Over the next few weeks, Briggs got calls from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, as well as Georgia and Florida from people who had received the forged travelers' checks. He also got calls from police officers in Ohio and New Jersey who were investigating the scam and initially thought he was the perpetrator.
That call was one in a series that Briggs received the same day. The callers had all received six American Express travelers' checks in $500 denominations via UPS next day early morning service. The air bills gave Briggs' name as the sender and listed "CB Holding Company" as Air Max Thea Blue Green
After they replied, they received another e mail.
Barre man the focus of travelers' check scammers
his business name. No such company exists. It also gave his telephone number and address, and provided the number of the UPS account that the scammers Nike Air Max Tavas Fit had set up in his name.
"If you did not respond quickly," he said, "they sent you another e mail saying, 'You're keeping the money. That's not nice. Please Nike Air Max 2015 Lime Green
Briggs, a Barre resident and president of the Barre Historical Society, formerly worked as a statistician for the state of Vermont, and among his responsibilities was checking for Medicaid fraud. So when Briggs started getting phone calls from people who had received American Express travelers' checks in UPS envelopes that bore his name as sender, he was less angry than intrigued.
She was lucky. A quick Internet search shows that many banks bring legal action against customers who cash fraudulent travelers' checks. Some were each charged with felony possession of a forged instrument. Another couple was sentenced on second degree forgery charges, also a felony.
The callers had all responded to an e mail sent out a few weeks before Christmas offering them an opportunity to work at home part time for a nonprofit organization that helps orphans and displaced children in Africa. It asked for their names, addresses and phone numbers.
After giving instructions about how to sign the checks, the scammer added, "I Advice you cash the checks today because the funds are gonna be used for the kids Christmas program. Once you have cashed the checks deduct your fee 10% and remit my balance to this name and address of our branch in Ghana by western union money transfer today. All western union charges should be deducted from our part of the money." The address given was for "Samuel David," the "branch manager" in Ghana.
Briggs thinks that the scammers got his address, and perhaps his credit card number, from a credit card receipt. Odd charges for things he and his wife hadn't purchased appeared on their December statement and they closed the account. Wednesday, they received a bill from Earthlink, sent to "DM Holding Inc." at their address. (The name of the fictitious company on the UPS envelopes was "CB Holding Inc.")
The "representatives" soon received UPS envelopes with very realistic looking travelers checks. The hologram was the only weak point; if compared to one on an authentic American Express travelers' check, it looked homemade.
BARRE When Connecticut scammers picked Chet Briggs' name to use in their fraud scheme, they made an unfortunate choice.
Both scammers instructed the recipients to notify them by e mail as soon as they had wired the money, providing the Western Union money transfer control number, the answer to a test question, the exact amount sent and the sender's name and address as it appeared on the receipt.
Early on, Briggs said, he notified Barre police, the Vermont Attorney General's office and the FBI about the scam. We just don't have the resources to investigate.'"
send the money immediately.' Then if you didn't respond within a couple of days, you got another e mail saying you're committing fraud, and they were going to turn you over to the FBI because you were stealing money from all these poor orphan kids."
The people who cashed the travelers' checks suffered a rude awakening. Within a couple of weeks, the banks sent the Nike Air Max 2015 Yellow
In talking to the callers, Briggs reconstructed how the scam worked.
Meanwhile, Briggs, whose return address was on the UPS envelopes, received several packets of travelers' checks, which UPS returned to the "sender" because of errors in the recipients' addresses. Briggs called UPS and learned that the account, which had been set up in his name and that of a "Jim Snow," had been opened in Stratford, Conn. Thousands of dollars, at $45 to $55 per letter, had been charged to the account. UPS is not billing him for the fraudulent charges. Briggs also called American Express and confirmed that the series numbers on the checks were fake.
travelers' checks to American Express for payment and were informed that they were bogus. The banks then contacted the depositors who had cashed them and demanded that they return the funds. One woman bemoaned the fact that not only did she lose the $3,000, but she had to pay her bank a $45 service charge.
Briggs wryly added, "I thought that was sort of fun."
"It all started about three weeks before Christmas," Briggs said. A woman called from Georgia asking why he had sent her $3,000 in blank travelers' checks. "I don't know you!" she exclaimed. Briggs denied having sent the money and started asking questions.
Most of the people who received the travelers' checks were suspicious, but a few of the "representatives" who called Briggs actually had gone to the bank, cashed the travelers checks and wired the money. With the money transfer control number, anyone in any part of the world could get the money, Briggs observed.
The e mail to the Floridian read, in garbled poor English, "Good Day, I Wanna Inform You That a donor Has Sent Out Payment To YouHe Informed Me That He Sent The Payment In Form Of Travellers Checks So What You Are Expected To Do Is Sign For the Package From The UPS Guy. Then Fill The Checks Before You proceed To Your Bank to process funds. I Always Ask the donors To Send The Checks Blank So They Don't Have Any Problems With The Names."
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