A Scam in Two Acts

I first wrote this as a reply to a blog post (https://laurierking.com/2020/07/the-case-of-laurie-and-the-monegasque-prince/) by writer Laurie R. King, New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes books and many others. It was such fun to write that I decided to brush it up and re-post it here. My event is a bit dated now , but hers just happened, so don’t think they aren’t still out there!

Please be sure to follow the link to her blog to get the full flavor of the high-jinks!

Dear Laurie R. King,

I’ve never had the opportunity to correspond with a scammer via email, but I once spoke to a scammer on the phone. They managed to freeze up my computer and fill the screen with an appallingly scary message and an emergency number to call (purporting to be Microsoft, I think, but it was years ago).

I was freaked out, so I called — what’s the harm, right? The “technician” wanted me to pay them $3000 (via credit card number) to figure out what was wrong with my computer and “fix” it. I hung up, re-booted the computer and it was fine.

A day or so later I got a phone call from “the IRS” saying that my audit showed problems, but if I paid a portion of what was owed (via credit card number), I would not be arrested for tax fraud.

I played dumb and was able to string him along for a good hour. Finally I asked him what part of Ethiopia (I picked that out of the air) he was from. That’s when the accent really started coming out – he was not Ethiopian! He was furious! He wouldn’t tell me where he was from, though, no matter how nicely I asked.

Finally I couldn’t keep from laughing, and he screamed at me that the sheriff (which soon turned into an FBI agent) was on his way to my door so I’d better either pay up or run! I kept saying, “Well, they aren’t here yet — what’s keeping them? Are you sure they’re not coming for you?” It quickly degenerated into him screeching into my ear about how disgusting American women are and how dare I threaten him. The harder I laughed, the madder he got.

They are trained to stay on the line as long as they can keep you talking, but finally he couldn’t take any more and hung up.

It was a great story to tell over drinks.

BTW, I changed my number!

Sincerely, Eugenia Parrish

Have you had to deal with anything like this? I’d love to hear your story.