Monday, 15 March 2010

Wal-Mart Telephone Scam in Canada

Today I received a strange call from someone with a thick ethnic accent of English. The caller claimed that I had won a “$100 gift voucher for shopping at Wal-Mart”. When I asked why did I win it, he told me that I had filled out “a ballot” while shopping at a “Wal-Mart shopping centre” at Westmount Avenue (a street where I have never been).

Let’s start from the beginning of the call. The caller was a male and sounded East Indian with influences of some other accents too. At times I could hardly discern the words he was trying to say. I got the phone call a little after the noon hour and the number that my caller ID showed was 000-012-3456.

The thing that struck me instantly was that he was asking for my wife, not me. It just so happens that I am not married neither do I have a girlfriend or any other romantic alliance. When I told him that there was no Mrs. So-And-So, he right away changed his stance and said that he was asking for Mr. So-And-So not otherwise. Yes, he had my name right. Most callers from telemarketing companies and their likes ask for “Mr. or Mrs. So-And-So” instead of just Mrs. I gave him the benefit of doubt on account of his bad accent.

Then he told me that I had filled out “a ballot” while shopping at a “Wal-Mart shopping centre” and as a result I had won a “$100 dollar gift voucher”, which, he later elaborated, was for Wal-Mart, too. Just look at the caller’s choice of words in inverted commas. He insisted that I had filled the “ballot” in the “shopping centre when you were shopping”, not online. Here’s the catch. I never fill any forms or “ballots” when I am shopping because of time constraints and, moreover, I haven’t been to any Wal-Mart in last three months or so. I gave him that too because it was not impossible for any of my family members to fill “a ballot” in my name if it was in and for a well-reputed store like Wal-Mart.

The caller told me that I could pick-up my “$100 gift voucher” at 42 Westmount Avenue. Note that there is no Wal-Mart at this address or anywhere close in its vicinity and, get that, it’s a residential address. It is a house, which, from Google Street View, looks like is in a well-to-do neighbourhood. He also gave me a postal code, which, I later discovered, did not match the street address that he gave me. By the way, even the postal code was not situated anywhere near a Wal-Mart or the original street address, for that matter.

He also gave me a telephone number to contact him which started with my city code and went on like (xyz) 800-9225. Although, he had told me that I could pick up the said “voucher” at any time between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM on any weekday, after giving me his telephone number, he told me that he needed to know when I was coming to pick it up. Then he told me to call him before I go to pick it up.

Near the end of the conversation, he asked me if I had a girlfriend. When I told him that I did not, he asked me if I had a female friend because I needed to bring a female with me as the voucher was for couples only. On my further inquiries, he told me that I could even bring a female blood relative for that purpose. Truly, this part of conversation was most surprising and in a way creepy with unthinkable premonitions.

I asked him if his records indicated the date I filled the “ballot”, he told that I did it on February 12, 2010, a day when I or my family did not do any shopping whatsoever.

A few moments after the termination of the phone call, I called the number he gave me and here’s what I heard: “We’re sorry. Your call cannot be completed as dialled. Please check the number and dial again.”

Later I called Wal-Mart and, needless to say, they told me it was a telephone scam to steal my identity. When I told the female representative of Wal-Mart that the caller had got my correct name and street address, she told me it is very easy to get it from Yes, I did find myself at along with my full address.

For the sake of preliminary analysis, let’s go back again. At the beginning of the phone call, he asked for my wife by saying Mrs. with my name. It could be because it was during the working hours. Or maybe because many scammers from Asia and even Africa are under the impression that it is easier to dupe women compared to men.

I think I am going to call the police.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah i got some dumb ass foreigner calling me up saying the same thing i said im sorry i cant understand you it sounds like you have a cock in your mouth lol