Scamming the Scammers

It’s estimated that Americans lose about $200 million a year to telephone scammers, people who phone or email unsuspecting individuals who unwittingly share their financial information with them.  Now, some would-be victims are turning the t

Twenty-five-year old Amy Wellman just hit the jackpot!  At least that's according to the person on the other end of the phone call.

“So how much did I win?” asked Wellman.

“Ok, it's $8,400,” said the caller.

“$8,400?” Wellman said with surprise. “Wait, who's giving it to me? The U.S. government?”

“Yes, U.S. government, Treasury Grant Department,” said the caller.

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The U.S. Government treasury grant department? What the heck is that? And it gives away money? Forget about it! It doesn't exist. This is a total scam! Amy is talking to a con-artist who's trying to obtain her bank account information so that she can steal every dime Amy has.

 “When I realized it was a scam, I just decided to get sarcastic and throw out a few jokes and see if she caught on,” Wellman said.  “Basically that was my scam. I was like, I've got to record this right now. This is unbelievable.”

Scamming the scammers, also known as scam-baiting, is a video sensation burning up YouTube. Honest people are turning the tables on the bad guys, videotaping calls from con artists and scammers.

Wellman told he caller, “I'm going to quit my job now that you're giving me all this money.”

“Okay, so,” said the caller.

“I am just so excited,” said Wellman.

“Are you married or single?” asked the caller.

“Um, I'm single right now. I can't figure out why though,” she said.

With her roommate just off-camera encouraging her, Wellman gives out the "information" the con artist has practically been begging for, saying, “All right, so my bank account, the one that you're going to send it to, the name of the bank was Piggy Bank, you got that?”

“Yes, I got it,” said the caller. “All right, well, is it a checking account or it's a savings account?”

Wellman replied, “Umm, I guess you would call it a savings account. I've saved up a lot in my piggy bank.”

Wellman was relentless. You almost feel sorry for the con artist who seems willing to believe anything she tells her, just to get at her money.

“Okay, and I have your zip code number is 12345, is that right?” asked the caller.

“Yeah, 12345,” replied Wellman.

Wellman noted, “I thought it was sarcastic enough that she was going to catch on. But I think she saw someone on the hook and just kept going.”

“Thank you very much. You are so patient and so kind,” said the caller.

“You're welcome. Have a great day. Bye,” said Wellman.

We're pretty certain the con artist soon realized that she's the one who was conned. Wellman says she posted the video on YouTube as a warning to others.

“I'd hate for some elderly person or someone that's retired to get that phone call and lose all their retirement or their entire life savings. That would be awful. I mean, I’m glad I can laugh but it's a serious situation that can cause a lot of damage to people's lives,” said Wellman.