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Victim of scam has a warning for others

by Diana Zoga

KMOV.com

Posted on January 25, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 26 at 9:07 AM

 

 

 

(KMOV) -- Richard Moore took a call, Monday morning, that he thought would change his life.

"He told me I won two million dollars. Five hundred thousand in cash and the rest in security bonds," said Moore.

The caller claimed he was an employee of Publisher's Clearing House and also promised Moore a BMW.

This wasn't the Prize Patrol, but Moore didn't realize it until he'd already sent $500 to the crook.

"I don't know what to do. It's really bugging me," said Moore.

The caller told Moore that he had to pay the taxes on his sweepstakes win, up front. Moore was told to wire $500 to Rayon Allen in Montego Bay, Jamaica and to call back when the money was sent.

A few minutes later, the scammer called back and told Moore he actually owed $400 dollars in other fees and would have to send more money.

Moore says a clerk at the Money Gram store in the Arnold, Missouri Wal-Mart became suspicious. After asking Moore several questions, she explained that he was the victim of a scam.

"I was lost," said Moore.

He is not alone. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says they've been bombarded by calls from victims in these kinds of scams. Rarely, do the cases actually lead to a suspect.

The money was wired to an individual who picked it up in Jamaica. The phones, used by scammers, are often pre-paid and tossed regularly.

Chris Thetford with the St. Louis Better Business Bureau explains, "It's just like walking up to someone on the street, handing them $500 and expecting to be able to find them around the corner after they disappear into a crowd. It's virtually impossible."

Publishers Clearing House also put a warning on its website: www.pch.com/infocenter/consumeraffairs/legal/news092806.shtml

Richard Moore, who is retired and relies on a pension and social security to make ends meet, is now out $500. Moore says he took out a loan on his car title so he can pay his rent this week. He hopes that others will learn from his story.

"People need to know."

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