US Government Banking Commission???

26 02 2008

What is the US Government Banking Commission? No one knows with the sole exception of a persistent scam artist who’s trying his darnest to make a buck.

First of all, we need to understand the concept of “phishing” (pronounced “fishing”) before going anywhere. According to Wikipedia, it’s defined as “an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. eBay, PayPal and online banks are common targets.” What that means is a phisher is someone who tries to fish around for your personal information through some form of communication be it emails, websites, phone calls, or even personal visits.

Reported on The Consumerist [original source], watch and listen as an “agent” working for a non-existing organization, US Government Banking Commission, tries to acquire the bank account number of a Virginian, Mr Howard Beasley. Unfortunately for the “agent”, Beasley’s all too suspicious of Indian accents and callers asking for personal information and records the call. A short excerpt taken from The Consumerist is listed below for your convenience.

Howard Beasley told the caller he was being recorded, but the man didn’t hang up.

The caller said, “I’m a representative of the United States Banking commission and by mistake we took $481 out of your checking account.”, says Howard Beasley.

Howard Beasley started recording.

Howard: The government cannot take money out of your account. So I know this is nothing but a scam.

For ten minutes, an extremely persistent man tried everything he could think of to get Howard’s account number, the man said to give back the money.

Caller: What’s your bank account number?
Howard: If you got it out, you’ve got the number.
Caller: Please verify me your account number.
Howard: No way.
Caller: Please verify me your account number.
Howard: No way.
Caller: You don’t want the money? You don’t want your money?
Howard: I don’t want to be scammed.
Caller: Sir, you are not a scam. You have no right to talk to me like that.
Howard: I can tell you to take the $480 dollars and shove it up your *** that’s what I can tell you.

The tape continues to roll as the caller spits out Howard’s address and threatens to pay him an unwelcome visit.

Caller: I’m just coming within two days with two FBI agents, OK.
Howard: Well, you come down here with two FBI agents.
Howard: I’ll have them same two FBI agents on you.
Caller: OK, you just wait and watch. I’m coming within two days.
Howard: Well, you bring ’em here. I’ve got a 357. I’ll put your name on it.

In the case of the Banking Commission phishing case, it’s starting to be a more common phenomenon nowadays with the growing number of call centers outsourced/off-shored to far-away places like India and lax privacy laws abroad, our personal data is increasingly put at risk. Those call centers are given 1-800 numbers which are located and registered IN the United States meaning that they can call anyone anytime anywhere in the USA at local call rates and paid by the company those gooks work for.

Now not every internationally located call center agents are crooks but there’s always the case of one rotten apple in a basket. So how do you protect yourself from such people?

  1. Even though you’ve heard this a million times, NEVER give out your personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call to a recognized/trusting location.
  2. Keep the anti-virus software up to date on your computers.
  3. Make your computer stay in shape by running the dynamic duo consisting of Spybot and CCleaner on a weekly basis. They’ll ensure your spyware/adware stuff is kept to a minimum.
  4. Watch out for the “phishing” emails as listed in my posts here, here, and here.
  5. When you get a call…
    1. If it sounds too good to be true or something out of the regular, start recording the conversation and tell the agent that you are doing so.
    2. Always ask for the name, employee ID, call-back phone number, name and address of business, location of call-center, and ticket # associated with every call you get.
    3. Cross verify the address of the business using the internet.
    4. If you have a caller ID on your phone, verify the # they give you to the # listed on it.
    5. Do NOT conduct business over the phone #. Once the call is over, go to the official website of the company in which you deal with and call their customer support line.
    6. Relay them the information handed to you by the agent previously and the rest is up to you.
    7. Usually the best idea is to spend as little time on the phone with them. Also tell them that you are on the DO-NOT-CALL list.
  6. Stay alert. In a lot of cases, the scammer doesn’t usually display the stereotypical mid-eastern Indian accent. Just because he/she has a southern accent doesn’t mean they’re good ol’southern gentlemen/ladies.
  7. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there so stay focused during your interactions with them.

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8 responses

27 02 2008
Wikipedia » US Government Banking Commission???

[…] NinjaTales Blog wrote an interesting post today on US Government Banking Commission???Here’s a quick excerptAccording to Wikipedia, it’s defined as “an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire [. . . ]… […]

24 12 2008
JOSEPH BEVINS

I HAVE RECIEVED A BOUGUS CHARGE ON MY MORTGAGE FROM CITI BAND, CRSS COUNTRY 40.99 AND ACE FINANCIAL 14.57. NO EXPLANATION WHAT TO DO

JOE BEVINS

25 12 2008
ninjatales

Contact your bank/lender on the matter immediately and seek for a resolution. Next step contact tips@consumerist.com for additional advice.

29 09 2009
William F. Vazquez II

My wife and I have a car loan for my car through Wachovia Dealer Services at P.O. Box 25341, Santa Ana, Ca 92799-5341. We have our payment going out automatically from our bill pay account at our bank (US Bank) on the same day each month for the past two years.
In July, we reentered the bill pay information online and forgot 1 digit, this resulted in a August and September payment going to an incorrect account number, but still being removed from our account and going to Wachovia-What? Isn’t there some kind of check and balance? Obviously, the incorrect account number would not agree with our other account information-SUCH AS OUR NAMES. We have received many phone calls from snotty 24 year olds who put me on hold saying that our credit was in danger, and trying to get us to “send payment immediately” – they have our money, we told them what the incorrect account number was, and what the correct number is, but they refuse to stop harrassing us, after several hours of trying to rectify the situation with Wachovia and our bank. We are very concerned about this affecting our credit because of their shoddy record system and lack of customer care.
Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.
Sincerely
William and Lisa Vazquez
408-608-8602

1 10 2009
fernando e. whorton

indymac bank made a loan to me on texas propery. they wrongly accused me
of haing delinquent taxes and imposed a non-authoried escrow. after
shiwung them my taxes were not delinquent, they refused to take away
the bogusescrow fee in the amount of $2,000 plus. i have written to the
u s president and the two senators from california and have had o response.
please force them to take away the phony escrow fee.

19 04 2010
f. whorton

I HAVE HEARD NOTHING FROM YOU OR THE PRESIDENT. PLEASE LET ME
KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING, IF ANYTHING.

20 04 2010
ninjatales

If anyone here can help out William F. Vazquez II and fernando e. whorton, please post a message here.

My only suggestion is to try contacting The Consumerist at:

tips@consumerist.com

17 07 2010
LN

This web site has a form you fill in and submit via email to the US Gov.t. regarding problems with banks: https://www2.fdic.gov/starsmail/index.asp

It also has a mailing address if you do not want to do it on line. Print out the form and mail it. Hope it helps.

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