Fraudster Posing As Bank Official Scams Woman Of N2.8M

According To Punch, An Abuja-based businesswoman, Mrs Juliet Okpako, is currently devastated after losing N2.8m to a fraudster who posed as a bank official. The distraught woman said trouble started when a lady contacted her on the telephone and claimed to be calling from her bank. She said the caller, who identified herself as Ms. Joy, told her she called to warn her not to disclose her account details to anyone under any disguise. According to her, she did not suspect the caller because she kept warning her that if anybody asked for her Bank Verification Number or any of her bank details, she should not make the information available to the person.  Okpako said, “Somebody called me and she said she was calling from my bank. She said some people had been scamming some of their customers. She said they were trying to rectify something. She asked whether I had received any messages. I told him no. She said I should check my phone and send back the message they sent me to her“. I sent the number to her and I received another one. She said I was going to receive another message from the bank. And when I saw the message, it was from my bank. I did not suspect anything, as she kept on telling me that if anybody asked for my BVN and all that, I should not send it. Immediately after I sent that number, I started receiving debit alerts. That was how I knew I had been scammed. I rushed to my bank, but before I got there, all the N2.8m in my bank had been withdrawn. They transferred N200,000 multiple times to other accounts. “They also used N100,000 to recharge some telephone numbers. I opened the account just to save the money to start a new business.” She lamented that after all her efforts to block the account failed, the last money in her account was debited when she was asked to get a form before the account could be blocked. She added, They first directed me to go to court, and from there we went to the Police ‘A’ Division in Suleja to make a report. I gave up after going to court. The police and then the bank said they could not trace the numbers that all the money and airtime were sent. It was when I was trying to get a form that the last money was debited. Contacted, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, was not available for comment as of the time this report was filed.

FRAUD ALERT: Man Pretending To Be World Famous Psychic Stole Over $175 Million From Victims, Now Faces 280 In Prison

Prison Bars

Patrice Runner faces up to 280 years in prison behind a decades-long fake psychic scheme that stole more than $175 million from vulnerable and elderly Americans. The New York Post reports that the 57-year-old was found guilty of multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and other related crimes. Each charge holds a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.  The mass-mailing, fraudulent money scheme took place between 1994 and 2014. For twenty years, Runner sent millions of letters impersonating famous psychic Maria Duval. Each promised to provide the targeted victims with good fortune and happiness in exchange for money for “psychic services.” The Washington Post said that a 2014 letter promised the person’s life,  “was going to take a turn for the better,” but to find out more, they must pay $37.50.” Another resurfaced letter stated: “All you have to do to see your life change is grasp the hand of friendship we are holding out to you.” But apparently, that friendship cost $50. Though the letters had handwritten statements and personal details about the recipients, they were practically identical in nature. The fraudsters had letters mass-produced so that tens of thousands could be mailed off each week. Runner acted as the head of the operation behind the scenes. Within his crime organization, he advised his co-conspirators in the day-to-day operations. Their targets were always vulnerable groups, focusing on elderly individuals with dementia and people going through financial hardship. According to investigators, Runner’s money-making scheme did not involve or include the real Duval. Instead, they found all letters came from conmen who masqueraded as workers for Infogest Direct Marketing, one of Runner’s companies. He attempted to hide his involvement by using several shell companies to keep a low profile. For over 20 years, Patrice Runner managed a predatory scheme that targeted older Americans by mailing personalized letters to millions of victims purporting to be from a world-renowned psychic. [The] verdict should have come as no surprise to Mr. Runner” said Inspector in Charge, Chris Nielsen. #Clique, what do you think?

Florida Woman Accused Of Defrauding 87-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Of Almost $3 Million

On Wednesday, January 25th, a Florida woman was arrested for allegedly defrauding an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, The Guardian reported. “Today, we allege the defendant callously preyed on a senior citizen simply seeking companionship, defrauding him of his life savings,” said FBI assistant director Michael J Driscoll on the day of the arrest. The accused, Peaches Stergo, met the victim on a dating website in 2014, posing as a woman named “Alice Watson.” In 2017, the 38-year-old told the unnamed elderly man that she had won a lawsuit from a car accident she was in, and needed money to pay her lawyer in order to receive the settlement funds. Despite her never being a part of a suit, he wrote her a check of $25,000. Later, she told the victim that if she wasn’t given more money, the bank would freeze her account and prevent her from paying him back. She even disguised her voice to pose as a bank employee to facilitate the ruse. Within five years, Stergo received 62 checks totaling $2.8 million. The accused reportedly used the money to pay for several homes, cars, designer clothing, international trips, name brand clothing, jewelry, and gold and silver bars. While she and her husband were embracing a luxurious lifestyle, her victim lost his life savings and was forced to move out of his Manhattan home. Peaches Stergo has since been charged with one count of wire fraud. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.