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Tue Sep 28, 2021, 01:00 AM

 

'He held me hostage with no gun but with his words': The phone scam gaslighting therapists

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/phone-scam-therapists-16483251.php

It started with a voice mail on Jaime Bardacke’s cell phone that sounded work-related. It came on Father’s Day, and the licensed clinical social worker was driving back to her San Francisco apartment after visiting family, eager to eat dinner and watch the NBA playoffs.

That message kicked off a harrowing 6˝-hour odyssey during which she was fleeced of thousands of dollars as she drove around San Francisco and the Peninsula on the phone with a swindler — who was in her head both literally through her earbuds and metaphorically through manipulation tactics.


The caller instructed her to go a nearby ATM. Her daily withdrawal limit was $800. He told her to increase the limit via the bank’s app, but she couldn’t do it — “I was getting more and more flustered; it was hard to figure out” — so he told her to call the bank while he stayed on the line, listening in. She upped the limit to $1,500 and withdrew that amount.

The caller told Bardacke to go to a nearby Safeway to buy prepaid Visa cards with the money.


I know part of me has empathy. This could happen to anyone, I would like to say. But read the whole article. I wonder if Therapists are vulnerable to being conned more than other professionals.



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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 01:45 AM

1. Check out some videos about those who fuck with these pieces of shit

Kitboga being the most notorious. He'll keep them on the phone for hours just fucking with them. Scamming scammers is becoming a big thing to get back at these people

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Response to vercetti2021 (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:29 PM

12. I've seen guys wipe out the PCs and even entire networks of these scammers.

It's viciously entertaining.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 07:50 AM

2. I can't feel sorry.

Hang the phone up, especially if someone is asking you to withdraw money or asking for personal info.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 12:44 PM

3. I'm surprised that anyone who is supposedly well educated, like a therapist,

wouldn't already know that these kinds of calls are always, always scams.

Especially the part about withdrawing money and buying prepaid cards. This information has been out there for years now. Perhaps those who fall for it have never been on social media, don't read a newspaper, never watch TV, least of all the news. I mean, how large is the rock you have to be living under not to have learned about these scams by now?


I periodically get similar bullshit calls and just hang right up. And I'm not a therapist.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 12:51 PM

4. There were some theories in the article about why therpists are being targeted:

It seems ironic that therapists, who understand psychology, would be particularly vulnerable, but there are some reasons.

One is that a threat to a therapist’s license is a powerful motivator because their livelihood depends on that.

Another is that many therapists are committed to trying to understand other people and see their humanity.

“There’s an empathy therapists have that I think can get easily exploited,” Bardacke said.

(snip)

“Any person can be susceptible to one of these scams,” said Castel, the UCLA professor. “It’s not just lonely older people. It’s often very intelligent, rational people who are looking to solve a problem. Victims aren’t necessarily gullible, ignorant or uneducated; often it is the exact opposite.”

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 06:42 PM

6. The article found a few nice ways to say gullible without using the "G" word. NT

 

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Tue Sep 28, 2021, 12:53 PM

5. I think the fact that anyone can fall for these scams goes to show how vulnerable we are as a

society. This particular scam plays on the fear therapists have of losing their licenses. Once you lose your profession, you're in direct danger of losing your house and means of support.

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:01 AM

7. While I am sympathetic to the idea that this could happen to anyone.

 

The details of driving from store to store buying gift really stretches my credulity.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 10:33 AM

9. Meaning you don't believe it happened, or...?

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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #9)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 12:03 PM

10. I've think the people Who fell for this

 

Are particularly well... they have a disposition to perhaps not critically think.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 01:10 PM

11. Studies find that people fall for scams like this one because they're human.

The scammer plays on traits we all have: a desire to help, a desire to do the right thing and fix a problem, fear of social or financial failure, fear of being exposed, and the tendency to keep going even when things get weird. A person is vulnerable when they're surprised, and these days, we're all preoccupied with something. If a person hasn't heard about a particular scam -- people who get scammed generally don't like to talk about it afterward, because they often find others second-guess them -- then when the scam hits them, they don't instantly think "scam," they think, "what is going on, this person must tell me more."

I have two friends who were taken in by scammers -- one a freelancer who got a fake IRS call talking about back taxes (a big concern among freelancers) and one a mother who got a call from someone saying he was a lawyer representing her son in a car accident. Both were caught by these calls in the middle of something else (the freelancer driving in rush hour, the mother dealing with a sick family member). Critical thinking, as an objective examination, is highly susceptible to outside influences, no matter how good someone is at it.

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Response to cinematicdiversions (Original post)

Thu Sep 30, 2021, 09:09 AM

8. I am beyond reason with the multiple attempts via my supposedly unlisted numbers and emails...

which come into my home daily, sometimes hourly, trying to rob me, take me away from other real business, and my pursuit of happiness.

I would throw my full support behind any candidate for any office who would seriously go after these criminals.

The amount of damage to the legitimate economy waged by this activity must be staggering.

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