Scams on the Net

Greetings and Salutations;

Last week, I had a very interesting interaction with a person who, I believe, is a scammer. I thought I would post about it, in the hopes that folks will recognize the signs before a chunk of change vanishes from their pocket.

“Nita Mcclung”

Back at the first of last week, a person by the name of Nita Mcclung “liked” several of my posts. This was only notable because she also sent me a friend request, AND contacted me on Messenger, as she wanted to chat. Here is her picture. Now, I want to say right off the bat that alarms went off because of her eager desire to make contact. While youth tends to be stupid at times, I found it unlikely that a young, “hip” woman like this would be jumping on friending an old, grumpy guy with an independent Comic figure as his avatar (I DO like the Cerebus series by Dave Sim).

Cerebus, the Killer Aardvark!

However, I went ahead and friended her, to see what her scam was.

I have added our conversation below, and as you can tell from it, her story had more holes that a boat made from window-screen. I think that the conversation itself is fairly self-explanatory. I do want to make a comment or two about how I handled the conversation. These are good tools for dealing with scammers.

  1. Let them do most of the talking. Note that my responses are, overall either minimal, or, only include publicly available information.
  2. Ask questions that are fairly specific in nature. Also, as a part of that, look at the responses you get. Note, that in this conversation I ask fairly specific questions, and am either ignored, or, get vague generalities.
  3. The scammer always comes up with a plausible story as to why they desperately need what they see to be a tiny amount of money to help them with a disaster.
  4. They will sound very, very convincing…or at least, try to do so. Really listen to what they are saying, and use common sense. Does it sound as if they are really asking for help for a legitimate reason? Or does it sound more like an appeal to sympathy and emotion? If the latter, of course, DO NOT send them a penny.
  5. For that matter, in any case, unless you actually know the person asking in real life…do not send them money.
  6. Another warning sign is giving them your banking information. Give that to them and you have opened the door to the treasury. When I send cash to anyone, I use a service like Venmo, or Paypal, to provide another wall of protection against disaster.
  7. Not that Nita is happy to change her destination from California, to the area, just to meet me face to face. This is another red flag.

Now then, let us get on to the actual interaction. Read it, considering the points I made above, and see why the unwary might be hooked, but, being mindful can save a huge amount of trouble.

******** Day #1 ********

DCM: Hello
Good day! How goes your reality? I see you “liked” several of my comments on FB. Thank you for that…it is always good to get feedback that helps me figure out how far off reality I am!

Nita McClung: Yes,that is the reason why I send you a request to know more about you

DCM: Always good to make contact with new folks. I am, among other things, an artist of sorts… Here is a link to my Instagram Page, with some of my paintings.

I am Liberal/Progressive, and, not shy at letting my opinion be known.

I will talk with anyone as an equal, and, will engage in civil debate about any point a person cares to discuss. I do not tolerate lies, hate speech including white supremacist crap, misogyny, and any speech not supported with evidence.

I am also 65 years old AND on the autism spectrum, when one looks upon the fields where I grow my “Fucks”, lo, they will be seen to be barren!

Nita McClung: Well I’ll tell you a little about me, “am a Model by Profession but am presently in Ukraine for a modeling seminar that’s gonna be concluded in 3 days time but i will be back home in hopefully in the same day or next. Today makes my 7th day here in Ukraine. I am very creative”, “outgoing and multi talented. Always joking around and trying to make people laugh 🙂 🙂 🙂 . I also love photography! I have been modeling for a few years and would love to do more of it! Your turn i guess

DCM: Yes, I was, in another life, a semi-professional photographer. I did a few weddings with a real pro, and have some published work…which I really need to dig up and put on Instagram! Do you have any images online? I would love to see some of it.

That sounds like an interesting and challenging path you are on. I did some photography for the profession but, it was mostly fairly simple images, to be included in portfolios.

What all is being covered in the seminar? I suspect that using social media for marketing is ONE of the topics!😉😇

That having been said…my best wishes for your success. From the information on your timeline, I think you have a good chance of success. I am, by the by, MOST amused by your avatar image! It betrays a bit of attitude, and that, these days, is a good thing.

I hate to chat and run, but, I am in cat rescue, and, it is about time to check on the 17 cats living here, and get food, water, and clean litter for them!

Be safe…wear the mask…

Nita McClung: I am just very down emotionally and mentally drain a lot is going on with my life but I am gonna share with you when you really wanna chat I am gonna share with you! Can you tell me about your family background? Concerning my family it’s a long story that made me shed tears whenever I remember the past , well it’s really something i don’t usually wish to talk about especially someone i just met and really wish to nurture a friendship with My Mom from Australia while Dad originally from the states ,so I grew up on Australia before we relocated to the states some years back I am the only child of my parents. My mother was a major alcoholic when I was in high school especially. She raised so much Hell with me you can’t even imagine As she got older and way after I got out of the house she quit drinking and became a much better person but passed with a heart attack when she was 47.She Smoked like a freight train My dad later got in a terrible accident and died with an estate valued at around $4m made up of properties,gold, shares and savings in different places in the states,also Turkey,Australia and few more places. i’m my father’s only executor (next of kin) and beneficiary now i am eagerly waiting for the probate to be granted by the court. the granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the shares and property of my deceased father. the probate is the legal instrument that i will use in the law courts if necessary,which I have been waiting for and keeping me this un settled till it sorted it,but hopefully anytime from now
I’ll like to hear back from you

DCM: That is a very challenging situation, and I am sure it left you with scars.

Good luck with probate…once you have dealt with that, you should have a much better shot at achieving your dreams. Independent wealth DOES make life easier.
Have you sought out therapy to help with the healing process? I strongly recommend it, as a good therapist can do a great deal to help a person through the process.

Nita McClung: I am looking for a man that will be able to listen to me ,communicate his feelings to me,make me laugh,hold and comfort me in need Stand by my side, respect me,passionate lover in every way, support me in everyday,love me and only me,make me smile, protect me when needed Romantic time to time,constantly creative, and treat me right. in me a Man is going to find a woman that was blessed with an over abundance of passion to give to the ones I share my heart and soul with. For you to really know me you will have to experience me as the love that makes up my heart is like a waterfall, where the water never stops flowing down. In this case my heart is the waterfall, and the love and passion that flows endlessly is representing the water. I am a very unique person for many reason

DCM: An admirable goal. I wish you the best of luck with that. Alas, it can be a challenge to find such a relationship.

Nita McClung: Thanks
Well I have to be on bed now because time the time here is 2:03am
May you sleep well, and dream pleasant dreams. Stay safe!
Hope we can continue our conversation on Hangout

DCM: I am sure we shall chat again…

Nita McClung: Yes
But let continue on Hangout
Send me your Gmail address I’ll send you a message there
Are you gonna send me your Gmail address

DCM:Why Hangouts, instead of here?

Nita McClung: I don’t chat here that much
Not evertime am always here

DCM: I shall consider it…

******** Day #2 ********

Nita McClung: Cool
12:28 AM
How are. You doing

DCM: Hello…heading to bed, actually, as it has been a long day, and it is midnight here. Enjoy reality!

Nita McClung: Thanks for getting back to me
I’ll like to hear back from you in the morning

******** Day #3 ********

10:14 AM
Nita McClung: Good morning
7:18 PM
How are you doing today

DCM: Hello…other than the fact that reality is chaotic, I am hanging in there.

How did the seminar go today? Anything interesting in the topics covered?

Nita McClung: the seminar ended well with the Lord’s grace, full of joy and am very happy, Ya, “its good to go. I’m right head down to the ticketing agent’s office to book my flight ticket. I’ll email you with the flight itinerary as soon as i get booked. I don’t know if you would be able to pick me up at the Airport and if so I’ll tell you my dress code for you to recognize me. I will putting on suit with black jacket”, “So what’s your phone number so I can ring you when I land. Looking forward to converse in person

DCM: Where are you flying into?

Nita McClung: California
Only if you want me to come to meet you

DCM: Bless your heart…Since I live 2000 miles away from there, not a chance. But thanks for the thought!

Nita McClung: Good
I can just book the flight ticket from Ukraine down straight to your place and you can pick me up at your airport
What is the nearest airport to pick me up

DCM: Why, may I ask, should you want to do that?

Nita McClung: Nothing much but I see you in person
But nevermind if you don’t want

DCM: While it is sweet that you are so enthusiastic to travel to the sticks, and meet someone that you have spent 45 minutes chatting with…

Does that sound like a good idea?

Nita McClung: Not really
But just because I have a plain Heart
Nita McClung: “today is such a terrible one. i couldn’t book my flight back home due to no fault of mine. what really happened was when my credit card was accessed by the booking office here in Ukraine to effect payment to procure my flight it was denied on the account of lack of funds in the card!naturally”, i was surprised as I knew that a’int true b’cos I loaded the card full of money as i knew i was gonna make an oversea travel, so I called the credit card company demanding to know whats up with my money, “home only to be told that I made some purchases at eBay!certainly not me. I was then told that my credit card has been hacked. I was promised full investigation on the matter and if the company is found to be culpable they will be liable to refund my money. but this can only commence whenever I return to States. worst case scenario”, I am cash trapped at the moment as I have already given the airline agent part of the money for the flight ticket, settled my hotel bills, “all these left me depleted.”,

DCM: That does sound like a terrible day. Luckily, the credit card companies typically move very quickly on challenged purchases.

Nita McClung: Have call the bank manager to complain but he’s told me to get back home to do some bank verification before I can have access to my money

DCM: Overall, it is a good thing that the banks are careful with our money…although it can be a challenge at times.

Nita McClung: Now I need to get back home to do the bank verification so that I can get money back
But I need some funds to book my flight

DCM: I take it your bank does not have a representative in the Ukraine?

Nita McClung: Yes,they told me to come back home before they can do anything

DCM: What bank are you with?

Nita McClung: Please can you help me to the remaining money to balance up my flight

DCM: And…THERE it is!
Surely you have friends that know you better than I, that can help you.

Nita Mcclung: It’s commercial bank
Yes,but have message her but she said it’s only $200 that she have to help me that she just pay her bills
But the $200 is not gonna be enough for the flight ticket
At list if I can be able to see $350 I’ll make the payment of the flight ticket and get back home ASAP
Please help me out and safe my money,I don’t wanna lose my money
I promise never to disappoint you

DCM: Ha! trust me, you have yet to disappoint me.

Nita McClung: I don’t mind paying you back the money with interest
Just please try to safe my life and my money

DCM: Let me explain something to you.
You are presenting the face of a scammer, not a young, damsel in distress. So, there is not a chance I am going to send a penny.

1) Commercial bank has reciprocal agreements with several banks in the Ukraine. THEY could verify your identity easily.
2) You should have already had your return flight booked. It is standard practice to sell ROUND TRIP tickets to passengers.
3) You have friended a total stranger on the Net, and within a few dozen lines of chat, gone from a woman with MILLIONS in assets that the bank would verify…(as the executor of your father’s estate, you have full access to those funds) to begging for $350 to pay for a flight that, if you are booking it today, costs close to double that.
4) Your screen name may be “Nita McClung” but your FB id is tshewang.rinzin
5) For a young lady who claims to be from New York, your English is poor…and apparently you do not realize that NO ONE from New York says “New York, New York”.

Why should I believe you? And, by the by, I may be an old hillbilly, but that does not mean I am ignorant.

I suggest you find a comfortable place in the Airport, and talk with the airline’s managers and such tomorrow when things are open.

Bye. It has been interesting chatting with you.

It is not out of the question that I have made a foolish, but honest young lady sad. However, NOTHING in this conversation makes me think that this is the case.

After the concluding remarks above, I reported this ID to Facebook as a scammer, and blocked it. IF you get into a similar situation, I strongly suggest that you take similar steps.

God Help Us All

Wear your mask, and Stay Safe!

Bee Man Dave

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