If you didn’t think that the con-artist spam callers or emails pretending to be Microsoft, the IRS, your friendly help desk technician, or some mysterious business that wants to give you a bunch of money to work on their employees, or computers, or get some type of service with you… you’re in luck as they have now started doing con-artist spam TEXT messages. Yes, you heard that right, these grifters are evolving with the times and now sending you text messages. See via the message exchange above (you should be able to click the image and it will get bigger so you can actually read it).
So, how could we tell that this was obviously a scam artist? First was their initial message. It sounds very similar to other spam emails we have received on both branches of the company like “I have X number of machines that need a full work over”, and the vague “in you[r] city”. While, yes, this could be a legitimate potential client, we do have to investigate it a little further as it could possibly be a client, and for a small, local business like ours, a new client is always welcome (whether they spend just $25 for a diagnostic or $3,735 to get 6 HP Pavillion 500-281 Desktop Computers completely worked over). So, that is why we asked what company they were with.
Now, in the meantime, while I am waiting to hear back from them, I find out that area code 419 is typically for Ohio (Toledo/Maumee), and was last known to belong to a Brenda Lomax… yet instead they say they are “RG IT Services”. Now, knowing the number is generally for an area in Ohio, you can easily check business registrations on the Ohio Secretary of State Business Registration site, which there is no record of an RG IT Services with them, there is also no Google Business Listing, no Facebook Page, nada. But… instead we’re going to give them a little benefit of the doubt here, so I ask them why they’re not listed, and after about an hour after no response, then gave our pricing for that service. As you can see, they either realized that we knew they were a scam/con-artist or didn’t have a good answer to come back with – which a real business, or even a decent con-artist, would have been able to say something like “We just started up our company,” which would have continued the conversation.
Now, while we are more adept at dealing with con-artists and scammers… not everyone is. Just last month one of our clients told us about a person who sent a check for way more than they were asking for the item they were selling on Craigslist. The buyer, after sending this massively huge check, started getting upset with our client that they hadn’t deposited the check yet, and that the seller will have to use some of those funds from the excess amount to pay the people picking up the item for transporting it, and keep the leftover money for the inconvenience of having to pay the movers. Thankfully our client asked us what we thought of this.
Either way… be mindful and careful this holiday season, and make sure to read our other recent post “Keeping your Computer Healthy during the Holidays“.
Update 11/10/2017 @ 11:23: Shortly after writing this blog post, the con-artist responded saying they found us on “yelp local directory” and that “the estimate is acce[p]ted” though would only be doing a partial payment upfront and the balance upon completion. Now, this is interesting, and I respond back to them with our normal policy of that we take payment AFTER service is complete and that we require a credit card to be on file. To say the least, this seems to have stumped them as they aren’t responding as quickly as what they were just a few hours ago, or they are trying to imitate a “busy business person”.
Update 11/10/2017 @ 4:09 PM: So, just found this email that was caught by our spam filters…
Flags with this email, 1.) are they desktops or laptops? 2.) Why would the movers be in possession of the laptops waiting to know where they need to go? That makes no sense, and we’re not aware of any movers that just hold onto things for people or companies. 3.) They are needed in “our city”. 4.) Who is the reliable moving company? 5.) WHY is an IT Consulting company asking us to fix up their computers? You’d think if they were consulting on IT stuff… they would be able to do that themselves :/
Here’s the email: