Saturday, December 27, 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

Suisun Valley celebrates appellation’s anniversary

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Girl’s selfless act boosts Suisun Wildlife Center

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Beer for 1st butterfly of year challenge returns

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
SF Giants championship trophy coming to Vacaville

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
Fire damages Fairfield home

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

Car rolls over on Highway 113

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3

 
 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: Dec. 25, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
 
.

US / World

California braces for first widespread frost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California gears up for migrant driver’s licenses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

4 dead in fiery Northern California car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Police officer shoots woman in leg in Hollywood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Inmate breaks out of jail through ventilation duct

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
People slide down bedsheets to escape motel fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Court: LA Police Department policy for impounding cars is OK

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Study: Marijuana use has increased in Colorado

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Dog not gone: Rescue in the Columbia Gorge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Bodies of woman, 3 grandsons found in burned home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Truck crashes into home; 93-year-old resident dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Scientists target mess from Christmas tree needles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Baby ostracized by other gorillas will switch zoos

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Thousands attend 8-hour wake for slain NYC officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Lawmakers promise to help strapped oil-patch towns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Feline fame in cyberspace gives species a boost

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
At 101, dedicated union rep is calling it quits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Can GOP shatter ‘Obama coalition’ in 2016?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

 
GPS used to track some immigrants caught at border

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

10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

 
Sony hack is reminder of broader Sony dysfunction

By William Pesek | From Page: A8

A proud man, a good honorable man

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 26 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 27, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 27, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Remember, caregivers need some care attention, too

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Cow that fled slaughterhouse in 2006 has new home, again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
1990s TV star ‘Screech’ charged in bar stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

 
Jazz great Buddy DeFranco dies at age 91

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Suns outlast Kings 115-106 for 5th straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Anthony Davis, Roman meet over tweet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Cleveland reaches 50 years of sports futility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Games to Remember from 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rutgers beats North Carolina in Quick Lane Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

La. Tech beats Illinois 35-18 in Heart of Dallas Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Arizona’s Lindley back at starter, Stanton has infection

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prep JV boys basketball: Vanden gets win in Dixon tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Could Watt be 1st NFL MVP from defense since Taylor in 1986?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Dan Uggla joins Nationals for minor league deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Georgia’s Richt: RB Todd Gurley heading to NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Slumping New Jersey Devils fire coach Pete DeBoer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
No. 1 Kentucky, No. 4 Louisville resume rivalry

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders rookie CB makes most of opportunity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High-scoring offenses create longer college games

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anderson: post-game petulance was out of character

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Chiefs QB Alex Smith out with lacerated spleen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Globetrotters’ Robert ‘Showboat’ Hall dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NC State wins Bitcoin Bowl to cap turnaround year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Weather for Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

In 2014, US economy began shaky, finished strong

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Holiday deliveries improve but hiccups continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Missouri 1st to see average gas price below $2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
.

Obituaries

Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth

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

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 12/27/14

Average US 30-year mortgage edges up slightly

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2

Real estate transactions for Dec. 27, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2