A Day In the Life of A Debt Collector

An Account From a Real-Life Collector I arrive at work with a long list of people to call, knowing that if all goes well, I may call 125 people today. Today, I’ll hear stories of businesses gone sour, failed marriages and terrible illnesses. I’ll hear outright lies: “The check’s in the mail,” or “The stamp … Read more

Arkansas DEA Extortion Scam Alert!

The Eastern District of Arkansas put out a scam alert this week to inform residents that impersonators are contacting citizens in the Little Rock district posing as DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) agents and extorting them. Anyone that receives a telephone call from a person claiming that they are a DEA special agent or other law … Read more

Return-A-Pet Scam Preys On Victims Of Lost Pets

It’s annual pet scammer week! That’s a lie. But it sure feels like it. Eric Stein was charged with running an investment scam through Return-A-Pet LLC. Return-A-Pet was a New York company that allegedly facilitated the return of lost pets to their owners. Stein was out on supervised release for a previous investment fraud scheme … Read more

BBB Warns Of Phony Puppy Purchases

As an avid animal lover I believe there’s a special place in hell for pet scammers. No, not people that scam your pets, people that are scammer prospective pet buyers. I will refrain from getting on my soap box about the benefits of adopting animals and the advantages of being a rescue parent (like myself!) … Read more

Super Bowl Scams On The Rise

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL…. scams? The Better Business Bureau (BBB) publicly announced a warning to consumers this week to be on high alert for super bowl scams; specifically knock-off team jerseys, counterfeit memorabilia and phony game tickets. Katherine Hutt, spokesperson for the Council of Better Business Bureaus states, “there are three good reasons … Read more

Consumer Warning: Bureau Of Prescription Health Charging For Free Assistance

If you’ve been doing business or contemplating doing business with the Missouri-based Bureau of Prescription Health the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising consumers to avoid this company. The Bureau of Prescription Health sounds like a trustworthy and reputable company (mainly because of the use of the word “Bureau”) but are in fact charging consumers … Read more

Tax Refund Check Cashing Scheme Hits Southern Florida

As tax season rolls around it’s no surprise to see tax refund check cashing schemes arising in the news. Announced Monday was the filing of a criminal Information charging defendants Wilson Lau, and his wife, Kate Yuee Lau, for their participation in a check cashing scheme involving more than $5 million in fraudulently obtained tax … Read more

FTC Halts Fake News Sites About Deceitful Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products

We’ve covered the deceitful acai berry weight-loss products over the past year on our site (see here, here and here). It was announced on Wednesday that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stopped six operators from using fake news site that allegedly deceived consumers about this product. Six online marketers agreed to settlements with the … Read more

Raleigh Native Indicted In Connection With Fraud And Extortion

The former President of Encap Golf Holdings LLC (“Encap”), William Gauger III, was indicted this week for his participation in a scheme to extort approximately $100,000 from a financial consultant and a fraudulent invoicing scheme relating to his work for a New Jersey-based management firm. Gauger allegedly hired his brother-inlaw Craig Groce, who was originally … Read more

Whole Bakers’ Bread And Butter Is Fraud

Whole Bakers owner, Patricia “Patty” Stewart, was sentenced yesterday to the statutory maximum of 60 months in federal prison for running an investment fraud scheme. The scheme defrauded investors, including elderly Texas citizens, of more than $2 million. According to documents filed in the case, from December 2005 through May 2010, Stewart, who owned and … Read more

A 25 Count Indictment For Investment Scheme Fraudster Announced

A federal grand jury in Pheonix returned a 25 count indictment against Gerald Lee Kelly on four counts of wire fraud, six counts of mail fraud, 10 counts of money laundering and five counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid federal bank reporting requirements. The indictment alleges that in 2006 and 2007, Kelly operated a … Read more

Final MTA Debt Collection Fraudster Pleads Guilty

The last defendant in the MTA debt collection scheme has pleaded guilty. Paul Anthony Vasquez pleaded guilty on January 17, 2012 to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering. Vasquez also agreed to pay full restitution and forfeit assets seized by federal agents, including over $950,000 in cash and a 1.5 carat … Read more

Talk Show Host And Financial Advisor Sentenced For Ponzi Scheme

Wednesday marked the announcement that Anthony Cutaia was sentenced to 51 months in prison for mail fraud “Ponzi” investment scheme. Cutaia had pled guilty in July 2011 to Count 2 of a Criminal Information filed in June 2011, which charged him with mail fraud in connection with his participation in a real estate investment scheme … Read more