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devil duck

cold call

Hudebnik: Hello?

Caller: May I speak to $HUDEBNIK?

H: Yes, you've got him.

C: Hi, I'm calling from Caribbean Cruise Lines. You may remember you took an online survey a month or two back; well, congratulations, you've won a free cruise to the Bahamas. We're running this promotion because, due to the recession, we have a lot of empty cabins, and we'd rather fill them for free with people who will go home and tell their friends what a great time they had than not fill them at all. This promotion has been advertised nationwide on radio and TV by our spokesperson Carmen Electra. Now, I have to say at the outset that this offer is available only to major credit-card holders, because if you want to pay for something extra on-board (like alcohol, or gambling, or gifts), they only take credit cards. [snip elaborate description of food, staterooms, casinos, etc.] Again, the cruise is completely free; the only cost you would be responsible for is a $59 per person government port tax.

H: So where's the time-share they'll try to sell me?

C: There's no time-share, no catch. Are you near a computer? I'll walk you through the web site; you can see the video with our spokesperson Carmen Electra here, and the company web site is here. [snip elaborate description of recreational activities and tax-free shopping in Nassau]

H: What survey is it, by the way, that got me on your list?

C: Could be anything; we work with five different corporations. I don't know what survey, I'm just the notifier. Anyway, the only blackout dates are December 24 through January 4, because those are high-demand time periods. So all we need to secure your cruise for any other time in the next eighteen months is the $59 per person port tax. Which credit card would you like to put that on?

H: Look, I'm not giving my credit card to somebody who cold-called me on the phone. If I called you, maybe. I'll take a look at the Web site and convince myself that this is legit...

C: This is a first-called, first-served offer. If you prefer, you can look over the Web site at your leisure and get the same cruise for $500/person. I'll leave you to that.


Postscript: So we looked at the Web sites. The one with the video looks very professionally-done, and I'd be willing to believe that it's associated with a real cruise company. It doesn't mention anything about a free-cruise promotion. The other one, caribbeancruiseline.com, forwards to a different domain, vacationstogo.com (which is a little fishy but not necessarily a problem). But even if the company is real, and even if it were running a free-cruise promotion, what evidence do I have that the guy on the phone is even remotely connected with the cruise line?

Comments

Yeah... A friend of my got roped into that (I thought she was smarter than that...) and got taken for a LOT of money.
Sounds like a scam to me. Good call!
Um, yeah. Especially because he spent an awful lot of time with you for a mere $59 payout ...
Referring a potential victim to an unrelated legitimate site that is easily verifiable and recognizable as a legitimate business is a pretty well known method for establishing trust in social engineering scams.