Tag Archives: Seniors and Scams

Only Child hits beauty scam in Toronto’s Yorkville

It’s a good thing I was a journalist for 35  years. My instincts about when to be wary and question what is going on are still with me. Like yesterday when I was walking along Cumberland St. on the way back to Bay St. and was stopped by two young men in dark suits standing outside 108 Cumberland. No, not Jehovah Witnesses. As much as some of us don’t like their tactics, at least they are real and upfront.

Not so these young men and the bitch sitting inside the beauty shop. One young man handed me a packet of some face cream and gave me a talk about it. I mentioned something about allergies and have to be careful what I put on my face and he lead me inside the store to show me something else they carry. At first I thought it was another sample packet, but he gave me a demonstration of some under the eye reducer of puffiness. Okay, so far. Then he opened a photo album and showed me some before and after photos of his mother who he said was in his 80s in relation to another product, an anti-aging cream

Then the bitch sitting at one of the tables jumped into the act. The young man at first said she was his eye doctor and she only worked three hours a day. But when she went full force into her act it was clear she was not that. She worked for this store and was probably the manager. She went into a big spiel about I look like someone famous (the name of who escapes me now) and I said I was not her but was a mystery writer. Her tirade went on something like this.

I have nice skin on my cheeks but there are wrinkles around my mouth and my neck is a disaster.

I was wearing sunglasses because the sun was shining and my eye doctor (a real ophthalmologist) says I must wear my heavy duty-prescription sun glasses out in the sun. Ms. Bitch said, “you won’t even remove your sunglasses for me.”

She tried some collagen cream on me – said it was hyper allergenic and then went into her try to get me to buy the product spiel. Non-stop she went and when I said I couldn’t afford it she said “it’s not that you can’t afford it, you are just cheap.” She said I should do something for myself and insinuated that writing was not doing something for me.

She obviously knows nothing about writing. Writers write because they have to – for whatever reason – but they are doing it for themselves; if for no other reason it is their creative outlet. But what does this bitch know – she is too wrapped up in scamming people.

I told her I needed to see if the product caused an allergic reaction before I even considered buying it. She said that I could return it in two weeks and get a full refund if I got an allergic reaction.

No! No! I needed to see if the sample gave me an allergic reaction first. But she kept on with her spiel, which included lowering the price of the cream and then saying she would throw in  for free he other product which the fellow had put under my eyes. She said one time offer and if her manager (who she said was away) found out, would not like it. Really? I bet she is the manager.

And the guy? He wasn’t as bad, but give him a few months more of practice. No way his mother is in her 80s as he is around 35. She would be just past menopause when he was born then. Do the math. The woman in the photo may not even be his mother.

Ms. Bitch kept pushing and pushing for me to buy. I finally said, “I don’t like to be pushed.” And walked out of the store.

I didn’t look back to see the looks on their faces. But I’ll bet they didn’t see that coming.

As I continued walking along Cumberland, I could feel some reaction with the cream near my mouth. I whipped out a facial tissue and wiped and wiped. Fortunately I seemed to have caught it in time. Strangely, the cream under my left eye gave me no bad reaction and actually reduced the puffiness temporarily.

Back at home, on my laptop, I did some Google Research. The number 108 Cumberland Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, appears to have three different businesses. One, Forever Flawless, seems to have been taken over by Lionesse Cosmetics and Bar. Lionesse Cosmetics is a US chain and has a reputation for these hard sells and some even call them scams – at least at their Cumberland Address and their Las Vegas address. The company is not a member of the Better Business Bureau in Canada or the US.  Here’s a link to what others who have run into this have to say about this Cumberland location on Yelp. And for their Las Vegas location. Read down a bit and you’ll see the scam part. Sound familiar to my experience?

I felt elated and empowered that I stood up to this scam – and without yelling at them. Just that one sentence “I don’t like to be pushed.” And walking out.

What do you think? Have you ever been scammed? Or caught a scam and ?

Comments, please. The public needs to be educated and warned.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Consumerism, Only child, Seniors

Only Child says beware telephone fraudsters

telephone_rotaryWhen I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s the worst telephone problems were wrong numbers, kids playing tricks with possibly the odd harrassing call. The funniest one my Mom, Dad and I received was from someone calling for a taxi. We weren’t a taxi company but we had almost the same phone number as the cab company, except for one number. The taxi calls were annoying but not dangerous.

Not so nowadays. Telephone fraud is running rampant. Sometimes I think it gets forgotten with all the online scams and frauds. But phone fraud is real and sometimes  connected to your computer.

We seniors have to be especially vigilant as we are prime targets for these fraudsters. I am a former journalist with a jaded suspicious outlook on life, so I am vigilant. And angry when these buggers call me. Often it is a recorded message – even when you mistakenly pick it up and don’t let it go to voice mail.

The past week it has been two calls in particular – coming repeatedly during each day.

One is the fake Canada Revenue Agency call that if you don’t call them back you could be arrested. If you call the number they will want you to pay thousands of dollars and they use the arrest threat. I haven’t called them back because I had heard of this scam before. In fact my friend across the street was getting them last week too (do they target by geographic region?) and after four calls he phoned the Toronto Police Services. So beware calls from this number with the message to call the same number back 855-888-5927. This is not the CRA. I haven’t called the police yet because my online research shows they and other regulatory organizations are well aware of this fraud and this number.

The second call (again recorded) claims to be from the CIBC (bank), a Mississauga, Ontario branch and the caller (a woman) even has the nerve to state “this is not a scam.” But the kicker, what alerted me was the start of the call  where it mentions the name of the person they are contacting. It wasn’t my name and the name was inserted into the recorded message. They gave a reference number (8581721) you are supposed to use when you call them back at 866-751-2167. I didn’t call them back but I did put a complaint (online) into the National Do Not Call list. I also finally put my name and number on their list for those not wishing to be called by Telemarketers – although there are some exceptions of who can still call. And it takes a month to be effective – telemarketers have to update their lists you know.

Third one I’ve been phoned on is the Microsoft computer fraud. First off it is not Microsoft doing this – Microsoft may be guilty of other things, but not this one. I believe the way this fraud/scam works is that after the caller says he is from Microsoft, he tells you there is a problem with your computer and you have to give him your password. I didn’t let the fellow get any farther than stating he was calling from Microsoft. The first one I called him on his scam and he hung up. The second one stayed on the line a bit longer saying “It’s Microsoft.” Not likely. Microsoft doesn’t call you. I finally told him if he didn’t stop calling I’d call the police and I hung up.

What can you do when you get a suspicious phone call?

Never give out any personal information, including passwords.

If you are suspicious, you can hang up – but if you can get their phone number that is even better. Then you can go to http://findwhocallsyou.com/ and type in the phone number. Or chances are there are many more who have complained about the same number. Scroll down their numbers and click on the comments. The fake CRA one is listed.

Call your police department.

If in Canada, there is the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre run jointly by the RCMP, OPP and Federal Competition Bureau.

Get on a national do not call list.

Don’t answer the phone, but take note of the number and time of call. Chances are the most insistent fraudsters will leave a message in your voice mail.

More information on what to do and what not to do is at the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre 

And yes, details about the tax scam is on their site. So are details about other current scams – phone and online and who to report to about them. There is information on how to contact them as well, to report a fraud instance, online or call 1-888-495-8501. The website is updated daily.

Unfortunately we can’t go back to simpler phone times. And if I sound like an old you-know-what longing for past days, you got that right. Our world today is not really nice in many ways. So be vigilant while trying to enjoy what is good – like books, gardens, food, friends and family (not necessarily in that order).

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

Only child prepares to battle telephone fraudsters.

Only child prepares to battle telephone fraudsters.

 

 

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Filed under 1950s, 1960s, Consumerism, Microsoft, Telephone Fraud and Scams