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30 September 2008

Real life nigerian scammer-esque I just got a call from my uncle[More:], who I recently accompanied to the hospital for dental surgery, where they took down my name and relationship with him.
He got a call from a supposed cop, saying his nephew (me) had been in an accident on such and such highway, and was fine but depressed as it was my fault, and I'd crashed into a doctor and was in jail, so could he (my uncle) deposit about USD$1000 in an account so they'd release me?
My uncle replied "sure, can you tell me what police station you're at so I can call you back?", at which point the 'cop' hung up.
We're calling the hospital to let them know somebody's using their database to try and scam people.
What gets me is how dumb the scammer is, or thinks we are. Obviously if we'd gotten the actual account number, we would have sicked the (actual) cops on him in under 5 seconds.
Ugh, just awful.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 30 September | 11:58
Wow, good for your uncle for keeping his head.
posted by Claudia_SF 30 September | 12:05
Hmmm. Does that mean a worker in the hospital is abusing his/her position by selling the database to a friend, and/or using it him/herself?

That's pretty dumb. Maybe he's just starting out, an apprentice scammer trying his first dry run.

I wonder how widespread the abuse of such databases is.
posted by Melismata 30 September | 12:42
Wow. Smart uncle. I'd like to think that I'd be too smart (and deeply cynical) to fall for something like that, but I'm afraid the whole "someone you love is in trouble!" angle would seriously cloud my judgment.
posted by jrossi4r 30 September | 12:47
I've heard more are more complaints about this scam recently. It sounds like your uncle has a really level head!
posted by muddgirl 30 September | 12:50
Yes, he is fairly clear headed, but this was kind of a no-brainer: cops (in Chile at least) don't ask you to deposit money in some random bank account before releasing people from jail.
posted by signal 30 September | 12:55
If someone called about my nephew, my sister would shoot me if I said anything other than "That's ok, you can keep him."
posted by Ardiril 30 September | 13:03
For whatever reason, I once filled out the airport customs declaration with my building superintendent's address instead of my own. I started getting junk mail at that address.
posted by StickyCarpet 30 September | 13:31
Bunny! OMFG! || Most specific (also tragic) tombstone ever?