I thought I would let you folks know about a scam that I had not heard of before…..
I got a call one evening from a ‘broker’ who said he was acting on behalf of a client that wanted to take over a company that I held some stock in, and of course they were offering a very good price for those shares. Apparently, this was supposed to be because the company owned some valuable patents that their client was very keen to acquire.
They had supposedly, already secured 47% of the shares and they only needed a total of 51% to force a takeover and this was why the offer price was so high.The company involved was a mutual ISP that gave away 1000s of free shares to their customers so added up to a fair bit of cash.
This ’broker’ knew my name, called me at home and knew exactly how many shares I held in this company and was VERY plausible. The main thing that let him down was that this ISP went bust years ago but the caller is so plausible that even knowing this, it is in the back of my mind, does the company still own some rights to patents? Is it possible the shares are still worth something? Sounds pretty obvious writing this here now, but when sitting at home relaxing after a long day it is much easier to get caught off guard and although still a bit dubious about the whole thing, I have to admit to being slightly sucked in, enough to ask some questions anyway.
They even direct me to their spoof web site which on the face of it looks genuine but under closer scrutiny later, is obviously fraudulent.
It then transpired that I would have to deposit 20% of the value of the deal into a escrow account to secure the incredible price they were offering for these 1000s of shares I got free. I’m afraid this guy didn’t figure on exactly how hard it is to get money out of a Scotsman, and even tougher to get money out of this Scotsman. They were wasting their time trying to get any cash out of me so luckily there was no damage done.
I wonder though, how many people will still have old share certificates in a drawer somewhere, completely unaware they are worthless and then think they are on to a good thing when they get this phone call?
I just know there are going to be quite a few taken in by this one and even if only a very small percentage of people pay out, it’s a good days work for the scammers.