Wednesday, September 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

It keeps getting easier to scam

By
From page B7 | January 26, 2014 |

I was going to start today be sharing my observations about Friday’s market drop, the biggest since September 2011.

Then I read about the scam that tricked an older woman in the Bay Area into “investing” not only $200,000 of her own money, but another $300,000 that she was talked into borrowing. Sad to say, this story is not unique, and the Internet has made it even easier for crooks to wipe out the savings of trusting, usually older, individuals.

Although we’ve all heard these stories of trust gone wrong, I would guess that very few of us have been the victims of fraud, or even been contacted in person, by mail, telephone, and, for the past 20 years, the Internet. Prior to Friday, I only had one “offer” to make a lot of money to find victims by tricking local investors. Believe it or not, the would-be scam artist lived up the road in Vacaville.

It involved my posting a fraudulent stock price in the “pink sheets,” where penny stocks were listed more than 40 years ago. It was a high-risk scheme that could have involved my losing my license, being hit with a fine or even facing a prison sentence. It didn’t take much time for me to refuse the offer and report it to my compliance department. Amazingly, nothing happened to this low-life, and he tried various other approaches to talking people out of their savings over the years.

Fast-forward 40 years to this past Friday, and let’s look at an email sent to me, which caught my attention: “Dear Cardmember, The security of your personal information is our primary concern. Recently we observe suspicious login attempt to your Discover Card account. All information associated with this account has been temporarily limited. We implore you to confirm your account by following our secure website (with website listed) to avoid account suspended. Sincerely, Discover Card Account Service.”

Since I haven’t had a Discover Card in many years, I wondered how the fraud character got my name and where he learned English.

The sad thing is that these messages, probably sent from overseas, will entrap 1 in 100 targets. You might think contacting that many potential suckers would take a lot of time, effort and perhaps money. Not true. There are canned lists of names with emails that are ready to go, quickly, cheaply and easily. We can only imagine what will happen to the tens of millions of names hacked from the Target chain, and the smaller list stolen from the upscale Neiman Marcus.

Looking back 43 years to my training sessions in New York, we were warned that potential investors might associate a cold call with “bucket shops.” We had to assure prospective clients that we worked for large, upstanding firms, first of all by not trying to sell them a stock on the first call. I never made a cold call, but relied on the three-cent postcards to troll for prospects and trying to get an appointment so they could see how trusting I was.

Who would have guessed 40 years ago that there would be a painless way of contacting potential investors without spending any money or getting in your car and crossing the Bay Bridge?

There used to be four ways of letting prospects know who you were: Mail, telephone, knocking on doors and investment seminars. I suppose you could have chartered the Goodyear blimp, but, these days, it’s much easier and cheaper to use the Internet to make contacts. You can even send your picture, although I would, sadly, use a photo of someone younger and better looking.

Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at Bsteven254@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

David Grant doctor’s mission continues

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Chamber PAC draws candidates to Jelly Belly

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Damaged dog gets going-away party after getting healthy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
 
Suisun City slaying suspect case moves forward

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Touro University to host Zombie Run/Walk

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Land trust organizes Rockville Trails Preserve hike

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Police enlist help to find armed bandit

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4, 12 Comments | Gallery

Chamber to host Suisun City candidates night

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

 
 
 
Suisun police to host medication take-back

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A5

Coastal Cleanup Day targets local waterways

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Judge questions juror in Calkins case

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

Drama reigns supreme with week’s film debuts

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Anti-drug programs face funding shortfall

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A8

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 13, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Sept. 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Sept. 15, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Sept. 13, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Sept. 17, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B14

.

US / World

Woman in wildfire’s path lost almost everything

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Lumber town takes stock after wind-driven wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

PG&E officials leave posts over improper emails

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Things to know about California groundwater law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

California drivers must give bikes 3-foot buffer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
San Francisco trying shaming for quake safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Governor signs first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
School bus driver killed during safety drill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Hunt on for survivalist charged in trooper killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Robbery suspects tried to make off with $15,600

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Obama: Ebola outbreak a threat to global security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

UN: Nearly $1 billion needed now to stop Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
CDC study: Americans’ bellies are expanding fast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment | Gallery

Blacks, Hispanics have doubts about media accuracy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Ukraine lawmakers ratify landmark deal with Europe

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment | Gallery

Iraq parliament rejects interior, defense nominees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
Afghan suicide bomber kills 3 foreign troops

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
.

Opinion

 
Column focus on campaign signs misplaced

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 12 Comments

 
Time for utility execs to start worrying

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Editorial cartoons for Sept. 17, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Climate change: Complacent vs. apocalyptic

By John M. Crisp | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Sept. 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

My selfish husband neglects and cheats on me. What’s next?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

All the flavors of fall in one twice-baked package

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Leave them feeling full with nutritious chia seeds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

A late summer Southern classic – tomato pie

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B6

 
.

Entertainment

CBS: Rihanna out of NFL telecast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Leonardo DiCaprio named UN Messenger of Peace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Armijo volleyball team falls to Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Peavy, Posey help Giants gain ground in NL West

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep volleyball preview: Big goals for city teams

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders games are like live reruns

By Tony Wade | From Page: B1

Kazmir, sloppy Athletics lose 6-3 to Rangers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DA: Josh Gordon gets probation in DWI case in NC

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s voice NFL disapproval

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Criticism mounting for Vikings, Adrian Peterson

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

McIlroy wins PGA player of the year award

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Grand jury to weigh case of NASCAR’s Tony Stewart

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sacramento Kings to retire Stojakovic’s jersey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Broncos, Seahawks top AP Pro32 before rematch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Union appeals Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jaguars sign Rodriguez grad Jensen off practice squad

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

Short stay at NASCAR’s party for AJ and Almirola

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hindsight: a Ryder Cup tradition, like no other

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Senator ties NFL tax status to Redskins name

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers defense looks to bounce back from tough day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

NASA picks Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Web filter lifts block on gay sites

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Alibaba risk: China’s rise leaves out investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Corinthian Colleges sued for predatory lending

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

UPS expects to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
US CEOs less optimistic about hiring, spending

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Obituaries

Minnie Watkins Dixon

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Margaret King

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5