Let your voice be heard

Are you one of those people who will stand up and say something about an issue that you think is wrong?  How do you go about finding others who also feel the same way that you do?  Blogs and social networking sites can be a great way for you connect with like minded people so that you can join together to try and make an impact to change the issues that are important to you.

Since I have a Twitter account I get a notification when I get a new follower, and I always check out that new follower’s page to see if they are connected to any resources that might be a good fit to team up with.  Here are a few recent ones that I wanted to share with you.

LoanFraudVictim – This Twitter user has a website at http://wellsfargomortgagefraud.com/ detailing the story of her battle to hold Wells Fargo accountable for the damage they did.

NetWatchDog – This Twitter user is from the website http://theinternetwatchdog.com/ which is filled with information on internet scams and fraud.

WFmortmodscam – Working to keep Wells Fargo Home Mortgage or another lender from stealing your home? It’s time to fight back! Blogging at wellsfargomortgagemodscam.com/blog/

BanksGoneBad – Florida mortgage pro who has seen banks fraudulently foreclose on homeowners as well as perpetrate fraud on investors and bond holders. I’m helping 2 fight back  http://banksgonebad.com/

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What Would You Do?

I wanted to share the following link with you.  The show What Would You Do sets up scenarios and sees if people will jump in to assist.  The one that aired last night had a segment on Nigerian Scams.  The producers of this show actually had contacted me some time ago because they wanted a scam victim to speak with, but we were not able to find one that was willing to speak with them.

You can watch the video of the episode at
or read the transcript at
I would also encourage you to leave your comments on the topic at the link with the transcript.

Scammers use fear to get money

When a potential victim thinks that they might be on to the scammer, the scammer may use fear to try and get the person to send them the money.  Sometimes it is the fear of “I know where you live” and sometimes it is the fear of arrest, as once scammer tried to use in the email below . . . .

From: Charles Boothe ;hondaprelude7188@gmail.com

This is to inform you that due to your illegal action in the process of the Cleaner job offer to you concerning the check issued to you. I was informed by my bank that the check issue has been cleared and yet i haven’t got any reply from you,
For your information as you know all your contact details is with me so i have get the FBI informed,i also gave them your contact details for them to locate you. You may have any explanation to tell them and any information you may be holding for them concerning the payment i sent to you.I know they will get you soon,You may think that i have acted so rude by doing this but i am very sorry.You make me act like that because you never let me know what is going on.
I am very sorry for any inconvenience that i might have cause concerning this job offer and the way i act. Get back to me to confirm you get this email.
Best Regard

No matter what the scammer says, do not send them the money.  They did not contact the FBI, because the check that you were sent was counterfeit.

What Would You Do?

Every day we make choices . . . grab some fast food for breakfast, or have some fresh fruit . . . walk up the stairs or take the elevator . . . you can follow the crowd or stand alone. What would you do?

This is the basis of the television segment What Would You Do on ABC.  They set up scenarios that are supposed to make you stop and think, and then they let the hidden camera roll to catch on tape what people really do in these situations.

Now, you might ask what this show has to do with this scam blog.  It turns out that they are looking to do a segment where one of the scenarios will be a person that is entering into a situation that is clearly a scam.  Will people warn them or just let them go on believing that this is all real?

They would also like to partner this with an interview with real life scam victims who would be willing to share their story.  If you are a scam victim who is willing to share your story please contact me.  They would prefer someone in the New York Tri-State Area, since that is where their production studios are located.

Dating Scams From the Military Angle

I have talked about dating and romance scams in the past, but I recently came across an article dealing directly with Military Dating Scams that I wanted to share with you.

Since I am not a military person, and no one in my family has been an active military person since before I was born, I would not have known some of this information.

None of them use .mil email addresses that ALL military personnel have. These are just some of the tipoffs you should be aware of.

This is good to know.  Just like when the scammer contacts a person pretending to be with a federal agency, but they are using a gmail account . . . this is a red flag.

Some of the other red flags are when the scammer asks you to help them to cash checks.  The author of this article points out that military personal do not need assistance from civilians to get their checks.  Another line the scammers will feed you . . . they are injured and need help getting home because they are stuck in Dubai.  The military will always pay for any flight home, and injured soldiers would not be transported to Dubai and just left there.

Investment Fraud

There was some news from the FBI this week about Investment Fraud.

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Eric Holder announced today the results of Operation Broken Trust, a nationwide operation organized by the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to target investment fraud. To date, the operation has involved enforcement actions against 343 criminal defendants and 189 civil defendants for fraud schemes that harmed more than 120,000 victims throughout the country. The operation’s criminal cases involved more than $8.3 billion in estimated losses and the civil cases involved estimated losses of more than $2.1 billion. Operation Broken Trust is the first national operation of its kind to target a broad array of investment fraud schemes that directly prey upon the investing public.

In announcing the results of Operation Broken Trust, Attorney General Holder was joined by FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami, U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Chief Postal Inspector Guy Cottrell, Deputy Chief Rick Raven of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Acting Director of Enforcement Vince McGonagle of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and other members of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

The interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force was established by President Obama to lead an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. Starting on Aug. 16, 2010, within a three-and-a-half month period, Operation Broken Trust involved 231 criminal cases and 60 civil enforcement actions. Eighty-seven defendants have been sentenced to prison, including several sentences of more than 20 years in prison.

“With this operation, the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force is sending a strong message,” said Attorney General Holder.  To the public: be alert for these frauds, take appropriate measures to protect yourself, and report such schemes to proper authorities when they occur. And to anyone operating or attempting to operate an investment scam: cheating investors out of their earnings and savings is no longer a safe business plan—we will use every tool at our disposal to find you, to stop you, and to bring you to justice.”

“This operation highlights the scope of this problem, and its impact on individuals from all walks of life,” said FBI Executive Assistant Director Henry. “This one sweep alone involves fraud schemes that harmed more than 120,000 victims. The schemes may change, but the underlying greed does not. Working with our partners, we in the FBI will use all the investigative techniques in our arsenal, including undercover operations, to bring those responsible to justice.”

“Fraud by well-known companies or high-profile executives gets the biggest headlines, but other scams are equally devastating to hard working families and retirees,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Victims want justice and don’t much care who the fraudster is or how unique the fraud.  Today’s actions underscore that law enforcement agrees and will pursue fraud in whatever form.”
Enforcement actions taken as a result of Operation Broken Trust involve a range of different investment fraud schemes, all of which prey directly on the investing public. The operators of these schemes often promise high returns to investors, but engage in little to no legitimate investment activity. Such schemes include Ponzi schemes, affinity fraud, prime bank/high-yield investment scams, foreign exchange (FOREX) frauds, business opportunity fraud, and other similar schemes. In some instances, operators of these schemes filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid claims by victim-investors.

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has a long tradition of protecting postal customers from these types of investment and Ponzi scams and bringing those responsible to justice,” said USPIS Chief Postal Inspector Cottrell. “The Postal Inspection Service constantly strives to protect our customers and the general public from falling victim to these scams that claim millions of dollars every year.”

“The results announced today demonstrate the effectiveness of federal civil and criminal law enforcement in bringing to justice those who have engaged in financial fraud schemes,” said Acting Director McGonagle of the Division of Enforcement for CFTC. “The CFTC continues to devote substantial enforcement resources to combat financial fraud. We appreciate the partnership with the other members of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to protect the public from financial fraudsters.”

“Securities and investment frauds are serious offenses which have brought financial ruin to many citizens. Promoters of Ponzi schemes prey upon trusting investors and then steal their hard earned money,” said Rick Raven, Deputy Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to bring our forensic accounting skills to this joint venture with our law enforcement partners to put a stop to this and other types of white collar fraud.”

Operation Broken Trust was conducted in conjunction with various Department of Justice components—including the U.S. Attorney Offices, the FBI, the Criminal and Civil Divisions and the U.S. Trustee Program—as well as the SEC, USPIS, the CFTC, IRS-CI, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Secret Service, and the National Association of Attorneys General.

As a part of Operation Broken Trust, the task force is making the public aware of resources available to protect against these types of fraud and how to report fraud when it occurs. To learn more about investment scams, how to take steps to protect yourself from scams, or how to report investment fraud if you believe you have been victimized, go to StopFraud.gov. The website includes links to a wide array of task force member resources.

The President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit StopFraud.gov.

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

As I opened my email this morning, the news items opened up and I had to take a second look at the title of this article . . . Nigeria Charges Dick Cheney in Corruption Case Stemming From Halliburton Bid.  My first thought was this is like the pot calling the kettle black!

In the article it states

An anti-corruption unit in Nigeria has charged former Vice President Dick Cheney in an alleged bribery scheme dating back to his days as CEO of Halliburton, the huge oil services company.

Halliburton and other firms are accused of paying as much as $180 million in bribes to win a contract to build a $6 billion liquefied natural gas plant in the African country’s southern delta, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Okay . . . $6 billion is a LOT of money, but depending on which agency or report you look at, that is just a drop in the bucket to the amount lost by people to the scams and fraud coming out of Nigeria.  There are some reports that would show that $6 billion is not even one full year’s work for Nigerian scammers.  Add to that the fact that many people do not report scams out of shame, and the true dollar amount just keeps getting higher and higher.

Back to the article . . . it goes on to say

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission pointed specifically at a former Halliburton subsidiary, Houston-based KBR, which pleaded guilty last year in U.S. federal court to authorizing and paying bribes in Nigeria for plant contracts between 1995 and 2004.

If you go to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s website you will see on the About EFCC page this information . . .

The preponderance of economic and financial crimes like Advance Fee Fraud (419), Money Laundering, etc has had severe negative consequences on Nigeria, including decreased Foreign Direct Investments in the country and tainting of Nigeria’s national image. The menace of these crimes and the recognition of the magnitude and gravity of the situation led to the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The legal instrument backing the Commission is the attached EFCC (Establishment) Act 2002 and the Commission has high-Ievel support from the Presidency, the Legislature and key security and law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.

My words to the EFCC . . . how about you go and clean up the crime, corruption and fraud in your own backyard before you start pointing fingers at others.  You have an office in Lagos, Nigeria which is the scam and fraud capital of the world.  How about making a REAL difference by shutting down the scam and fraud rings, and locking up the people running them so that they cannot just go out and open up a new location.