course, MoneyGram is investigating problems with *every single location in their franchise*]) and send the $4400 to a certain “Retta Hutchins” in Gallopolis, Ohio.

hey, people, now, smile on your brother

from sea to shining sea

Well, this seemed to have SCAM written all over it, especially with the check arriving in an envelope with a chicken-scratched return address of a company that seems to no longer exist (and also one that is not called anything even close to “Mystery Shoppers”). The envelope was apparently sent from Michigan, the check was from Texas, the money was to go to someone in Ohio. So very scammy. I laughed at the audacity of the scam and went on with my life.

Then my phone rang. From a blocked number.

Can you hear me now?

Can you hear me now?

Well, I’m curious by nature and have also been applying to a shitload of jobs and chasing down some freelance stories, so I answered. That’s when a man with heavy accent explained that he was none other than Bill Johns, the man whose chicken-scratched name adorns the Mystery Shoppers/General Dynamic Systems/University Federal Credit Union cashier’s check. Now the creepiness of the scammer(s) writing out my name and address is compounded by the fact I’m actually talking to the motherfucker.

so... what are you wearing?

"so... what are you wearing?"

He wants to know why I haven’t cashed the check yet (not why I haven’t sent in my report). I want to know who General Dynamic Systems is. He’s evasive. I insist. He asks, “Oh, is that the name on the check?” I explain, no, that’s the name on the envelope; there’s a different name on the check. So who is General Dynamic Systems? He asks me to take out my earpiece (for some reason; I am not wearing an earpiece). I thought maybe I had accidentally pressed the speaker phone button, so I take the phone away from my ear and glance at it, but everything seems to be in place. When I return the phone to my ear, the line is dead. Oh, well, I guess I called his bluff, I figure.

But then shortly after, I receive this email:

Subject: Re: Mystery Shopper Evaluation
From: Ginger Prior (Add as Preferred Sender) ?
Date: Fri, Jun 19, 2009 4:35 pm
To: perry@perrycrowe.com

Hello Perry Crowe,
The payment issued out to was to be delivered via ups with the tracking number (j2291781876),amount $4800 and i have sent you the information and details on how to go about the task , so do get back to me with the report as requested i will be waiting to read from you soonest.

Regards
Ginger Prior

Which is almost immediately followed by this email:

Subject: Instructions Mail Once Again
From: Ginger Prior (Add as Preferred Sender) ?
Date: Fri, Jun 19, 2009 4:35 pm
To: perry@perrycrowe.com

Perry Crowe,
payment for the evaluation of Money Gram services has been mailed out and will be delivered via UPS today. You are to cash the Check of $4,800 at your bank and head to any MoneyGram location in your area. You are expected to Evaluate any MoneyGram Location in your
area and send your report immediately.

HOW TO CARRY OUT THE TASK

After cashing the payment you will deduct your $400 commission, after which you will be left with $4,400 , You are now expected to head to
your location with $4,400. MoneyGram will charge you about $150 for the transfer. We expect you to bargain with the operator concerning
the charges to see if it can be reduced or not . After all deductions you are expected to transfer about $4,250. The funds should be sent to
Gallopolis, OH. the name of our Receiving agent in Ohio is below

Name : RETTA HUTCHINS
Address : 815 3rd ave
City : Gallopolis
State : Ohio
Zipcode : 45631

come on... take it!

"come on... take it!"

I figure the email is just sort of a last resort, like, well, explaining things over the phone isn’t working, so we’ll pretend there were some technical difficulties and then just re-send the emails and hope he goes for it. Naturally I just ignored the emails.

Then, holy shit, my phone rings today, this time from Georgia, from 678-932-8667 no less. I pick it up and, right off the bat, this guy — again with a thick as molasses accent (Latino? Arabic?) — is on a first name basis with me: Perry? Yes. This is Ginger Prior from Mystery Shoppers.

Ginger

Ginger?!?!

Ginger is man? Yes, Ginger Prior is a man. Can “Ginger” be a man’s name? Maybe in Tenochtitlan, or Abu Dhabi. I start to feel bad, thinking of the incessant teasing he must’ve gotten in the school system. I also feel bad because, well, this scam is coming apart at the seams but this guy is holding fast.

The connection is really bad and the accent is really thick, so I literally can’t understand a lot of what Ginger is saying, but the gist, as expected, is why I haven’t cashed the check yet. I again inquire about General Dynamic Systems. His answer is a little evasive, but he manages to say something about GDS being a “client” in Michigan (which still doesn’t explain why the check is from Texas [and it also doesn't explain why GDS is listed as "closed" in a google search]). I begin to lecture the guy about how asking someone to deposit a large check into their bank account and then use that money to wire funds to an unknown party is, frankly, asking a lot, especially when none of the received documentation contains anything bearing the name of the company you were supposedly doing business with in the first place. Still, Ginger insists that all these concerns are nullified by the fact that the emails explained how this was all going to go down, the part about the fat check and the bank deposit and the money transfer. Using similar logic to a certain writing contest, Ginger seems to think that if you explain how you are going to fuck someone over, the fuckee has no recourse. All in all, if someone insists on thoroughly explaining something to you, and money is involved, they are almost certainly preparing to do you dirt.

Well, the connection was really bad, and Ginger was unyielding (even while being almost impossible to understand), so I offered to send the check back and when Ginger didn’t seem interested in that, I dropped a few hints about how suspicious this whole thing was and how maybe I should report it to someone and then insisted that “it wasn’t going to happen” and hung up.

Will that be the end of it? I would say yes, but Ginger has already surprised me on a few occasions.

Why havent you cashed the check yet?

"Why haven't you cashed the check yet?"