What’s your story?

I am being contacted by media personal, and I want to have a little info about people that may be willing to speak with them about why the topic of scams and fraud is so important to them. I was thinking of "sorting" them by states, since I usually get a media contact that wants someone in their state.

If you would be willing to speak to a media person about YOUR PERSONAL connection with the topic of scams and fraud here is an example of what I am looking for . . . mine would read like this

Shawn and Jeff Mosch
full mailing address for contact
best phone number for them to contact you at
best email address to contact you at

Summary:
Shawn and Jeff Mosch are scam victims turned Victim’s Advocate who work to educate people about internet scams. After their personal experience with a counterfeit cashier’s check scam in 2002, they found a lack of information and resources available at the time. This was the motivating factor in creating their website, ScamVictimsUnited.com. They continue to be passionate about this issue and work with other agencies to bring more awareness to the topic of scams and push for laws that will help to protect people from these scams.

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It does not need to be long . . . if you were a victim it can just be the type of scam you were a victim of, when it happened and how much you lost.

<b>DO NOT POST YOUR INFO ON A MESSAGE BOARD ON IN A COMMENT TO THIS POST SINCE IT WILL INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO!</b>
Please send it directly to me from my blogger contact info
http://www.blogger.com/profile/00668897360179366316
or contacting us through the Feedback page or our site which goes to our main Admin email address.
http://scamvictimsunited.com/feedback.htm

If you could put Summary and your name in the subject line that will help me find them all in my inbox

Thanks!

Be a Secret Santa!

Make Christmas special for a young child this year . . . be a Secret Santa!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secret Santa Fundraiser

We were hit with our Counterfeit Cashier’s Check Scam just before the holidays in 2002, and for a while we did not know where we were going to find the money to provide a magical Christmas for our then 2 and 9 year old children. Because of that, we created the Secret Santa Program, which allows you to donate money or gifts for a family who has recently been impacted by scams, and have young children.

We have made it easy for you to help out with this.  There are several ways you can donate
On Facebook, we have a Cause Page
Or go to our Donations Page to donate by PayPal
Or use our new GiveMN Fundraiser Page

Frustration, confusion, anger . . . the feelings of a scam victim

I just finished answering an email to a scam victim, and we were talking about the different feelings and emotions that come over a person who is a scam victim.  I wanted to share my email to that victim with you.  I don’t really need to know the background on their story to understand my response to them.

I can relate to your frustration . . . I have been there!  Eight years ago at this time we were fighting our battle, and every time that I read the story of another person becoming a victim I am taken right back to the place I was when I found out that we lost thousands of dollars to this scam.  It puts you on an emotional roller coaster that you did not ask to get on . . . you were just thrown onto it.

At the time, I did not want to hear anyone tell me that our case would not be investigated and that the criminal would not be caught.  That is part of the reason that I started our website . . . I needed to shout our story out to the world.  I needed to feel like someone heard me.  Then, as the years passed I started to learn how things work . . . the big picture . . . and it really disgusted me that so many saw this as the victim’s problem.  WHY!?!?!  If someone would have broken into my house with a gun, would it still have been my problem and not a legal problem?  If I went to the bank and was told that a loan would have a certain interest rate, and I later found out that it actually had another would that be my problem?  So why is it that the bank can tell me one thing (the check is good) but when it comes back that it is counterfeit THAT is my problem and not an error that THEY need to resolve?

I have been in the place where I feel like I am going crazy over this topic too.  Maybe that is why I felt like our website needed to have a message board also, so that people can share their stories and we can all help each other heal.  Yes, we have to move on, but I feel that being a scam victim changes us so that we move on but it is always a part of us, and those of us that feel the need to help others have to share our story in order to warn others.

It is the emails from people like you that remind me why we did what we did . . . creating the website, telling our story, trying to bring awareness and attention to these scams.  I think that we have made some progress over the years, but there is still so much that needs to be done.

If you agree with us that more needs to be done to raise awareness about scams and fraud, I encourage you to contact your law makers and ask them to create laws that will protect people from these scams.  Make the banks liable when they tell the banking customer that the checks are good, clear or verified.  Not only can you write your own letter, you can sign our petition . . . make YOUR voice heard!

Eight years . . .

Eight years ago this month my husband and I became victims of a counterfeit cashier’s check scam when our bank told us that a cashier’s check we received was good, clear, verified and that we would have no problems with it.  Off of that information, we went forward with a transaction.  One week later the bank contacted us to let us know that the check was counterfeit, and that WE were 100% liable for the money . . . even though they had told us it was good, clear and verified.
It was this situation that brought us to create the website ScamVictimsUnited.com, where we warn people about scams, offer resources and advice, and allow people to talk with other victims on our message board.  In the first two years of our site being operational we helped stop over $2 million dollars from going into scams.

Now, you would think that eight years later things would have changed.  Some things have, but even today we see victims coming to our site who brought these checks to the bank and were told that they were good, clear or verified . . . sometimes by more than one bank employee . . . so the exact same situation that happened to us eight years ago is still happening to people today.
Until laws can be changed to hold the banks accountable for telling the customers that these checks are good, clear and verified and then later hold the bank customer liable when it comes back that they are NOT a true check, education is the best way we have to fight these scams.

What can you do?

Write to your law makers and tell them that you want to see banks held liable for releasing funds on checks that they have told customers are good, clear or verified, and then later reversed those words to hold the customer liable.

Sign our petition to ask for stronger consumer protection laws.  If the banks are liable for the money lost, and not the customer, then they will change their practices and make SURE that every penny is accounted for before they release the money to the customer.

Contact your bank and ask them if you brought in a cashier’s check for $4000, how long would it take to know you could use the money, with no worries about the check.  If their answer included terms like “clear“, “good” or “verified‘ you may want to read the information we have on what these terms really mean, and then armed with that information you may want to speak to the bank manager about better education on counterfeit checks for his staff, or go and find a bank that already does understand these items and can therefore better protect you and your money.

 

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.

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.

Lawyer/legal help

We are looking for a lawyer who is willing to do some pro bono work for a small non-profit. If you know of anyone please contact us through http://www.retaggr.com/page/ShawnMosch