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A Scam!

Who do I owe $21,000 to? cried the elderly woman after reading the notice she
had received in the mail. With a panic stricen face and shaing hands she placed the
collection notice on the ta!le !efore her. "he cradled her head in her hands looing down
at the notice, her hands on the sides of her head with her fingers reaching #p to and
thro#gh her grey c#rls.
$et me see it, said her son%in%law who was sitting at the ta!le across from her.
"he handed it to him after looing at it for a few more moments& considering what
to do. 'e too it and read over the notice. (fter a few moments he anno#nced, It is a
scam.
"he looed #p at him with a conf#sed loo and ased, It is a scam?
)eah, I am one h#ndred percent certain.
'ow can yo# tell?
$et me see the envelope, he ased and she complied and handed it over.
I did p#t in an application for a loan several years ago for $21,000, !#t I was
t#rned down, she e*plained.
'e seemed to !e ignoring her as he looed over the envelope and the letter while
she e*plained.
'ow do yo# now that it is a scam? she demanded finally after looing at him
reading over the notice.
+irst of all, it says this is yo#r fo#rth notice. 'ave yo# ever received a notice
!efore?
,o, this is the first I heard of this de!t, she answered -#ietly feeling the shame
of e*plaining s#ch a matter to someone who wasn.t an immediate family mem!er& the
shame from having s#ch a matter come #p.
'olding #p the envelope, he pointed to the stamp, "ee here, this is a presorted
standard stamp.
)es, she replied.
/hat means that it was sent as !#l mail. /his means they o!vio#sly weren.t in a
h#rry to collect $21,000& wo#ldn.t yo# !e in a h#rry to collect $21,000 if someone owed
it to yo#?
0ro!a!ly, answered the 11 year old woman looing at him with a very serio#s
loo accented !y the thic lens glasses she wore and the age written all over her face,
/hey said that they wo#ld settle for only $10,000 if I agree to act today. I wo#ld save
over half if I do that, she finished with a hopef#l tone in her voice.
'e looed at her with a loo that screamed that she co#ldn.t !e serio#s.
2ontin#ing to point at the envelope he contin#ed deciding that he needed to e*plain this
more caref#lly, If yo# notice there are no endorsements s#ch as 3+orwarding "ervice
4e-#ested,. this wo#ld mae even a !#l mail letter a first class letter, !#t there is none,
nothing at all& it is a !#l mailed letter which means they may have sent o#t tho#sands of
these.
"he 5#st responded, 6ay, thining of the loo he had 5#st given her.
,ow looing at the letter itself, he contin#ed holding so that she co#ld see what
he was taling a!o#t, )o#.ll notice that there is no mention of what the de!t was for or
to whom yo# owe it.
)eah, I see that, she conc#rred.
(lso, there is no disclaimer, no legal statements, and no e*planation that yo#
have thirty days to challenge the validity of the de!t. /here is no e*planation of what will
happen if yo# contin#e to ref#se to pay this. It 5#st says that this is yo#r fo#rth notice and
this is what yo# need to pay and that payment will only !e accepted over the phone7all
of this is very s#spicio#s.
8h%h#h, she said as she nodded starting to feel a little relief from the
disparaging news.
It is a scam and nothing more. (lso, haven.t yo# 5#st received a consolidation
loan from the !an for $29,000 to payoff yo#r credit cards, consolidating them with yo#r
car loan, and do some home improvements?
)es, she answered looing a !it conf#sed.
:o yo# honestly thin that a !an wo#ld have given yo# a loan of that si;e if
yo# had s#ch a !ad de!t?
6h my word no, she said with a smile finally feeling total relief.
"ee, yo# are fine and have nothing to worry a!o#t.
"he smiled with no traces of the tears which had formed when she first saw it. "he
started to eat her dinner. (fter several !ites she looed #p asing, <#t I had tried to get a
loan for that amo#nt.
(nd yo# didn.t get it7why?
Well, I did, !#t I didn.t tae it !eca#se it t#rned o#t that I didn.t need that m#ch
and too a loan for only $1,000 and I had paid that loan off years ago. 'ow wo#ld they
now that I tried to get one for that amo#nt?
'e looed #p at the ceiling as he e*plained, /hey pro!a!ly got that information
from yo#r phone n#m!er. /hey were calling a !#nch of n#m!ers via an a#tomatic call
machine and the n#m!ers that answered they new were real. /hey then research the
n#m!ers and get more information7there are we! sites that will tell yo# everything yo#
need to now a!o#t someone. /hey pro!a!ly ran a credit chec and saw that yo# had
made the application. 6r someone at the !an told someone& there are many different
ways to do this if yo# are ind#strio#s and creative eno#gh.
(nd !eca#se of my age, they new there was a chance that I might !e conf#sed
and follow thro#gh with it, she added feeling pro#d of herself to reali;e that.
'e smiled at her and responded, =*actly.
Well, than yo# for helping me with that.
/han yo# for maing me l#nch.
"everal days later she got another notice and called her son%in%law #p e*plaining,
/his one says that I need to pay $1>,000 now.
/hat.s part of the game. /hese g#ys are good.
What do yo# mean?
)o# didn.t respond to the first notice so they send yo# a second notice increasing
the amo#nt that yo# have to pay so that yo#.ll immediately hop on the first offer.
/hat is something, came her voice over the phone.
It is.
I wonder if they get a lot of people?
I.m s#re that they do get some. <#t even some wo#ld !e one hell of a payday.
<y the way, I taled to some of my friends at wor and two of the elderly women I wor
with also said that they got the notice. $#cily, they reali;ed that it was a scam as well or
had family mem!ers that fig#red it o#t for them.

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