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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Scammers from the Special Hell

There was a possible woman named Leona Niemann contacted my wife on Facebook Chat today. She started out by telling Sheila she had "great news" for us. Sheila, a Facebook neophyte and very trusting soul called me to ask if I knew who this woman was. Having caught my share of scam attempts in the past, we led this person along to see if my suspicions were correct.

My wife is very kind and trusting. She doesn't have a lot of defenses against liars, cheats and swindlers. When I describe Ms. Niemann as a "possible" woman, it's because she has a brand new account with no personal information, started just two days ago. The avatar picture is a shot of a harmless looking older lady with her husband as an avatar. Red Flag #1. The avatar was posted two days ago. Red Flag #2 

"Leona Nieman is very likely a skinny Nigerian kid renting time in an Internet cafe' or "she" is a pasty 19 year-old high school dropout sitting in his Mom's basement and trying to scam bank account numbers from people who are under stress or in pain. This person needs to be unfriended by everyone on "her" list. You can bet the picture avatar isn't real. There isn't any information about her on her page. 

She started out her scam by starting a chat saying "I've been trying to get in touch with you for several days. I have some great news!" Red Flag #2.  A lot of details are hinky too when she describes the great news.  She calls it the "Facebook Powerball Grant".  The name works on three psychological hooks:

(1) Facebook - Everybody thinks Zuckerberg is so rich he needs to give his money away to everybody like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett (also popular free money scam names)

(2) Powerball - Sends visions of huge free winnings based entirely on luck.

(3) Grants - The idea of grants plays on the commercials of Matthew Lesko, the skinny guy on TV in the puce suit covered with question marks telling people there was all this free money out there that was being given away. Matthew did scammers a huge service with those commercials.

Then she tells you that she saw your name on the winners list when UPS delivered her award. Red Flag #4. Was that piles of cash in canvas sacks that were delivered to her and did a list of all the winners come in with the packing slip? UPS would never accept such a delivery. It is such an obvious come-on, but the people they target are usually people they believe to be inexperienced or fragile.

My wife's response was classic Sheila.
The scammer had got several of our Adventist friends on her list and tried to portray herself as "one of us", but made the mistake of using the abbreviation OMG. Sheila said no Adventist would use God's name in vain and on the Sabbath too! Then we unfriended her.

Such people a "Leona Neiman" (whoever the phony name refers to) should be consigned to a special level of hell. Preying on older people, people suffering trauma and people who are merely trusting souls  places one in a very close, personal cooperative relationship with Satan.

Just sayin'

Tom King © 2015

I want to post a clarification. The Leona Nieman account I wrote about above is a hacked account of a very nice lady from Keene, Texas. There are two identical accounts in Leona's name on Facebook If you check the account, you'll see that one has fewer friends and was set up on Nov. 11. I've contacted Leona and the hacker who now knows we're on to him. If "Leona" contacts you with some "great news" about you receiving the "Facebook Powerball Grant", they're trying to scam you and it ain't Leona

1 comment:

Mark Milliorn said...

I got one this week that claimed to be an employee of Enema U. I mistakenly believed her, friended her, and soon discovered that 'she' sent a friend request to all of my friends. I should have checked, the university phone book lists no such employee.