Monthly round up of scams. July 2008

The scam that inspired a poem
WalesOnline – United Kingdom

I JOINED our local OAP group last year and was asked to bring along my favourite poem. Not having an interest in poetry or having a book of poems meant I was in quite a quandary. However, the day before the meeting I received a scam letter, so I wrote this poem:

It’s a Scam

Today I received a letter that contained some very good news,

I’d like to impart its message and ask you for your views.

The letter said that I had won nearly 50,000 pounds.

So why am I suspicious, I surely had no grounds?

The letter came from Holland and it said it was not a joke.

So I’d like to share this fortune with all of you good folks.

They asked me to send them a very little cheque.

I’m writing to thank them, and thought what the heck.

Deduct the £20 I owe – deduct it from the prize.
And send the balance back post haste. I await a big surprise.

DILYS MORGAN, Church Terrace

6 Bay Area Women Arrested In Gift Card Scam
CBS 5 – San Francisco,CA,USA
Sacramento police announced Tuesday the details of a gift card scam that has netted the arrests of six women, some from Richmond in the Bay Area of Northern California, that are allegedly part of an international crime ring.

A group of women, who investigators are calling the “Richmond Girls,” allegedly went on shopping sprees around Northern California, using gift cards with stolen credit card information on them, police said.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Detective Sean Smith said that the women, who targeted stores from Hayward to Roseville in eastern Sacramento County, earned the nickname because all of them are either from or have close ties to Richmond. Smith also said that there’s a “significant number of other suspects we’re attempting to identify” in the investigation.

The women allegedly wired more than $120,000 to various countries in Eastern Europe, where investigators believe individuals paid for the stolen account numbers. Sanna Louise “Shilo” Cross, 23, and Dawn Edward, 31, were arrested on Dec. 30, 2007. Cherice Dempsey, 37, and Melissa Anderson, 29, were both arrested on Jan. 19.

Davina Hollier, 27, was arrested Feb. 19, while Ebony McDowell, 21, the last woman of the group to be arrested, was taken into custody on April 10.

The suspects are being held at the Sacramento County Main Jail, and face more than 180 charges of identity theft and fraud between them. Investigators recovered more than 65 re-encoded gift cards and more than $1 million in fraudulent credit card transactions, along with $45,000 in cash and an estimated $80,000 in merchandise.

The investigation, spearheaded by the Sacramento Valley Hi-Tech Crimes Task Force, is still ongoing, and has involved various police organizations in Northern California, including Richmond police. The U.S. Secret Service also joined the investigation to look into the international aspect of the case.

Scamdex advises all US-based victims of Internet Crime to contact their local Police Unit for  ‘High-Tech’ Crimes.

Scam uses text messages to lure victims
Kentucky.com – Lexington,KY,USA

Last month, hundreds of people in Lexington, KY, received an automated telephone message that states it is from Commonwealth Credit Union and claims the person’s account has been suspended because of suspicious activity. The message told the people to call a phone number, which asked people for bank account numbers. The text message read, “Dear Commonwealth CU Member, Your online account is limited for security purpose.”

The text message asked the person to call a number with a Vermont area code for more information.

Callers told the BBB that an automated message then asks callers to enter their debit or credit card numbers.

Gloria Thomas, the fraud and loss-prevention manager at the credit union, said the credit union isn’t the only place being targeted. But she said last month that the CCU might be targeted because it’s a large

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