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The Police Diary Scam

 
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mejane1Offline
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PostPosted: 06-06-2005 15:34    Post subject: The Police Diary Scam Reply with quote

I work in a call-centre and was intrigued by an email from our Managing Director warning us all of a scam which has apparently affected several local companies...

A man will phone thanking [company name] for their generous donation towards the new diary in aid of the local police force and will ask the unsuspecting operator where to send the thank-you letter and receipt. The receipt turns out to be an invoice for several thousand pounds which the company is legally bound to pay.

All operators are told never to give out the name of the person to whom correspondence should be forwarded and then asked to get the full name, address, telephone number etc of the caller to forward to the real police.

I'll eat my socks if I ever do get such a call Very Happy

Jane.
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Heckler20Offline
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PostPosted: 06-06-2005 16:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huh? I don't get this scam at all, are they legally forced to pay because they have a person's name, that's not even logical?
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fluffle9Offline
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PostPosted: 06-06-2005 17:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

If this scam has really affected local companies, it must be because they are too stupid to say "No way, I'm not paying that."
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mejane1Offline
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PostPosted: 06-06-2005 18:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand the "legally obliged" bit either, or why the scammer has the name and telephone number of a company but not the address or the name of the director, which is why I think our MD has been caught out (bless him) by a hoax Smile

The company I work for, and no doubt other companies, do get calls from "the police" (I've taken a few myself) but these are simplistic attempts to obtain credit card details. There are also documented cases of bogus invoices for inclusion in non-existent projects and perhaps some of these do get paid by overworked accountants.

I suspect that it all began as a joke in a staff-training seminar, but I would love to know if anyone else has heard it.

Jane.
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escargot1Offline
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PostPosted: 06-06-2005 18:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I expect it's 'legally obliged' in the sense that whoever receives the fallacious invoice feels obliged to send off a cheque on the grounds that it's their job to do so. Last week, it was 100 gross of furtle grommets, this week a police diary, pass the rubber stamp please. Laughing

The ex had just such an office job in the 1970s, when he processed the paperwork for thousands of cable drums for British Rail. He was just a clerk - it wasn't his job to question who was being paid for what.

Nobody has to pay for goods they haven't ordered. Takes a particular brand of stupidity to pay for stuff you haven't ordered or received which also doesn't exist. Laughing
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sjwk0Offline
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PostPosted: 06-06-2005 19:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to get the occasional call from some dodgy supplier or other trying to flog overpriced toner cartridges.
They'd normally start off thanking me for helping them with some survey or other that I had no recollection of, and say that they wanted to send me a diary or electronic organiser or other unwanted trinket, so could they have a postal address. After that, they would wonder if they could send me a sample toner cartridge, much higher capacity than the manufacturer's - it would do 20,000 sheets. And the sample would be at no cost, I could return it for free if it wasn't suitable, otherwise they'd bill us for the toner at a bargain price of £300 or so instead of the £60 we're paying now. They just needed a purchase order number for their records, and my free gift and sample toner would be on their way... When I refused to give them a purchase order number, they'd hang up and I never saw any sign of my free gift....

Never fell for it, but they invariably wasted 10 minutes or so of my time. Not had one of those calls for a few years now... (await call tomorrow)

Steve.
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Anome_Offline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 11:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the obligation to pay: There is none. You are not, under any circumstances, obliged to pay for unsolicited goods and/or services. (There's another old scam, where people are sent a "free" gift, followed some days later by an invoice demanding payment. People pay up because they don't know any better.)
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Cider3Offline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2005 11:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one that I've had in almost every pub/hotel that I've worked at is when you get a caller asking if you'd like your usual order of till roll reciepts. The unwary will say "Yes please" and you get loads of over priced and wrong sized till rolls arrive. In my experience they've always just been sent back and the unwary have learnt a lesson, but I can imagine that many do just pay for them.
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RealPaZZaOffline
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PostPosted: 12-06-2005 23:50    Post subject: Re: The Police Diary Scam Reply with quote

mejane wrote:
The receipt turns out to be an invoice for several thousand pounds which the company is legally bound to pay.


If this worked id have already used a phone directory to bill every company in the counrty and retired a multi-millionaire.

It reminds me of this 1980s scam though; advertise a product in a magazine advert, charge say £5 for it (make sure its a bargain, say an electric drill), many people send you cheques for the item, you cash the cheques and so your not chased by soliciters for commiting fraud, you immediatly send a letter of appology as your out of stock and a refund cheque for £5, however its made payable from an account in a name such as "Hardcore porno products", many people darent pay such a chaque into their bank, it usually remains uncashed (as its a small amount) so you keep the money! I believe a version of this made its way into a movie in the 1990s too.
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johnnyboy1968Offline
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PostPosted: 13-06-2005 20:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my capacity of provider of cheapo holiday accommodation, I get something similar a few times every year - a letter saying that my 1-star hostel has been given "free" entry into some spurious European tourist accommodation guidebook, along with an offical looking form to complete, (including bank details), supposedly so that their records are accurate.

The (very) small print at the bottom of the form lists additional "administration and processing" costs, which run into thousands of pounds. Most of them seem to be sent from either Germany or the Czech Republic. In any case, whenever I receive one, it gets filed straight into the bin - it's sort of like the hospitality industry's version of those emails from friendly African chaps who want to put a large amount of money into my account...
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HelzAngelOffline
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PostPosted: 14-06-2005 10:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another angle on the Police Diary thing is companies are approached and asked to advertise in a local diary that is going to be sold to raise funds for crime prevention schemes in an area and are told that there will be 1000s of the diaries sold, the company pays £50+ (depends on the size of the company how much they ask for) for an advert, but there is only ever a couple of diaries printed to show to advertisers should they ask. £50 doesn't sound much, but there are hundreds of adverts in the "diary".

I know about this one, because I was approached by somebody to do the artwork for the adverts as a cash job. (Didn't accept, something didn't sound right about it, especially when they asked if I knew anywhere that'd print small quantities off a large document)
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Human_84Offline
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PostPosted: 14-06-2005 18:27    Post subject: Re: The Police Diary Scam Reply with quote

PaZZa wrote:
mejane wrote:
The receipt turns out to be an invoice for several thousand pounds which the company is legally bound to pay.


If this worked id have already used a phone directory to bill every company in the counrty and retired a multi-millionaire.

It reminds me of this 1980s scam though; advertise a product in a magazine advert, charge say £5 for it (make sure its a bargain, say an electric drill), many people send you cheques for the item, you cash the cheques and so your not chased by soliciters for commiting fraud, you immediatly send a letter of appology as your out of stock and a refund cheque for £5, however its made payable from an account in a name such as "Hardcore porno products", many people darent pay such a chaque into their bank, it usually remains uncashed (as its a small amount) so you keep the money! I believe a version of this made its way into a movie in the 1990s too.


I'm gonna start doing this, its a good one. You people across the sea keep your eyes peeled, lol.
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LeaferneOffline
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PostPosted: 14-06-2005 20:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It reminds me of this 1980s scam though; advertise a product in a magazine advert, charge say £5 for it (make sure its a bargain, say an electric drill), many people send you cheques for the item, you cash the cheques and so your not chased by soliciters for commiting fraud, you immediatly send a letter of appology as your out of stock and a refund cheque for £5, however its made payable from an account in a name such as "Hardcore porno products", many people darent pay such a chaque into their bank, it usually remains uncashed (as its a small amount) so you keep the money!


Far less likely to work nowadays, at least the shame angle, since most people deposit cheques through the bank machine, thereby avoiding not only the old lady who can't count and has 50 transactions to do but also the prurient gaze of the teller.
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