‘I didn’t fall off the turnip truck,’ man tells scam caller

Caller told man he won $7,000 and wanted his banking numbers

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: June 7, 2011, 8:04 PM

 

A Vancouver man told a would-be scammer he didn’t just fall off the turnip truck Tuesday after the man called to say he won a $7,000 grant from the U.S. government.

The caller had a foreign accent and told the Vancouver man, “I work for the U.S. government.”

He asked for the local man’s bank-account numbers, adding, “I can’t do anything for you unless you give me your bank numbers.”

The local man, age 51, who lives near East Fourth Plain Boulevard and Andresen Road, said he refused to give up his personal information and hung up on the caller.

The U.S. government grant scam, and others like it, has been used for years in pitches over the phone, in the mail and in emails, officials say.

Sometimes scammers send legitimate-looking “checks,” asking that their intended victims deposit them in their bank accounts and wire some cash to the scammer.

Later, bank employees determine the checks are worthless.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.