SEB Pro Tip: Just because the voice on the phone claims he’s from the corporate office…

Pic of Charlie Brown.

I'm right there with you on that one, Chuck.

…that doesn’t mean you should gather up all the money in your store and hand it over to someone you’ve don’t know at a McDonald’s:

The manager wasn’t available, so the caller told the employee who answered that he was from the corporate office and was calling about a customer who had lost her wallet at the store. He said a wallet was turned in the prior week with $1,200 but the money was missing when the owner came to claim it. He went on to say surveillance footage showed an employee taking the money, and it needed to be replaced to avoid being sued by the rightful owner.

The man instructed her to gather all the money in the store, get in a taxi and meet a man described as the owner’s fiancé at a McDonald’s in Milwaukee. Because of the ongoing internal investigation, she was to tell no one of her activities.

She followed his directions and handed off more than $400 to a man. After returning to the store, the man called to tell her she did a good job and would be receiving a raise. If the store took in any more money that day, she was to deliver that, too, he added.

You see that part I highlighted up there? That should be a big red warning flag that someone is trying to scam you. Why the hell would you be sent to a McDonald’s to hand over something as important as all of the store’s cash to the fiance of someone you’ve never met?

But don’t feel too bad, you weren’t the only idiot person to fall for it:

A second incident, this time at Things Remembered, never got to the point where a money drop was mentioned. But the caller did ask the employee to step into a bathroom, back office or hallway so he wouldn’t be overheard discussing a sensitive matter. He didn’t believe it was a coincidence that jewelry boxes valued at $120 were missing after the conversation.

The good news is that several other people at other stores, not yours, managed to realize it was a scam and hung up on the caller. You really have to be pretty gullible not to realize you were being scammed based on the stories you were being told, but perhaps the fellow sounded really authoritative so I probably shouldn’t judge.

5 thoughts on “SEB Pro Tip: Just because the voice on the phone claims he’s from the corporate office…

  1. Social engineering is still the most effective hack. “Hello, I’m from the Home Office technology support team. We’ve had a number of attempts to break into the system. Do you mind if I sit down at your console for a moment to check it? I’ll just be a few moments so you can grab a coffee if you like…”

  2. Those people who just hung up should have played along, called the cops, went as though to deliver the money, when the person accepted, then the cops could make an arrest and prevent further problems.

  3. I’d like to think that I’d think fast enough to sting the scammer, but usually I just consider myself lucky to have been clever enough to just hang up the phone.

  4. OMG Les, that happened not far from where I lived. And Mayfair Mall…that place has been a target ever since they remodeled it to be so upscale several years ago. Goes to show not everyone in the suburbs of Milwaukee are NOT the sharpest crayon in the box by AnY means.

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