Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is the perfect location for the crooks to use the Bumpkin Bump scam. In fact a variation on that scam was used here Dumaguete City just recently. The victim was a sweet lady trying to help a stranger understand modern technology. The next victim might be you.

The “Bumpkin Bump” uses your desire to help a stranger in trouble and ends up costing you money. Here is how it works.

The crook may pretend to be a foreigner unfamiliar with local banks or merely an ignorant villager from the country who does not know how to use an ATM machine. He will “flash” an envelope full of cash he wants to put into the bank. He will claim to not know how to operate the ATM machine and worried he can not get his money back once it is in the bank. He asks you to show him how things work by drawing funds out of our account. Usually he will ask you to hold his money and yours in the envelope whilehe runs to get the rest of his money for deposit.

He never returns and when you check the envelope, all you find is cut newspapers. Your money is gone and so is his. The example I gave is typical but there are minor variations in many countries. Anytime someone wants you to remove money from your account, be very wary. It very likely is a scam to steal that money. How does he switch the money? There are several techniques but the usual one is to drop the packet. The switch takes place when he bends over to pick it up.

What you do if this cruel heartless crook attempts to make you his next victim? First, do not confront him. A crook desperate to stay out of jail might harm you. You should invent some plausible excuse not to play his game. I suggest saying something like you would like to help, but you have drawn the limit on your account for today. Explain that some people put a limit on the amount money that can be taken out on any single day to prevent theft. Offer to demonstrate the procedure but do not remove any money. He will usually move on to his next gullible victim. Finally, look at his person closely so that whey you report his suspicious behavior to the police. A good idea is to note scars or other distinguishing features that can later be used to capture this person before he can hurt others. We need to put scum like this out of business.

Finally, knowledge is power. Again, share this information with friends and neighbors who might not read my column. Be an everyday hero and help keep our community safe.

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