When a scam hits home….

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Yesterday, at the crack of dawn, I got a frantic call from my Husband. He had been at work for over an hour already and woke me out of my slumber. First off, to get a call from him so early was unfathomable. He knows how I cherish my sleep. So, I knew something was up.

As I said hello, he realized jumbled sentences that I couldn’t understand. Something was really up. After calming him down, I finally got the whole story. Supposedly, some cash advance place had called him minutes before he called me, saying that he needed to pay them $555 by 3pm or he, my father and my husband’s friend would be arrested.

Hmmm interesting. Now, while he was screaming to me that we needed to find 600 dollars in 6 hours, I got to thinking. How valid was this? How shady was this?

Let’s take it back a notch. My hubby is adorable, strong, loyal and unfortunately, gullible. Not very gullible, but he hasn’t developed his New Jersey smarts yet. He’s a corn-fed, Mid-West boy. He loves to pretend he grew up “in the streets” but if there is a farm behind your “street” then that may not qualify as the ghetto. I’m just saying. So, even though he is my husband and he’s been here for over 5 years, he’s still my padawan. He’s not an East Coast Jedi just yet.

Now, that you know that little tidbit, let me add in that he loves to spring into action without thought. Besides this being a horrible attribute when dealing with life issues, it’s so hard to tame when we try to keep a budget. Like I said, I’m just saying.

Once he calmed down, told me to go take the money out of our account and quickly hung up the phone, I let my street smarts go into action. What he didn’t realize is that this was an obvious scam.

What were the tale-tell signs?

1. They called him out of the blue. If this was ligitimate, we would have gotten documentation a long time ago. Someone calling you at 8 in the morning and telling you you have until 3pm to get them money is not legitimate. That’s called extortion.
2. The number came up as blocked. Any valid corporation would not only have a real number show up on the caller ID, but they would leave you a message. They called my husband 4 times in 3 minutes. Again, not legitimate.
3. WE DID NOT BORROW MONEY FROM THESE PEOPLE….EVER! My husband made the mistake of looking up cash advance options over a year ago when he was being bull-headed and wouldn’t go over the budgert with me. He looked at the account, assumed we didn’t have enough for a big bill that was due at the end of that week, and inquired about it. He also didn’t realize that we had(and still have) sub accounts for our bills. The CFO he is not. This is why I now handle all bills.

The best part is that after he called me, he called my gangster boo, street smart, born in NYC, Mother and she got ON this “company.” She googled the company and found out that there have been many complaints about this scam. She even got the number for the “attorney” that called my husband and attempted to get more information. When she didn’t, she called the local news reporter that does undercover stories about scams. Yes, my mom is THAT serious.

He even called and worried his mother to death. I cleaned up that mess quickly.

Now, what did we learn?

1. I learned that my husband still has lots to learn. I keep thinking he’s my established macho man, but I still have the upper hand with my east coast paranoia. Like the X Files say, “trust no one.”
2. I also learned that I have grown up quite a bit. I used to yell back at him and refuse to follow through with anything foolish until he calmed down and put all the ducks in a row. Now, I let him panic, agree to follow his instruction and do what I KNOW is the right thing to do. Isn’t that the Christain way? Ha!
3. Hubby learned that giving out your information, my information and even his friend’s information, is a big no-no. Seeing as this was over a year ago, and he was still so young then mentally, I pass that up as a big life experience for him. A year later, he sees how stupid that was.
4. Report all scams immediately. One smart thing that hubby did was call the Edison police station to see if there was a warrant out for his arrest, like the “attorney” said there was. Of course, there was not. He went down to the station, filed a complaint, and even took out bank statements from November of last year to January of this year to prove that we had no money tranfer from this company. I will be calling the Attorney General tomorrow and trying to contact the Better Business Bureau. This is how we got concrete information that this was a scam; lots of other people who had this issue reported it to BBB and it was posted online.

Of all days, that didn’t need to happen to us. All bills were paid, most of our items were packed for the new place, and I was going to get up that morning and get our bank check for our deposit on the new place. When all is in place, things love to fall apart. But, when it comes to the silver lining, this scam helped us learn even more life lessons.

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

Plan Your Year Now!


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  1. 9.25.09

    Sorry you had to go through with this but glad you saved the day!
    Legitimate companies do block their numbers though. Collection agencies do that so you wont screen them, but they don’t call you 5 times in as many mintues! (usually!)

  2. 9.25.09

    poor DH! it is sad that people go around successfully ripping people off every day and usually prey on the elderly.

    It makes me MAD!

  3. 9.25.09
    Jamie said:

    Great post! Your DH is so lucky to have you! I’m glad everything turned out okay. I love that you are taking steps to contact the “authorities” to see to it that no one else falls prey to these slimbags!

  4. 9.25.09
    Amiyrah said:

    Wilson Wonders,

    I thought that too, but the difference is that collection agencies tend to come up as “unknown” numbers rather than “blocked.” Had to look that up too yesterday lol. Also, once it does go to collections, that’s when you would see the “unknown” number, but if they are trying to contact you before anything goes to collections, the company’s 1-800 or 1-866 number would come up. He has never gotten any types of those calls. The company would also leave you messages and would continue to call you for months. None of this happened.

    Just a tidbit for you all to know if you are ever in this situation.

  5. 9.25.09
    Lisa B. said:

    Great job! I hate scammers.

  6. 9.25.09
    Alex M said:

    I’ve got the opposite situation. My husband is super calm. He doesn’t seem to get ruffled about anything. If he got this call, he would hang up and then tie me down — so I couldn’t go on a rampage. Now I’m the one learning from him!

    Where we are, a few “collection” agencies were shut down and the staff are awaiting trial.

  7. 9.25.09
    Best Bun said:

    I have always been of the opinion that the “Y” chromosome contains the dumb gene. After 33 years of marriage I see no reason to change my mind. As usual, Dhunny, you are an amazing young woman. Hubby owes you breakfast in bed at the least.Hope the move goes smoothly.

  8. 9.25.09

    Good for you! At least my husband is now aware he can’t tell what is a scam and what is not (especially online) so he calls me to check it out before doing anything. My grown son is out $1800 to one of those Nigerian banking scam: that was his life savings. “But Mom, it seemed so real!” If in doubt, just say no.

  9. 9.26.09
    Rachel said:

    Well, he definitely owes you a morning of sleeping in after starting your day off that way. My hubby would have been the same way, freaking out and demanding that I pull money out of the bank before he ever stopped to think that we had never had a loan in the first place.

    My rule of thumb for someone who calls claiming I owe them money is to tell them they need to mail me an itemized bill to my home address. Of course I won’t give them my address over the phone, if I did business with them they should already have it. Magically, no bills have ever appeared.

  10. 9.27.09
    JennysMom said:

    Bravo! Amiyrah, Bravo! At the worst possible moment (when you’re moving) this happens. Woof that you kept it together.

    I now designate that you have five (5) hats:>>> Chief Financial Officer of your family (CFO). (Trust me on this one, it will look terrific on any future resume).

  11. 9.27.09
    Jan said:

    I’m a network manager and we’ve recently had to deal with this at our company. See http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/PayDayLoan.php for a sample – long story short, this is what was happening to us. The receptionist would get a call for one of our hourly employees (who are not allowed phone calls except for emergencies). In call after call, it was all payday-loan related and they would threaten “He better be prepared for the consequences!” and other such garbage. One time the lady said she was calling from the “Crime Prevention Bureau” but stumbled when I asked her if that was a state or federal agency.

    Scam, scam, scam! I’m glad you guys didn’t give them any money. 🙂