NOVA Conference – summary

I found a video the other day that shows a summary of the NOVA Conference that I attended in August. It was a wonderful event, and I want to thank NOVA for putting this on.

Non-Profits, Grants and Grant Writing

In August I attended the 36th Annual NOVA Conference and one of the workshops that I attended was on Grant Writing. It was a great workshop, but I left feeling overwhelmed. While Scam Victims United is an Non-Profit, our staff is very small . . . myself, my husband and a dedicated moderator basically sums things up. I guess when we started the process to become a non-profit I thought that it would open the doors to more opportunities, and we would easily be able to find grants to support our work, but finding and getting those grants is a lot of work. Add to that the fact that all of that legal talk sounds like “blah, blah, blah” or the adults from the Charlie Brown cartoons I watched as a kid, it is an uphill battle.

For those that know me, you know that does not mean I am not going to try . . . I just needed my day to vent about how hard it sometimes feels. Thanks for listening.

More scam emails

Here is another sample of a scam email

Subject: Greetings From London & Business Proposal
Reply To:


Following the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer,that all accounts that have been dormant for over 15years be transferred to the Treasury i send this mail.
I discovered a dormant account in my office, as officer in charge. It will be in my interest to transfer this fund worth 20,000,000 million British pounds in an account outside UK. If you are willing to be a collaborator/partner to this please indicate interest immediately.

Remember this is absolutely a non public affair,as i am seeking your assistance as the beneficiary of this unclaimed account, since we are not allowed to operate a foreign account,Your contact phone numbers and name will be necessary for this effect,I have reposed my confidence in you and hope that you will not disappoint me.

My Regards,
Archie Kane

What’s in a name . . .

I just read this interesting post by Paul Levy on the Consumer Law & Policy Blog about a company that is saturating the internet with information about protecting people from scams so that when the average person like you and I go to our search engine and run a search for that name of that company and the word scam, to see if there are any reports by others of issues with them, what is coming up is this new show that they are a part of that exposes and warns people about scams.

Here is the post by Paul Levy . . .

I reported a couple of weeks ago that Vision Media TV Group, whose scam directed at unsophisticated non-profit groups thirsting for free publicity on public TV had apparently resurfaced under a new name, World Progress Report.  Since then, a few others have taken up the report (for example, Techdirt and Consumerist).  More remarkable is the response from World Progress Report, which has been churning out press release after press release about series that it is supposedly preparing to show on public television (put a big asterisk after both “show” and “public television), teaching consumers how to recognize “ponzi scams,” “mortgage scams,”and “foreclosure scams.”

At first, my reaction was to think about how ironic it was that the crowd behind World Progress / Vision Media was taking credit for showing up scams.  And wasn’t that cute?

But there is a more sinister explanation for this scam spam.  By this new strategy, World Progress Report is loading up the search results both for its own name, and for its name combined with the word “scam,” with reports about its supposed public television programming.  As a result, the information that impartial critics are calling it a scam are being buried in a welter of search results for its own self-promotion.

Employment Scam

With the economy the way it it, and everyone looking for a way to make some extra money, employment scams are on the rise. Here is an example of an employment scam email.


Attention: Please Read

I am Derick Swain, I’m a Credit/Collection Agent and I have worked with various Industries, but I work presently with some Construction and Manufacturing Company in the USA ( United State of America )and I have got 10yrs working experience.I want to employ you as my P.A (Personal Assistant) to execute my job till I return from a business trip in Spain . You don’t need any Fund Collection or accounting experience to execute this job.


1. Make some minor calls and sometime attend some short meetings and also Receive funds from my clients either by Bank
Transfer , Cashier Check, Business Check, E-Check ,Money Orders and Western Union .

2. Disburse fund to my numerous clients either by Bank Transfer Cashier Check,Business Check, Money Orders and Western Union .


Benefit:10% on every funds collected and disbursed

Get back to me as soon as possible.
With Regards,
Derick Swain.

Discovery Investigation Channel

Today on Discovery Investigation Channel you can want the true life stories of women who became involved with con-men and how they found out the truth about these men.

Women Against Con Men

Today I would like to share a poem written by my friend Casey Jones, who is the founder of WAC’M, Women Against Con Men.

As a teenager, I dreamt of boys to kiss….My mother stomped her feet and said “I’ll have none of this!
In my 20s, I dreamt of love and a marriage that succeeded…..What I got was a man that I was attracted to, but not what I needed.
In my 30s, I dreamt of children in my arms hugging me….What I got was lots of jet lag and lonely celibacy.
In my 40s, I dreamt of a successful career and stability….But reality set-in and I got lots of expensive therapy.
For my mother was evil and my brother a psychopath….To kill a pet or torture me, would only make them laugh.
To spend long years in counseling was in itself very hard and cruel….But I survived and promised God that I would live by the Golden Rule.
It has never quite made sense to me….If they were the sick ones—-why was I in therapy?
In my 50s, I dreamt of early retirement and a home that was paid for…what I got was a con artist who came knocking at my door.
But I’m not attracted to him, to my friends, I would plead….Oh, but Casey, he’s exactly what you need.
He attends church and prays at every meal…He’s a doctor and will love you with such zeal.
As soon as the “I dos” were said and done…He turned from kind and loving, into a barbaric hun.
And I quickly found to my dismay…..that I was the only one with money to pay.
Congressmen, Hollywood Producers and little old me, ALL HIS VICTIMS…..He’s lie and steal, then walk away completely free.
I was not aware that he’d been stealing for over 30 years….Destroying people financially and leaving them in tears.
So I kicked him out, but little did he care….. For thousands more, he thought would end up in his snare.
I searched and searched ‘til Active Warrants, I did find…..Newly determined to place the “Doctor that wasn’t” in a real bind.
With the Oklahoma police, I lured him into a trap….Two detectives grabbed him in Santa Fe, his capture was a snap.
And now I’m approaching 60 and wondering how it will be. ….That I have found a new career of victim advocacy.
It pleases me, to no end on my refrigerator to see….His VERY ANGRY mug shot, sharing back at little old ME.


Here is an example of a scam email that showed up in my email box

I am Mrs Sloan Letman, a devoted Christian. I am in the process of setting up a charity foundation but due to my health condition I would need somebody to help me finish it. Everything is available including finance. So please reply to my email address for more details:

The way life should be!

This video has been passed around the internet, but I feel that it is a wonderful reminder of how life SHOULD be.

Now, some people would say that is great, but it is just a story that was made up by someone cause a stir on the internet. No . . . that is not true . . . here is the HOME VIDEO of the actual game that this happened at

Again, this is how life should be . . . people doing what is right, just because it is RIGHT and not because there is some loophole that can benefit them.

Scams and Trying to Educate People

I had a former co-worker email me the other day and she told me she was reading her Homemade Simple Magazine, and saw my name in it.
While I was VERY happy to see this article about scams, since this helps to educate people to what is going on, I was disappointed to see that some of the facts were not accurate.  Here is a portion of the article that is speaking about how to verify the status of a cashier’s check . . .
To find out a check’s status, call your bank twice (talk to two different workers in case one doesn’t understand the process) to verify that the check has been fully processed. Otherwise you lose the money if the check is a fake.
This would not be accurate.  In the case of our story, I spoke with two different bank employees BEFORE I withdrew the money from the account, and both of them told me that the check was “good”, “clear”, “verified”, “funds were available” and that I “had nothing to worry about”.  Once we found out the check was counterfeit and were dealing with the bank’s loss prevention department we asked them the same question, and we had two different people from THAT department tell us that “a cashier’s check is verified as good within 24 hours”.  These people in the loss prevention department knew what had happened to us, yet they were still giving us the same inaccurate information.
The ONLY real way to find out if the check is counterfeit or not is to call the bank that is listed on the check as the issuing bank.  Also, you cannot trust the phone number listed on the check.  The scammers have gotten smart and have started altering those also so that they go to one of the people within their group who will tell you that the check is good.  You need to do a Google search to find the official website of the issuing bank, or the Yellow Pages listing for that bank, and then call that phone number.
The advice from this article in regards to counterfeit cashier’s checks would not save anyone from becoming a victim of these types of scams.  It is sad, because the point of the article was to show real world situations that the everyday person could become involved in, and how they can be aware and protect themselves from these scams.
It looks like we still have a LOT of education to do, especially to the people that are trying to help educate the average American.