Here’s how things went after I was contacted by the company attending CES in Las Vegas earlier this month regarding someone using a link to a post of mine in TechVibes tried to scam some free equipment:
I left a message with the Vancouver police, and they contacted me the next day. I gave them the information I had about the Mark Drucker character in Vegas, and as instructed, I called Equifax and put a 6‑year watch on my credit card accounts. Frankly, I’m fine with this. I’d always like to know when a credit card account is being opened (even if I do it), and a phone call confirmation is not that much of an inconvenience. In fact, Dear Credit Card Companies, wouldn’t it be seen as an advantage that you take some pains to make sure that the credit card applications you are getting are legit? Come to think of it, isn’t bad credit on mortgages what started the whole downward spiral in the US economy last year?
At any rate, as far as I knew, that would be the end of my brush with a fraudster. Silly me, I should have known that it wasn’t just one booth at CES that this guy would try to scam (although I don’t believe he provided my link this time, but simply the Time Magazine story). This morning I got an email from another vendor, who has commented below. Here’s an excerpt:
The article you wrote on ID Thief saved me and the company I work for a pile of money! Recently, I was an exhibitor at the CES show in Las Vegas. A man named “Mark Drucker” from TIME Magazine approached me at my booth and asked if he could write an article on my products and that he would like samples. He offered me an interview on an article he was going to write. I thought, great! This will give my product line huge exposure and PR! I sent out all of my samples this past Friday and began following up with my show leads. I have been communicating with “Mark” over the phone and e‑mail.
I felt a little bit wary about this “Mark Drucker” character because when I contacted TIME Magazine, they said there is no one by that name employed with the company! I decided to Google his name. My jaw dropped to the ground after reading your article/blog on Stop ID Thief. I was able to contact UPS and have my samples sent back to me before they were delivered to “Mark Drucker.”
You saved me and I’m blessed to have read your article just in the nick of time. It’s unfortunate that people like this are going around scamming people like me and you. I want to thank you for posting your blog/article. You have been a huge help and you have saved the company I work for a lot of money and time. I will be contacting GES (company responsible for organizing CES SHOW), the F.B.I. in Las Vegas in regards to this “Mark Drucker” phony, and TIME Magazine. I might not get far, but it’s worth a try right?
He then included the guys local address and phone number, which matched the one I had gotten from the other company. I’ve contacted the Vancouver police and left a message that I’ve got some more information on the this guy’s activities.
So I guess this is an example of a blog helping to fight back. I’m glad that it worked out, and it also shows that scammers may have a harder time getting away with their ruses, although it does depend on the information about the scam getting out in time. Still, it gives me a little hope that a blog can actually help in a situation like this. And if the gentleman from Vegas is in fact reading this, he should now know that more than one vendor is on to him.