Acupuncturists, as all professionals, may be targeted by fraudulent people. These people prey on the nurturing, kind assistant within most practitioners. Here’s what has transpired between Olive and myself.
My first contact was through a text. From a (623) area code: Arizona, but cell phones can travel. She texted, “I’m hearing impaired so we can only do text and e-mail.”
This is not true. California Relay Service has been around for a long time. Also, nowadays with the internet what it is, deaf people can hire an interpreter and see the interpreter on their phone and the interpreter can voice to the other party. Deaf people know all the latest technologies, even ones I may not know about. If this person found me on the internet, she may know that I know sign language, and possibly could do a video call where we both sign. But yes, it’s possible that people can find me and not know that.
She went on to say, “I only have my credit card. Do you have a credit card reader?” She left her g-mail address. I contacted her and at 3 AM my time, she sent this:
Thanks for the prompt reply, I'm hearing impaired, i am currently recuperating from an ear surgery, i want to make an appointment for an acupuncture session & medical consultation for my family, i want you to get back to me with the total estimate for initial and routine visit for 4 people : 2 Female (Aged 20 and 18) and 2 Male (Aged 19 and 22) for 1 month, 1hr daily, once per week, they will be coming with a private transportation driver for the service. I will be expecting your reply with the total cost and your Full name, address and direction for the private transport to locate your place when they are coming for the service.
She probably has my full name because of the e-mail, but surely she has my full name, because she knows I’m an acupuncturist. My name is on various sites where people can find health professionals in their area. I had told her I signed. What was strange to me is she’s calling herself hearing impaired. Most deaf people I know would never call themselves impaired, as I wouldn’t. I think that is a shocking term. But she could be new to being deaf. Also, deaf people don’t usually say “an ear surgery,” especially to a healthcare worker. They’d name it like “Cochlear Implant,” or whatever. When my clients-to-be talk about family members, they say, “My son,” or “My sister.” I saw all of this as acceptable, though. People are people and we’re all different. Then she mentioned the “private transportation driver.” My friends say, “I’m Uberring it…” or “They’ll take Uber,” or “I’m taking a cab.” But, hey, perhaps she has her own limo driver, who am I to say, so I gave the address of my place of business, along with questions such as has her doctor cleared her to have acupuncture needles placed in her head, and I wanted to know if any of them were allergic to anything: cats, essential oils,etc. (The age group she mentioned has had a lot of vaccines and allergies is highly likely.) I also informed her of the cost and my availability for the next month.
She replied at 4:25 AM my time, which feels like she really is even east of Arizona, but certainly not Los Angeles.
Thanks for the speedy response, i am okay with the total cost. I am still detained at the hospital for some days so i would be needing a favor from you as regards the private transportation driver that would be bringing them for the session. I have not made his payment to him due to his inability to have credit card facilities, so i want you to add the sum of $1000 to the cost so i can have everything charged on my card so when the funds clears into your account you can make the cash deposit of $1000 to the drivers account via cash deposit. For the stress, i would also like you to add a tip of $100 for handling this for me. You should add the CC company charges and get back to me with the total cost so i can make the full payment now and i would like to know how long it takes for funds to clear into your account. Here is the final breakdown below :
Your service: $
Private Driver: $1,000
Tips & Gratuity : $100
3% CC Surcharge: $100
In view of this i want you to get back to me with the grand total and
i will provide you with my credit card details to run through ASAP.
In all honesty, I have not read past "due to his inability to have credit card facilities." You feel like a fraud.
Good luck to you.
I would only accept cash from you now.
What do you think? Was I too hasty in your opinion? I feel that professionals should always look at an ID with the credit cards and never accept a transaction over the phone. They should swipe the card in their place of business.
I feel deaf Olive is a fraud.