Press the Numerical Button One Now!

It is beyond me how Manasseh Jordan Ministries can still be operating. He is one of this country’s worst robodiallers, and has been sued more times than I have fingers and toes to count on.

https://www.scammer.info/d/24136-america-s-worst-robodialer-manasseh-jordan-ministries

“Prophet Manasseh Jordan

Apparently he comes to the business of defrauding people honestly, if one can even say that – he is the son of “Master Prophet E. Bernard Jordan,” another Prosperity Gospel preacher. The Wikipedia article confuses father for son in some of the references, but it’s not hard to see that the road apple didn’t fall far from the horse’s ass.

Just got another call from him tonight – from 775-954-0107. Instead of a spoofed number, it goes right to his recorded message:

“They are trying to take something. Press 1! Press 1! There has been spiritual warfare that is coming up and this is why the enemy has been messing with your stuff! Press 1 now to hear this blessed word, press 1!”

If you do happen to press 1, you get his long-winded spiel of spiritual gobbledygook (he’ll fight this warfare for you, etc., including some really weird “speaking in tongues” stuff), but it ends up in his hitting you up for that “great reward seed of $46.46, that $146.00 seed, that $246.00 seed, adding that 46 cents for your great spiritual reward, please hold while I connect you to the blessed operator!”

It’s 2021 and this guy is still operating, and sadly he seems to be amazingly successful as people continue to send him money so he can live a lifestyle of decadent luxury. He’s been fined by the FCC twice, and illegally robocalls millions of cell phones every week, and they can’t seem to shut him down, or don’t care to. It’s a disgrace.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Please be very careful with promoted posts on Facebook

For “promoted post,” read “advertisement.”

I’m using as an example one that showed up in my newsfeed yesterday, from a company which calls itself “wewinns.”

They are offering a complete date set of Morgan silver dollars for $199.99 (reduced from $699.99!)

Beautiful, right? The Morgan really is a gorgeous piece, especially in uncirculated condition. Notice the first description:

Morgan Silver Dollars are an excellent way to own a piece of history, while concurrently investing in the physical precious metal silver.  Morgan Silver Dollars are composed of 90% silver and 10% copper.  They weigh 26.73 grams.  This equates to approximately .7734 Troy ounces of silver and approximately .1 ounce of copper per coin. Uncirculated collectible coins.

Next, we have coin highlights:

Coin Highlights:

Arrives inside of a protective plastic slab courtesy of the NGC or PCGS!

Struck from 1878 to 1904!
• Contains .77344 Troy oz of actual silver content.
• Bears a face value of $1 (USD) backed by the federal government.
Issued a Grade of Mint State 66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
• Obverse features the effigy of Liberty.
• Reverse includes the American bald eagle.

When I was a kid, collecting coins was much less complex. Coin grades were:

  • Cull
  • Fair (F)
  • Good (G)
  • Very Good (VG)
  • Fine (F)
  • Very Fine (VF)
  • Extra Fine (XF)
  • Almost Uncirculated (AU)
  • Uncirculated (Unc)
  • Brilliant Uncirculated (BU)
  • Proof (P)

“Cull” was a damaged coin with no value, and “Proof” – as today – are specially-created strikes for collector. In between, coins were graded largely based on the subjective opinions of countless coin dealers.

Now, things are a lot more complicated, but a lot more formalized. The PCGS that this advertisement invokes has a very detailed designation and a numerical grading system by which coins are qualified. According to their website, MS66 is defined as “Well struck with a few marks or hairlines not in focal areas.” In other words, a pretty, uncirculated coin.

The next statement from the “wewinns” website reiterates the condition of the coins you will supposedly get:

Each of the Morgan Silver Dollar Coins offered by us in this product listing is available to you in Mint State 66 condition from either the PCGS or NGC. Coins in Mint State 66 condition are five grades below the perfect grade of 70 on the Sheldon numeric scale. A coin with an MS66 certification has minimal, but apparent, detracting marks or hairlines.

Following more generic information about Morgan dollars, the sales website goes on to say:

In this product listing, we guarantee you a Mint State 66 condition Morgan Silver Dollar.

Now things get interesting. After some more description of the beauty and rarity of the Morgan dollars, we see this:

Each Morgan Silver Dollar is presented in circulated condition with most major design details visible, and is protected in an archival crystal-clear case that allows for easy and safe viewing of both sides.

“Most major design details visible.” To me, that sounds like an F-12: “About half of detail now worn flat. All lettering remains visible.”

But then in the next bit, we go right back to the shiny new coins you thing you’ll be getting:

Year: 1878 to 1921
Grade: Choice BU
Strike Type: Business
Denomination: $1.00
Mint Location: “S” – San Francisco
Metal Content: 0.7734 troy oz
Purity: .900
Manufacturer: US Mint
Thickness: 3.1 mm
Diameter: 38.1 mm

I have no idea what “Strike type: business” means, unless it just implies general circulation coins and not a proof.

I was curious enough to click the “Contact Us” link on the bottom of the page:

Email:[support@wewinns.com]
Phone: +86 181 2462 2758

Is anyone suprised that country code 86 is China? My email to the support staff read as follows:

I am interested in your offer, but I am confused.
Your ad says the following things:
“Uncirculated collectible coins.”
“Issued a Grade of Mint State 66 by the Professional Coin Grading Service or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.”
“Each of the Morgan Silver Dollar Coins offered by us in this product listing is available to you in Mint State 66 condition from either the PCGS or NGC.”
“In this product listing, we guarantee you a Mint State 66 condition Morgan Silver Dollar.”
“Each Morgan Silver Dollar is presented in circulated condition with most major design details visible.”
“Grade: Choice BU”
So, are these coins that you are offering uncirculated, with a grade of 66, or are they circulated and in generally poor condition? You are aware, are you not, that a full set of Morgan dollars in grade 66 typically sells for over $125,000?
I look forward to your speedy response.

But I will be surprised if there is any response at all. If you get anything at all from this outfit, I’m pretty safe in thinking it will be a collection of very poor-quality coins, and that their website will be gone – only to resurface the next day with a different name.

Now I won’t go so far as to say that every advertisement promoted by Facebook is painfully deceptive or outright dishonestly false… but in my experience, a vast preponderance of them are just that, and a large percentage of them come from China. And Facebook continues to happily take their advertising dollars, and countless people are defrauded by unscrupulous enterprises.

It is worth noticing that the current PCGS quoted price for a complete date set of Morgan dollars in MS-66 condition is $165,605.00, and a complete date set in F-12 condition (Fair) is quoted at $1,272.00… so heaven only knows what you might get if you drop $200.00 into this Chinese bank account.

Be very careful with these ads. Discuss this with vulnerable loved ones, particularly the elderly who might be more susceptible to greasy advertising techniques like this.

Edit: Another, very similar ad page is found at
https://www.silver-ccoins.com/products/1878-1921-morgan-dollar-silver-coin-lx-1, and it uses almost identical wording, with a lot of additional promotional fluff added. The company behind this one is Vankin Co. Ltd. in London. Beware.

Edit 2: This report focuses on an individual who was conned into buying counterfeit silver dollars (made of steel); the report ends by indicating that these bogus dollars were likely mass-produced in China. One more red flag that this particular deal and ones like it should be run away from at great speed.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Please be very careful ordering from Facebook ads

My wife passed me this item to look at – and it looks like a really good idea. We have a small flock of chickens so we don’t worry about composting much, but there are things like potato peelings and bones and such that the girls (and Pongo¹) won’t eat, so it would be nice to have something to reduce these scraps to something usable.

Amazing price, given that the most popular composter on Amazon runs for about $400.00.

I mean, who could turn down an offer like that?

Just for fun, I put one in my cart to see what shipping for a 22-lb (10kg) item would cost from California.

Any guesses?

$4.95.

Ok, with anything else discounted, this whole deal would fall into the “Too good to be true” category. So let’s do just a bit more research. Going to Scamadvisor.com, we find this summary:

Add this to a 1% trust score overall, and that’s more red flags than Tootle was confronted with when he jumped the tracks to play with the butterflies.

From “Tootle” – a Little Golden Book

Notice that the original ad claimed that there were only 65 left in stock. When I checked earlier this morning, it was down to 34. Now, it’s not beyond possibility that they got a new shipment within the last few hours, but the odds are better that these numbers are randomly generated to give the appearance of desirability and scarcity.

I suspect people who order this will never receive anything, or will be shipped cheap slum² that functions poorly and breaks quickly. Whatever the case,

“The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Source: Unknown. Attributed to Benjamin Franklin or Aldo Gucci without verification.

Who knows, I might be passing up on the deal of a lifetime, but this is not something I’m going to gamble $35.00 on.

For what it’s worth, a large percentage of ads that appear on your Facebook wall are put there by spurious companies for spurious merchandise. Stolen artwork and intellectual property are high on the list; teeshirt companies that pop up, sell stuff with Peanuts™ or Calvin and Hobbes™ or something else that’s not licensed, promoted by photoshopped images of Carl Sagan or Bill Nye or Neil deGrasse Tyson, vanish into the mist before they can be prosecuted, and pop up the next week with a different name (and most of these outfits are, predictably, in China).

The takeaway here is Be Very Careful when ordering merchandise from an ad on Facebook.There are legitimate concerns out there, but far too many of these ads (which Facebook is more than happy to accept advertising dollars from) will burn you badly. Do your research (that doesn’t mean watch some sleazy YouTube video) and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


Footnotes:

¹

Pongo

² “Slum” is what carnival hucksters call the cheap trash that you win when you play their midway games. As opposed to the major prizes that are very difficult to get.

The “Lonely Hearts” scam

Messages like this may pop up in your Facebook messenger feed, or on any other social media channel. People who are lonely might actually respond, in which case they will be groomed for personal information or asked for money once a “relationship” is established.

Hallmarks of this particular scam are bad grammar and formatting, flattery, and requests for assistance.

These are not people looking for love, they are scammers and criminals. They want your money or your personal information. Shun them. Delete their messages. Never answer.

A more detailed explanation of this type of scam can be found at Pathways Financial Credit Union.

HELLO DEAR.
My name is Miss Marvis Gaasu.
I am glad to meet you here; Please, write me in this email id.(obfuscated@yahoo.com).
It very important.i wait your reply fast,Or you send me your email address,i will send you my photos and details your email address. Thanks.

If you respond, those photos they send you will most likely be stock pictures lifted from the internet.

Hello dear friend i am Kate Brown by name,i am interested to be your true friend.please I will like you to reply me with my email (katebrown4@yahoo.com ) so that i can send you my own information for us to know each other very well. Thanks bye. obfuscated@yahoo.com ❤ ❤

Interesting that all these scammers are using yahoo addresses. That’s another red flag.

Hello new friend,
greeting to you. How was your days and health? Hope all is well with you. My name is Miss Favour Mercy, I am a female. I am interested in you after going through your profile on facebook, and i decided to contact you. I would like to get acquaint with you, As well to know you better. Please write me back through this email address: (obfuscated@yahoo .com) so that i can send you my picture and let you know more about me. Write me on my email address, because i do not use facebook very often, If you contact me on facebook, you may not probably get any reply from me. I am eager to hear from you soonest! Thanks for your answer: Yours new friend Miss Favour Mercy.

If you contact the scammer on Facebook, it’s very likely that their profile has already been deleted as being fraudulent.

Protect your vulnerable loved ones from this sort of thermonuclear douchebaggery.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Enjoy your eternity, Scammers.

The Nigerian Scam is still alive

Oh, those unclaimed trunks of money…

In my spam box six days ago:


Steven Owen
Deputy Director Of Finance,
(Administration,Operations)
Richmond International Airport
1 Richard E Byrd Terminal Dr,
Richmond, VA 23250, United States
Email: stevenowen.005office@gmail.com

I have very vital information to give to you, but first I must have your trust before I review it to you because it may cause me my job,so I need somebody that I can trust for me to be able to review the secret to you.

I am Mr. Steven Owen,(Deputy Director Of Finance & Administration) here at the Richmond International Airport, Virginia.
During my recent withheld package routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, I discovered an abandoned shipment from a Diplomat from Africa and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing 210kg approximately $25,500,000.00 ($25.5M) The consignment
was abandoned because the Contents of the consignment was not properly declared by the consignee as “MONEY” rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid interrogation and also the inability of the diplomat to pay for the United States Non Inspection Charges which is $4,500USD. On my assumption the consignment is still left in our Storage House here at the Richmond International Airport, Virginia till date. The details of the consignment including your names, your email address and the official documents from the United Nations office in Geneva are tagged on! !! the Trunk box.

However, to enable me confirm if you are the actual recipient of this consignment as the assistant director of the Inspection Unit, I will advise you provide your current Phone Number and Full Address, to enable me cross check if it corresponds with the address on the official documents including the name of nearest Airport around your city. Please note that this consignment is supposed to have been returned to the United States Treasury Department as unclaimed delivery due to the delays in concluding the clearance processes so as a result of this, I will not be able to receive your details on my official email account. So in order words to enable me cross check your details, I will advise you send the required details to my private email address for quick processing and response. Once I confirm you as the actual recipient of the trunk box, I can get everything concluded within 48hours upon your acceptance and proceed to your address for delivery.
The Requested Information is to ensure that no mistake or error is occured and should be forwarded in the manner stated below:

Your Full Name:…….
Your Complete Address:…..
Name of City of Residence:…..
Closet Airport to your City:……
Direct Telephone Number:…..

Lastly, be informed that the reason I have taken it upon myself to contact you personally about this abandoned consignment is because I want us to transact this business and share the money 70% for you and 30% for me since the consignment has not yet been returned to the United States Treasury Department after being abandoned by the diplomat so immediately the confirmation is made, I will go ahead and pay for the United States Non Inspection Fee of $4,500 dollars and arrange for the box to be delivered to your doorstep Or I can bring it by myself to avoid any more trouble but you have to assure me of my 30% share.

I wait to hear from you urgently if you are still alive and I will
appreciate if we can keep this deal confidential. Please get back to
me via my private Email (stevenowen.005office@gmail.com) for further directives:

Best Regards
Mr.Steven Owen


The email came with a form to fill out, which clearly was never completed:

These are just as fraudulent now as they were during the days of the fax machine. NEVER send money or private information to these scumbags. Delete their emails and move on with your life. There is no money waiting for you, and if you communicate with these people you stand to lose money or your identity or both.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Dear Verizon (not)

Multiple times a day, multiple times a week, my phone is assaulted with “Thank you for choosing Mariott!” or some other company – Hilton, Southwest Airlines, whatever script of the moment is selected by the robocalling software used by this never-sufficiently-to-be-damned timeshare flogger in Mexico.¹

Invariably, the caller ID shows a number with my own area code and prefix, still hoping that I’ll pick up thinking it’s a neighbor.

All I want is to be able to have these calls blocked at the source. Every call that comes in with an ID of (nnn) xxx-. Permanently.

Right now I can’t even get through to a real person; your tech support number fobs off every issue onto your digital assistant, which is as useful as a set of false teeth for a rooster. All it gives me is the option of blocking 5 different numbers… for 90 days. Given that there are roughly 10,000 spoofed number possibilities with my area code and prefix, that’s virtually no help at all.

Don’t try to tell me you don’t have the tech to address this issue. Those spoofed numbers come from somewhere, and they have to be transmitted by some means during the call, and you should surely have the ability to sniff those out and block them if the subscriber desires it.

Robocalls of all sorts are a major headache costing millions of Americans countless hours, massive amounts of money (for those who fall prey to scammers), and immeasurable frustration. But eliminating neighborhood spoofing seems to be an easy enough fix, and would eliminate a huge percentage of these calls.

I’m not impressed that you don’t seem to have the will to help your subscribers by providing this option.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


¹ I’d like to drop the cabrones who run this outfit into a Fargo-style wood chipper… very slowly. Since they’re out of the country, US laws can’t touch them and they know it – these calls have been going on for years, and it’s maddening.

Another “sextortion” email

The scammers never give up. Obviously, it must work at some level or they would find something else to do. But with the number of people in the world, the bell curve pretty much predicts that by blasting out millions of email messages like this, they will snag someone who is untutored enough to pay their extortionate demand. It makes me very sad that the world is so full of evil creatures like this.


Greetings!

⚠️ I’ve been watching you for weeks now. ⚠️
The thing is, you’ve been infected with malware via the adult website you visited.

I have made a video showing how you satisfy yourself on the left side of the screen, and on the right side you see the video you have been watching.
With one click, I can send this video to all your contacts in the mail and social networks. I can also publish access to all your emails and messaging apps that you use.

If you want to prevent this, then:
Transfer $650(USD) to my bitcoin wallet (in case you don’t know how to do it, then type in to Google: “Buy a bitcoin”).

My Bitcoin Wallet:
obfuscated bitcoin wallet address
After receiving the payment, I will erase the video and you will never hear from me again.
I will give you 50 hours (more than two days) to pay.
I see you’re reading this email and the timer started you opened it.

Timer id: 241996031

Don’t attempt to reply me. It doesn’t make any sense (the sender’s address is created automatically).
Filing a complaint somewhere doesn’t make sense, because this email cannot be tracked, and neither can my bitcoin address.
I don’t make mistakes.

If I find that you shared this message with somebody else, the video will be distributed immediately.
Good luck with that.


Ya. Well, good luck with your blackmail attempt, since I don’t use a webcam, you waste of human cytoplasm.

As always, the takeaway is never send money to scammers, or unknown people, by bitcoin, Western Union, Gift Cards, or any other method.

The Old Wolf continues to be outraged by these antics.

Scam: Would you like to sell your home?

Note: PII has been changed for privacy reasons.

I keep getting text messages from realtors or real estate investors, all calling me “Mike” (not my name) and asking if I would be interested in selling my home at [address] in Sandy, Utah.

In addition to the name being wrong, I lived in the Salt Lake area for over 40 years, but have never owned any property that far south, and I haven’t lived in Utah since 2015. So today I did a bit more digging.

Tax records show that the property in question is owned by Mike [obscured], and a quick search at a data aggregator shows that this individual has several phone numbers listed, one of which is mine.

I’ve had this same phone number since the introduction of the cell phone, so I’m not sure how my number got associated with this Mike gentleman. I’ve petitioned the aggregation service to remove it, and we’ll see if this goes anywhere.

At any rate, here are the messages I received:

8/22/2019 – from (385) 250-0401
Hi Mike, I’m Nate and I know this is a shot in the dark but I saw your house at [address]. Would you possibly consider selling it?

1/29/2020 – from (435) 265-3414
Hi Mike! Mark here! I’m a local investor looking for properties in Sandy! Would you be open to an offer on your property at [address]?

4/6/2020 – from (435) 304-4355
Hello Mike this is Brenden. Sorry for reaching out in these uncertain times. I’m looking for a house to buy in the neighborhood. I’m curious if you are looking to cash out equity before a possible market shift on [address]. I’d love to see if we might be able to work together.

5/29/2020 – from 304-3769
Hello Mike, we’re looking to pick up some properties and was wondering if you’d be open to an offer on [address]? – Jake

Well, I chatted with “Jake” for a while as though I were “Mike” and might be interested. He asked about details on the house, and I asked him for his full name, the name of his agency, and the name of his broker. He responded,

I’m a local real estate investor – I’m looking for another rental or rehab project and I like the area.

Notice that he didn’t provide any of the requested information. I then laid out the entire situation for him and essentially asked him what his game was. His response?

When You Get Nothing But Crickets | Cult of Pedagogy

There are so many red flags surfacing around this chain of messages that I feel like Tootle in the meadow.

I have no idea what these people’s game is – I wish I knew – but I suspect it’s not on the up and up, especially given the fact that multiple individuals (supposedly) are contacting me regarding a property that is not even on the market.

Be careful out there. Never give out sensitive personal or financial information unless you know exactly who you are dealing with, and why.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Scam – Beware of Finetwo.com

This was brought to my attention by a friend of mine who got stung – apparently this outfit claims to have ample supplies of sanitizer and masks, but when you order you get shoddy merchandise or, in most cases, nothing at all.

The company claims it has been in business for 10 years, but Whois shows that the website was created on March 21, 2020. Because this website is operating from somewhere outside the USA, recourse is limited to calling your financial institution and asking them to reverse the charges; sometimes this is a major hassle as it involves having your credit card cancelled, issuing a new one, and then registering it with all the places you use for automatic payment, but at this point it’s all we have.

I’d like to blame China because they have all the ethics of a starving honey badger and the CCP turns a blind eye to such jiggery-pokery, but in all honesty it could be running from anywhere.

So be careful, and if you get stung – it’s easy to do, even if you’re on the lookout – don’t hesitate to call your financial institution.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Facebook Scammers and the “EESA Grant” scam

Be careful out there, the scumbags are still working in force to separate you from your hard-earned cash.

Got a message today from a Facebook friend:

Now, this friend doesn’t usually contact me from out of the blue, so I was immediately suspicious. Add to that the fact that the account was flagged as:

  • Using Messenger without Facebook (I know my friend has a facebook account)
  • Logged in using a phone number from the United States
  • Account was recently created (This friend has been around for quite a while)

All of these are red flags, and so I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was dealing with a stolen or cloned account. I proceeded to go down the rabbit hole to see what their game was today.

“i have something to shear whit you ?” My friend is an educated American, not someone who sounds like a third-grader or a Nigerian prince. A quick Google shows that EESA stands for Eastern European Study Abroad, but that’s probably not what I’m going to hear. So let’s take this a little further.

He’s “so confused that I haven’t heard anything about it.” Well, isn’t that special. The EESA exists, but in 2008 it created the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to purchase toxic assets from banks. In short, it was the bank bailout, and had nothing to do with grants to individuals.

These Nigerians love to use strange names. “Christopher Wisdoms,” “Martins Tanjul,”and the like. The grammar continues to be blatantly non-English.

Anyone who calls you “dear” who isn’t in your intimate circle of friends is without question going to be a scammer, and most likely Nigerian. They don’t understand that “Dear Sir” is part of a formula, and not something to be used indiscriminately.

So now I have a phone number to text, probably an accomplice or the same drone. Let’s see what we get.

  • “some other lucky communities”
  • “all beneficiaries name was chosen randomly through a computer ballot for fans of face-book who surf it frequently”

Grant programs don’t work like that, you cretin.

And now they want personal information. At this point I was about to shut things down. But the Facebook scammer (most likely the same individual) got impatient (another red flag – why would this “friend” care if I reach out to “Mr. Wisdoms” or not?)

If I had given “Mr. Wisdoms” my name and email address, things would probably have progressed to the point of “You need to send me $2500 for taxes and fees to collect your grant” or some other similar nonsense. But I wasn’t about to share even that with these criminal drones. Instead, I hauled out my stock response, and sent it both via Facebook and text message:

An “onioburu” is a gong-farmer (otherwise known as a nightsoil handler, someone who empties excrement buckets for a living.) Not a nice thing to call someone, but these are not nice people. The fact that he responded with “Lol” and then went silent was proof enough that he got the message.

Be so very careful out there. Any time a friend or contact starts talking about money, unless it’s someone you know and trust, assume it’s your money they want and break off communication.

Stay safe, and watch out for your loved ones who may be elderly or vulnerable.

The Old Wolf has spoken.