Saturday, May 31, 2008

U.S. Postal Inspectors Get Their Man AND the Money

U.S. Postal Inspectors have done something they’ve never been able to do before — they returned money to a U.S. victim that was illegally obtained by an overseas scammer.

According to the USPS News Link, Chicago Division Inspector in Charge Tom Brady presented a $4,500 check to Chris Shepherd, a St. Louis woman who was scammed when she used an Internet dating site.

Shepherd began what she thought was a “love” relationship online with a man who claimed to be a U.S. citizen. He told her he needed money to come to the United States from Nigeria, so she mailed him $4,500 in cash concealed in a book — complying with his explicit instructions.

Thanks to fraud-education initiatives between Nigeria and the Postal Inspection Service, Nigerian officials intercepted the mailing before the money reached the scammer. Then, they arrested him. “This is the first time I’ve seen the victim of a scam like this get the money back,” Brady said.

Online dating is a common venue used by scammers to target Americans. Other victims are tricked into cashing counterfeit checks or reshipping packages overseas.

Shown above, Inspector in Charge Tom Brady returns money to scam victim Chris Shepherd.

To learn more on how NOT to be a victim, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM