NOVA – National Organization for Victims Assistance

I wanted to thank NOVA for the wonderful conference that they put on in Salt Lake City, Utah August 22nd through August 25th, and for having me as a presentor for one of the workshops.  My co-presentor was Denise Richardson of GiveMeBackMyCredit.com

Not only did Denise and I get the chance to share our personal stories of how we went from victim to Victims Advocate, we attended several other presentations and were able to meet some amazing people, and I will be sharing that information with you in the upcoming days.

Compensation for Scam Victims

Don’t get too excited thinking that I am going to share with you the secret to recovering money that you lost to a scam. Nope . . . it is just the title for the scam email that I want to share with you this week.

From: dr.jfisher55@gmail.com;

COMPENSATION AWARD FOR SCAM VICTIMS

Hello,

I’m Dr. John Fisher… ed. T.H.Turner (London, 1855), Coll. No. *VIII, II, 263-272. 10) – Erasmus, Ep., I, 415, I’m 51yrs Old. I’m one of those that took part in the Compensation in awards many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $18,000 while in the London, trying to get my payment all to no avail.

So I decided to travel down to the Compensation and lottery company with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Mr. Larry Gold, who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD AUTHORITY and a Human Rights Activist (Lawyer), and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails are fake.

He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I’m the most happiest man on earth because I have received my compensation funds amounteing to $750,000 Moreover, Mr. Larry Gold, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your email as one of the scam victims, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact Mr. Larry Gold

You have to contact him directly on this information below.

COMPENSATION AWARD AUTHORITY

Name : Mr. Larry Gold (Barrister)
Email: barristerlarrygold@lawyer.com
Telephone: +8613925551141

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.

The only money I paid after I met Mr. Larry Gold was just $350 USD for the paper works, take note of that.

Thank You and Be Blessed.

Dr. John Fisher… ed. T.H.Turner (London, 1855),
Coll. No. *VIII, II, 263-272. 10) – Erasmus,
Ep. Education: BS, Business Administration

dr.jfisher52@gmail.com

—————————–

So how do we know this is a scam? If there really was a way to recover the money lost in a scam the information would be all over the news and on every government website so that all scam victims could contact the correct people and recover their money.

Second, a Google search of the phone number shows that it is listed on MANY scam fighting sites, and that it is a phone number from China. Strange . . . the person in this email claims to be in London.

He even tries to tell you that you need to stop listening to the scammers because they will only lie to you and drain your funds . . . this is the only truthful thing in this email.

Scam Victims Arrested – adding insult to injury

Being arrested can be one of the most frightening experiences for a person, but when you add that to being the victim of a scam, you can defiantly feel like you are on an emotional roller-coaster.

Most people know the saying “Innocent until proven guilty” but the scam victims that I have spoken with that have been arrested would say that they were seen as guilty until they could prove they were innocent. Why is this? Over the years some businesses and banking institutions have gotten better at detecting a counterfeit cashier’s check or money order, but instead of warning the customer that the item is a counterfeit and that they are involved in a scam, they instead call the police into the matter and press criminal charges against the customer. These businesses and financial institutions will charge that the customer was aware that the document was counterfeit and that they were trying to defraud them . . . basically, that they were in on the scam. Most times the customer is truly an innocent person who really believed that the cashier’s check sent to them was good, or was only going to the bank to ask them to verify it and then before they know it then end up in handcuffs in a police department.

If you find yourself in this situation you need to read the document “The At Risk of Arrest and Arrested Fraud Victim Manual” This document will cover you and your relationship with law enforcement, your attorney, how to write a narrative of what happened to you, as well as defining some of the legal terms that you will hear so that you know better what to expect.


One of the really important things that this document says is that if you are a fraud/scam victim and you feel you are at risk of being arrested, keep a copy of this manual with you at all times. If something happens, you can refer to this document so that you don’t panic and say or do something that will make your situation worse. NEVER wave you Miranda Rights.


While we were never arrested in our case, I do understand the feeling of panic of becoming a scam victim. My first thoughts were “Who do I call? Where do I report this?” That is exactly why we have the Resources page on our site. When you feel like your world has been turned upside-down and you don’t know what to do, write up one letter that includes all of the information on what happened . . . names, dates, who said what and when . . . and then send that one letter to all of the agencies listed at our Resource Page.  We also have information on banking terms on this page along with other helpful tips like

  • Close any other accounts that you have at that bank so they cannot freeze those accounts
  • Turn off any direct deposits you have going into that account
  • Turn off any automatic payments or withdrawals you have coming out of that account
  • Open an account at another bank

Also, for support from others who have been in your shoes, you can talk to other scam victims at our message board.  Many people find this to be like an online therapy session.

Crime Victims Rights Week

Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

This is the theme of the 2010 National Crime Victims Rights Week.

I think that these three words say a lot. I feel that there needs to be fairness, dignity and respect for all crime victims, even White Collar Crime victims like the ones we help at Scam Victims United. Too often these victims are seen as not really needing help or services because they are “just paper crimes”. Since we do not have any physical encounter with the person that victimized us, we are seen as less of a victim.

I for one can tell you that we go through the same emotional rollercoaster that a victim of other types of crime. Just because I was not stopped at gunpoint on the street corner does not mean that I don’t have emotion scars from what happened to me. And we suffer the same financial weight that other crime victims suffer . . . and some victims even more so if they are criminally charged with trying to defraud the bank by presenting a counterfeit check. Can you imagine finding out that you have lost thousands of dollars, then being arrested and having to find a lawyer to prove that you are innocet?

Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

We all deserve it.

Make our voices heard!

Years ago we used to organize letter writing events. Everyone would write a letter telling why they think scam education and awareness are important topics that need attention brought to them, and need the attention of lawmakers. Then all you have to do is send that same letter on the first of the month to the contact that I post on this message board . . . someone in the media, law enforcement or government. If we all send the letters the same day then their contact person will get a flood of letters on the same topic around the same time, and could get more attention then just one letter all by itself.

My question is this . . . who is with me and willing to commit to sending out one letter per month? If we do not have a big enough impact, then it will not be effective.

International car scam story

Here is a true story of the situation that another scam victim went through.  They asked me if I could share thier story with all of you.

——–

I wire transferred funds to The Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd, Ueno Branch, 1-14-4 Higashi Ueno, Taito Ku, Tokyo, 110-0015, Japan, account no. 5463066, on 31 /07/08, in the name of a Richard Bent and Suzuki Junko, of Auto Mart Japan, http://www.automartjapan.com in Shitaya 3-5-3, TM Hermes House, Taito Ku, Tokyo 1100004 Japan. Tel: 0-3-3873-3327 Cell: 0-90-9950-6247, for the purchase of a used panel van.

My worst fears have been realized that the company, Auto Mart Japan, is not legitimate, and its managing director, Richard Bent, is a fraudster and con artist. My van was promised on 31st August 2008, and it has not materialized and now the scam artist, Bent no longer replies to my emails and has gone underground.

I traced the website to its developers, Tim Worley, in Australia, E-mail: tim@halonet.com.au & tim@weblife.com.au & tim_in_byron@yahoo.com http://www.weblife.com.au and his accomplice, Moharana Basanta, from Bhubaneswar India moharana.basanta@gmail.com & http://basantamoharana.wordpress.com/ I as well as other victims of the scam were led to believe that Worley and Basanta were behind the scam because of their peculiar actions and suspicious behaviour however, since they have lied, been evasive with answers, threatened, abused and cussed organizations, made obscene phone calls to other victims and myself have been subjected to e.g.

Worley claims that he does not know where Bent is or what he looks like. Basanta claims that he does not know anything about Auto Mart Japan, as he is only the web developer. They have changed names and switched information on their websites.

Basanta has since removed all ties to Tim Worley and Automartjapan from his site. When asked about providing the names and contact numbers of the police officers he made out his report to in Japan and Australia, Worley claimed to have thrown away their cards. He claims to have 160 emails from Bent but can’t provide a sample with an address, he cannot provide any documents with Bent’s name for their financial transactions, I gave him the numbers of Interpol in my country to call, but he hasn’t contacted them, he claims he will give all information he has to the police only when he is contacted.

On checking the who is website http://whois.domaintools.com/automartjapan.com you will notice that all the registrant, admin address email address and contact details of Tim Worley have been changed recently to a different name, Frank Costanza, of Australia. Postings of Auto Mart Japan’s dealings can be seen at this site: http://blog.japundit.com/archives/2008/12/08/9148/ Someone who was conned by Bent in Kenya posted here: http://www. funadvice.com/q/fraud_ in_japanese_second_hand_cars

Recent information has come to light as to the identity of the real mastermind behind the scam. A private investigator, Ken Gamble, of Internet Fraud Watchdog Ltd, Australia, (www.gambleinvestigations.com) office number:+61.2.9959.2290  Web: http://www.ifwonline.com and who also sits on the board of a Cybercrime Association in France (AILCC) and this is part of his role to present at conferences the legal difficulties of these international scams to lawmakers and judges investigating the Automart Japan scam, has discovered that the individual behind the scam has been identified as a 52 year old Slovenian national who has been residing in the Philippines for many years and is a serial con artist. This is the third major used car scam he has carried out, the last ones being the Moon Autos and Zunic Autos scam, also based out of Japan. The website used for Zunic Motors was: http://www.zunicmotors.com and the same offender called himself, Mr. Robert Louis (see Blog at the following link: http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:_8bYMBEnz5wJ:www.epoi.com/cgi-bin/guestbook/guestbook.cgi%3Fstart_number%3D30+%22zunic+motors%22+%2B+%22fraud%22&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

Both previous scams were conducted in exactly the same fashion as the Automart Japan scam. The same offender contacts a web development company purporting to be a legitimate business and pays the web company to build and maintain a website, whilst the offender starts scamming customers. Once the scam is realized, the offender cuts all contact with customers and tries to avert the attention onto the website developer, which has happened in all three cases.

A report of his activities was forwarded to Interpol back in early 2008 but no action has been taken to date, due to the lack of formal police complaints by victims. Most just give up and do not pursue the lost funds. The Japanese Police will not investigate crimes that don’t involve Japanese citizens and the Philippines Police cannot act unless he commits an offense in the Philippines. This offender has exploited a loophole in the Japanese & Philippines legal system.

The individual responsible has several accomplices in the Philippines, one is his Japanese girlfriend who opens up the bank accounts in Tokyo and another is a fellow Slovenian male who operates offshore bank accounts used to pay the web developers. The private investigator has an extensive brief of evidence on them. The male who sounds Indian is actually from Slovenia and he has recordings of his voice, which exactly match the voice of the Philippines suspect.

I would certainly be interested in any US network that would be interested in this story and appreciate any help I can get from your organization.

Kurdaitcha

Scammed couple gets their money back!

This one makes me so happy!

http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/1001/100111sanjose.htm

Feds return money to Bay Area elderly scammed by Canadian con artists
Investigators warn public to be wary of callers soliciting money

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Investigators with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) Monday returned $7,000 to an elderly San Jose couple victimized by Canadian con artists who told them they had won a multi-million dollar Canadian sweepstakes.

ICE and USPIS investigators handed the octogenarians a check for a portion of the funds they forwarded to a Canadian postal box over the course of the last several months. The money was ostensibly to pay the Canadian “luxury” tax on the sweepstakes winnings so they could collect the prize. Like many elderly victims targeted in this and similar telemarketing scams, the couple believed the man who called them last year claiming to be an attorney responsible for alerting them about their sweepstakes win. In response to repeated appeals, the couple mailed multiple cashiers checks and packages containing cash to various Canadian addresses.

The check given to the couple this week represented the cash found in a parcel intercepted by Canadian authorities assigned to Project COLT (Center of Operations Linked to Telemarketing), a binational effort involving numerous agencies, including ICE, USPIS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Quebec Provincial Police. The case is under ongoing investigation by Canadian authorities.

“This couple is fortunate investigators were able to recover some of the money they lost, but regrettably much of their life savings will probably never be accounted for,” said Mark Wollman, special agent in charge for the ICE office of investigations in San Francisco. “While ICE and its enforcement partners are doing everything possible to stop this kind of fraud, the first line of defense is for people to be suspicious of anyone who calls and asks them to send money.”

This week marks the second time in as many months ICE agents have intervened in a case involving an elderly local resident targeted by Canadian telemarketing con artists. In November, they returned $4,000 to a San Jose woman who sent that sum in cash to Canada after receiving a call from a person claiming to be her grandson. The male caller said he was in jail and needed bail money immediately. Soon after, the woman received a call from a man purporting to be her grandson’s attorney who urged her to send the money without delay. Only later did the women learn that her grandson was not in jail and never had been.

“Sadly, we encounter these types of scenarios over and over again,” said Joseph Adiano, inspector for the USPIS. “While it’s hard to believe people fall for ploys like this, you have to remember the telemarketing con artists are incredibly persuasive and they purposely prey primarily on the elderly, who tend to be more trusting.”

Authorities say the most frequent telemarketing scam involves callers posing as “customs agents” who tell victims they have won the Canadian lottery but must send a “processing fee” or “customs duty” before they can collect their winnings. The fraudulent telemarketers may also purport to be lawyers, government officials, police officers, accountants, or lottery company officials. Investigators emphasize the con artists are very believable and will persist until they bilk as much money as possible from their victims.

Initiated in 1998, the goal of Project COLT is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle telemarketing fraud operations. As part of the initiative, law enforcement officers strive to intercept funds – often cash and cashier’s checks – so they can ultimately be returned to victims. Project COLT investigators also work to prevent further victimization, both through public education and the prosecution of those who commit the fraud.

Since its inception, Project COLT has resulted in the seizure and return of more than $25 million to telemarketing fraud victims in the United States and Canada. Telemarketing fraud has become one of the most pervasive forms of white-collar crime in Canada and the United States, with annual losses in both countries in the billions of dollars. These criminal organizations are heavily involved with international and violent organized crime, including the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, and as such they represent a significant assault on the United States homeland and upon the financial security and livelihood of its citizens.

Project COLT members also have formed partnerships with Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Post Corporation, Federal Express, Purolator, United Parcel Service, DHL and other companies to assist with fund interception and return.

Before sending any money to telemarketers, ICE urges the public to contact PHONEBUSTERS, Canada’s Anti-fraud Call Center at 1-888-495-8501. The staff at PHONEBUSTERS work closely with Project COLT investigators and other law enforcement agencies. More information on the initiative is also available through the PHONEBUSTERS website at http://www.phonebusters.com.

http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/1001/100111sanjose.htm