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“Just Energy” Scam Victim Speaks Out

Original article published on January 20, 2013 –

ENDICOTT (Mass) — As we’ve reported Binghamton, police say scam artists are going around telling local residents they can help them with their utility bills during these cold months if they sign up with a company called “Just-Energy”

Police say it’s a rip off. Richard Torres Maldonado says his family was a victim to the scam and their electric bill went from $40 to $300.

“They were a little aggressive, really pushy. They are trying to look for people young like us, or old people out there that are not smart enough to understand this isn’t real,” said Richard Torres-Maldonado.

Binghamton police say two twenty-year-old men are going door to door. Police say if anyone from “just energy” approaches you to call them at 723-5321.

Source: WICZ

Clicking this Topix link shows others from the New England area who’ve received phone calls from the Just Energy scammers last year, so it’s apparent that they’ve been around contacted home owners, trying to get their  personal information. They are described as pushy and will ask you for your utilities bill to go over “savings”. This is all a con.

 
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Posted by on 01/29/2013 in Other

 

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Jessica’s Story – A chronic email scam victim

When Jessica was in her seventies she decided to continue her late husband’s subscription to Readers Digest. She got heavily involved in a competition run by ”Tom Champagne” who convinced her, she was on the cusp of winning a large cash prize. To stay in with a chance she bought hundreds of pounds worth of books, tapes, CDs and various other things she neither needed nor could afford.

Jessicas-Story

Photo of Jessica

She never did receive a prize, but Tom Champagne sent her many cheques made out in her name. Once she tried to pay one into the bank, unfortunately Jessica hadn’t spotted the small wording that said the cheque was only a sample. She did however receive something for her loyalty; Tom Champagne sent her a plastic champagne glass, for her to use to celebrate her win. Needless to say it never did get used. Even though her family continually tried to explain that some companies use very devious sales techniques, she was still really disappointed. She wanted to financially help the ones she loved and donate money to the children’s charities she cared about so much. Jessica always enjoyed to give and had never been in a position to have much surplus cash.

As time passed Jessica received a very exciting letter, the letter looked like an important document and told her that if she sent a small fee it would release a large cheque that she had won in a competition. Jessica thought this was the big win that she had been waiting for from Tom Champagne and quickly sent off the fee. On the claim form she put down all her personal details. Unfortunately the letter wasn’t from Tom Champagne or Readers Digest it was her first scam letter. When family members realised what she had done they tried to explain that she had fallen for a scam. But Jessica had never heard about scam mail and refused to believe what they said. Of course no money ever arrived, but the amount of what appeared to Jessica to be fantastic mail started to increase.

Unbeknown to her, the scammers who sent that first scam letter had put her name on a suckers list and were selling her details to other criminals all over the world.

Jessica still refused to believe that her good news/excellent news mail was only worthless pieces of paper designed by criminals, to make her part with her cash.

As the weeks turned into months the amount of scam mail she was receiving, was getting ridiculous. Around 30 letters a day from all over the world that had things like Guaranteed Winner, Time Sensitive Document, Reply Immediately To Release Your Award and various other slogans and logos plastered all over them.

Jessica was soon sending nearly all of her pension each week to keep up with the scammer’s demands. So-called clairvoyants had also jumped on the bandwagon and were pretending to be her friends. The more the family tried to make her see the truth about what happening, the more the arguments erupted.

The “clairvoyants” convinced her that her family were jealous of her forthcoming wealth and said they were concerned for her welfare. She befriended a certain clairvoyant from Holland and she would send personal letters along with his payment. Others told her that they could see disaster and harm heading towards her or her family and if she sent them a fee they could keep bad luck away.

She would often sit up till 3am trying to keep up with the scammers demands. She had put so much cash into what she thought was the run up to a huge pay out and had promised to gift money to so many people, she just couldn’t focus her mind on anything else.

Jessica had never broken a promise and insisted she never would.

Her family could see every trick that the criminals were playing on her and the way they were all battling for her cash, but Jessica was under the spell and refused any outside help and even threatened to disown family members if they tried to interfere.

She was hording the scam mail all over her house it was in cupboards, drawers, wardrobes, the shed was full of knotted carrier bags bulging with scam mail. She continually gave out her phone number and the scammers would phone her late at night. Nothing seemed to matter to Jessica, her life revolved around the hundreds of letters her postman delivered each week. She would go without buying food, rather than miss a payment to a scam. Some family members gave up trying to make her see sense and formed the opinion that if she is stupid enough to respond she deserves to be scammed.

Jessica’s obsession made it appear as if she was sending her money willingly, but her youngest daughter Marilyn, could see her mum had been brainwashed by the volume and content of the scam mail.

Over some 5 years Jessica sent thousands of pounds to criminals and had also suggested releasing some equity from her house. Fortunately the house was in the name of her three children so she couldn’t sell it. She started to panic when she couldn’t find enough money to fill all the pre-addressed envelopes that had PO Box addresses all over the world. So she stopped paying her domestic bills. She told no one about the financial mess she was in…(Except her favorite clairvoyant from Holland) She started having panic attacks and palpitations, one of the clairvoyants who used fear as a way of extracting money told her that there was an evil force on a higher plain, Jessica had not been able to cover his “fee” to keep the evil away and thought that the evil was upstairs.

She became breathless and fearful every time she tried to climb up the stairs. Her body and mind were at breaking point with the continual torment that the scammers had inflicted on her over the years.

Jessica died on October 24 2007 she was 83 years old. On her death certificate it says cause of death pneumonia.

The source of this story Think Jessica is a anti-scam website created based on Jessica’s story. Click the link to view other scam victim stories and how to avoid scams.

 
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Posted by on 12/19/2012 in Victim Stories

 

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Video

Scam Victim Speaks Out

Fake check scam. Victim of a fake check scam tells his scam story.

Youtube video uploaded by ConsumerFederation

 
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Posted by on 11/26/2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Victim of Advance Fee Fraud

Victim Statement

12/00 – My name is Shahla Ghasemi and my husband is Dr. Ali-Reza Ghasemi, we are American citizens who live in Tampa, Florida.

This is what had happened to us and how we got involved in the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud. About 3 months ago, we got a phone call from Nigeria by a man named Dr. Ali Abubabker though I don’t believe that is his real name.

He introduced himself to us as the director of NNPC and used the number 234-1-774-1703. He said that he had a confidential message for my husband, but if we were to expose this message he could lose his job and his life. He told us that he would receive a very big commission from this.

The story that he told us was that one foreign contractor from our country who died transferred $27,400,000.00 to Dr. Ali Reza Ghasemi. We were very shocked as that is my husbands name. After that, he faxed all the documents and attached all the needed documents.

We looked over everything and they all seemed real, all bore the government’s official seals and stamps. Then he faxed us a copy of our bank information, which we filled out and faxed back to him.

On August 14,2000 we received a letter from the bank which stated that we needed to hire a power of attorney. His name is F.A. Williams and his telephone is 234-1-774-0939. We contacted Mr. Williams and he asked us to send him $7,250.00 for the court registration fee through Western Union.

We sent the money with a fee, which came out to be $7,565.00. After they had received the payment, Mr. Williams said that everything was ready but, calling from the bank, asked us for a copy of SEPA.

We had no idea what that was, so we called Dr. Abubaker who said that he didn’t have the form and thought that maybe the original contractor hadn’t paid for it. They then asked us for $27,400.00 but with a fee we paid nearly $30,000.00 through Western Union.

After two days, Mr. Williams had called and congratulated us. He said that our money had been transferred and he faxed me a copy of the transaction, which stated that our money had left the bank and was on its way into our account.

In that same week, Dr. Abubaker had faxed me his confirmation ticket saying that he was on his way into America, and that we should send him money to buy his ticket.

The following day Mr. Williams called and said that our money had been stopped because of a shorting tax that needed to be paid which hadn’t been paid. He faxed me an invoice for $63,250.00 bill for the tax. We transferred this money through our bank to Prism Company at Nigeria.

Two days later he called and said that everything was fine. He said that we should be hearing from our bank representative very soon. Two days later we received a call from Carlos White from Atlanta, Georgia in America. He introduced himself as a NCB Bank Representative with the phone number of 404-944-1842. He said that our money was ready and that we needed to fly to Atlanta to transfer the account into our account.

We asked why and he said because the money was big and he needed to transfer the money in front us. He told us to bring a copy of our driver license, a copy of the contract, and $11,500 in cash. The same evening my husband, daughter, and myself flew to Atlanta and got a hotel room.

Then next day we called Mr. White to make an appointment with him at our bank, First Union. He said that he had to send a bank representative to our hotel room. When we got back, he sent two men by the names of Mustafa Sharief and Agu Jbreh.

They received all the documents and $11,500 in cash and then they told us to wait for two hours at which time our money would be transferred into our account. We waited for a few hours and kept calling the bank and they had said that no transaction had occurred. So we decided to head back to Tampa.

While we were in line checking our bags and reserving our tickets, we were contacted by Mr. White by our cell phone. We told him that we were leaving and ready to go back to Tampa.

He got very mad and said that we couldn’t go back because the transaction hadn’t been closed yet and that he still needed to talk to us. We went back to our hotel and we had to reserve another room.

We called Mr. White and he said that he would be sending two people. After two hours, two people arrived by the names of Mustafa Sharife and the other didn’t give his name, but I do remember his face.

They came and told us that the government of Nigeria had approved our payment to be physical cash. We asked them what that meant and they said that it was real physical cash. Then they asked us to go to their car to see the cash and get the cash or to wait and transfer the money into our bank account.

They said that the money couldn’t get into our account until it had been cleaned. We asked them what they meant and they went to the car and came back with 5 pieces of black paper. Then they went into the bathroom sink and with some chemicals cleaned the black paper and it turned out to be $100.00 bills.

We told them that it was fine. They could clean the money and deposit it into our account. Then Mr. Sharrif called Carlos White and he said that we had to pay for the chemicals, we asked how much they need and he said it was $185,000.

We asked him if he could take the $185,000 from the money but he said that he could not touch the original money. Then we decided to go back to Tampa.

From that night we decided to contact the Nigerian government and our attorney Mr. Williams. I called Dr. Abubaker and I called Mr. Williams, they acted normal and they didn’t appear to know what Mr. White had told me. Mr. Williams told me that he had to go and speak with the president of Nigeria in Abuja and get his advice.

Two days later, he called me and said that we had no choice but to pay the money for the chemicals, but he said that we should send him a copy of the receipt so that after the government received their money from America and Japan in January or February they would reimburse my money that we paid them for the chemicals.

Mr. White was calling me and asking me for money for the chemicals. Finally we wired $150,000 to them. Two days later, Mr. White called me from Atlanta and asked for a Rolex watch for the president of Nigeria so that he could impress the president and get a better job in Nigeria. In addition, he wanted $350,000.

The $350,000 was for the purpose of opening an account for me for a CBN transit account. I told him that he didn’t tell us anything about this before, he told us after he had cleaned the money.

That same day I spoke to our consultant and told him what happened to us and he said that we had been involved in a scam. He showed us the many different stories and example on the Internet of this scam and the many different victims that it had happened to.

We lost almost $400,000 on this matter. We are just a middle class family, my husband is a physician and I am a nurse. We borrowed money from many different places to pay to these people. Now we lost our credit and everything else.

I called my bank and I asked them for a refund, my bank requested a refund through the Bank of New York. I got the number for the Bank of New York and asked them where they sent my money.

The representative said that they had sent the money to Lagos in Nigeria and Beirut in Lebanon, I asked for the phone number of the banks but they said that they didn’t have it.

They said that they had a representative at Nigeria who works for the Bank of New York. He is at Lagos and his name is Mr. Shay (phone number 234-1-2693327).

The bank said that they sent the money to him and he sent it to the Bank of Omega (phone number is 234-1-2620851). I called to the Omega Bank Director, Mrs. Odunsi. I explained the situation and I faxed a letter of complaint.

She said they got the money from the Bank of New York. She then said the money was sent to the Atlantic Precision LTD (phone number is 234-1-2640120). The manager is Mr. Ikye, Eugwu.

I spoke with Mr. Eugwu and I requested for a refund, I am yet waiting for his action towards this manner. On November 2, 2000, I contacted with Mr. Eugwen Ikye, (director of Atlantic Precision LTD concerning when he was going to refund my money. He said that he couldn’t refund the money because he paid the money to Mr. Ibrahim Bashiru (phone numbers are 234-1-775-3112, 234-1-493-3445, and 234-1-804-3445).

I said “Mr. Eugwn I sent my money from America to the Atlantic Precision LTD and it is your responsibility to collect my money from whoever received it.” He then said “I am not a collector and don’t call me anymore,” after that he hung up.

After that incident I called Mr. Bashrim and I explained what Mr. Eugwn had told me from the Atlantic Precision LTD, he said that he had received the money and would not be refunding it.

I asked who he is and did you give anything in replace of my money, he said that it is their business; this is the way we live. I told him that I am going to call the police at Nigeria and I am going to send a letter to the Nigerian President.

He said that he didn’t care and used an excessive amount of profanity towards the President and the police. Then he proceeded on by saying that this is another way of income besides the oil that is coming into the country.

He said that the President and the government knows about this. He also proceeded on by using curses and also by threatening. Now I believe that not only are Dr. Ali Abubaker ( James Cardoso ), Mr. F.A. Williams ( Ola Michael ), Mr. Carlos White (real name Ojbe, Onokaite and phone number in America is 404-944-1842) but also Mr. Bashiru and Atlantic Precision LTD are also included in this scam.

I have also found the number for the director of CBN from the Internet. His name is Mr. Joseph Sanusi (phone number 234-1-266-0100) to tell him about how the people are using the CBN’s name improperly.

I decided to call him and one person who answered his phone proceeded on to tell me to call him at his private number (011-234-1-775-4327). I called him and told him my contract number and he said that everything was fine with my contract.

He also asked me to fax the document to his attention at 44-870-134-9987. I asked him where this is and he said it is at London. It was then where I found out that this is another scammer. I hope that Mr. Joseph Sanusi can read this and find out who is really working for him and answering his calls.

In conclusion, I would just like to point out that these scammers have created a horrible name for Nigeria. The people won’t trust anyone from that country and yes there are some wonderful and innocent people out there whom our money should go to, but not to these cons.

Source: Crimes-Of-Persuasion

 
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Posted by on 11/19/2012 in Other, Uncategorized

 

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Man Commits Suicide After Falling For An Online Romance Scam (2009 Article)

Hessle

Pictured; Hessle station in East Yorkshire near where Philip Hunt took his own life on August 13, 2009..

GRIMSBY, UK — A Grimsby man took his own life after he fell victim to an online dating scam that promised him the love of a “beautiful woman” – but instead left him with debts of over £80,000.

An inquest in Hull heard that at around 9.30pm on Thursday, August 13, 2009, 58-year-old Philip Hunt, of St Catherine’s Court, was struck by a train in Hessle. A post mortem examination revealed he had suffered multiple injuries and that his death was “instantaneous”.

The jury took just 15 minutes to return a unanimous verdict of suicide to the coroner Geoffrey Saul.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said Mr Hunt had “insurmountable debts” and was the victim of a common scam known as the Nigeria Letter or 419 Fraud.

The inquest heard he had been targeted by someone posing on an online dating agency as a Nigerian woman called Rose, in December 2008. She convinced him she was young, fabulously rich and if he could help transfer $2.9million from Nigeria to the UK then they could start a new life together, an inquest heard today.

Mr Hunt told his ex-girlfriend Lesley Smith – who gave evidence at the inquest – that “Rose” had promised him a share of her father’s estate if he could help her get 2.9-million US dollars into the country.

Ms Smith tried to warn Mr Hunt against it, telling him it was a ‘scam,’ but he was head over heels and blinded by the love of this impostor and believed the scammer over his former girl-friend of three years. 

The 58-year-old was so hooked on the fantasy of a future with the stunning ‘Rose’ and he willingly paid out tens of thousands of pounds to help her beat malaria and get her funds through customs and into the UK.

The cargo officer remortgaged his house, took out loans, ran up overdrafts and begged for cash from his employers after repeatedly transferring money across to the fraudsters’ account.

Ms Smith said Mr Hunt – who had worked as a cargo officer for DFDS Tor Line, Immingham, for the last 14 years – had sent her a text in January last year, saying: “There are amazing things happening in my life”.

She told the inquest: “He told me that this lady needed to come to England with this case of money to be able to convert it into usable money. “He retrieved a suitcase from City Airport in London and under instruction went to a hotel room and waited there.”

The inquest was told by British Transport Police that he was met by two men, who revealed the case was full of blank paper. They showed Mr Hunt how they could “turn one of them into a 100 dollar bill” with the use of a liquid solution.

Eventually he became so hopelessly mired in debt that he committed suicide by lying down in front of a train.

Mr Hunt appeared to believe in Rose until the very end. His mobile phone was found in a rucksack near his body and a text message to Rose – which was never sent – read: ‘I’m cold, lonely and depressed, I’m so lonely without you tonight. Going to meet my maker..’

 
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Posted by on 10/24/2012 in Romance Scam, Uncategorized

 

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