January 8, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Mormons targeted - The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused several Utah residents of operating a Ponzi scheme that victimized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a Dec. 29 lawsuit filed in federal court in Utah, the SEC alleged that Joseph Nelson and his associates targeted investors at church functions, telling them they could double their money if they invested with Nelson's companies.
February 12, 2012 |
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Counterfeit luxury items - Bargain hunters should take extreme care when shopping for discounted brand-name merchandise on the Internet, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent bulletin. Websites such as Craigslist and EBay have been used to sell counterfeit items, the BBB said. But some firms have also set up their own websites to market knockoff luxury goods, which are often of poor quality and likely to disappoint the consumer, the group said.
April 8, 2009 |
Oprah Winfrey has been generous with her studio audiences, including the famed day when she pointed to everyone there and proclaimed, "You're getting a car!" But she's not giving away $1 million, despite a spam e-mail making the rounds. The FBI has issued a warning that the "Oprah Millionaire Contest Show" e-mail is a scam. The message says the recipient has been nominated to be on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," during which a winner of the cash will be named.
April 15, 2009 |
A self-described credit union that advertised personal loans nationwide was not registered as a lending institution and gave a phony address, according to Pennsylvania and Michigan banking regulators. First Star Credit Union, which advertised in the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers this month, referred consumers to a toll-free phone number and a website for information on getting a loan. The company operating the website, which listed a York, Pa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2010 |
For the private investigators who authorities say became victims of Kevin Sianez, the job wasn't the cloaked adventure and jaded triumph of Hollywood. Many were just scraping by, trying to pick up scarce jobs via the Internet when they crossed paths with the one-time police officer. Dave Qualls of Qualls Investigations in Elkton, Md., said he did a surveillance job in 2006 as a subcontractor for Orange County-based Sianez, who found Qualls through an online search. Qualls spent two weeks on the job and sent Sianez the results.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 2010 |
Being a cop wasn't enough for Darcey Greenfield. The 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department moonlighted in the tumultuous world of real estate. Her "dibbling and dabbling," as she put it, began with her buying a small apartment building during her rookie year and grew into a full-fledged side-profession. She got a real estate license and office space where, on days off from wearing the badge, she researched investments and met with clients. Many of those clients came from the LAPD.
June 28, 2011 |
Pamela Jacques wanted to buy a used car for her 16-year-old daughter. Nothing fancy — just a knockabout set of wheels she could safely use to get around. Jacques, 46, of Arcadia, visited various car sites online. She finally came across what looked like a sweet deal: a 2002 Toyota RAV4 with a little more than 76,000 miles on it. The seller wanted just $5,300. "It seemed very reasonable," Jacques told me. "It looked perfect. " Too perfect. The car exists, somewhere. But the seller … not so much.
December 27, 2012 |
Authorities say a New York woman has been arrested for allegedly claiming to be related to a shooting victim at Sandy Hook Elementary School and soliciting donations for the child's funeral. Nouel Alba, 37, was charged in federal court on Thursday with lying to FBI agents investigating fraudulent fundraising tied to the Newtown, Conn., massacre in which Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-graders and six adults at the school before shooting himself in the head. Alba is accused of using Facebook, phone calls and text messages to solicit donations to her PayPal account for a “funeral fund,” authorities said. “This arrest should serve as a warning to anyone who attempts to profit from this tragedy by contriving fraudulent schemes that exploit the many victims, their families and individuals who sincerely want to help,” U.S. Atty.
May 21, 2010 |
Nine Southern California men have been charged with operating a foreclosure-relief scam that allegedly stole at least $2.3 million from about 1,500 homeowners across the U.S., the state attorney general's office announced Thursday. The alleged scheme, which operated out of a Canoga Park office decorated like a casino, charged homeowners $1,000 to $5,000, but loan modifications were almost never completed, court documents said. "This company was just a boiler room, long on promises and upfront fees but short on foreclosure relief," Atty.
July 2, 2009 |
The recession has killed jobs by the millions, but it's been a boon to one sector of the population: con artists. They've been offering consumers help in repairing bad credit, landing new jobs, starting lucrative work-at-home businesses and obtaining government money to pay off bills. These scams -- which are surging along with the jobless rate -- are touted on websites and infomercials, and have bilked consumers out of hundreds of millions of dollars, said David C.