Monday, March 11, 2013
Lower Macungie woman thought she was involved in the Secret Shopper program, troopers report. She received a fake money order but sent her own real money in return.
If we say it often enough, perhaps we can take the mystery out of the Mystery Shopper Scam and those like it. As always, a scam relies on believability and financial inducement. In a recent incident, a Lower Macungie Township woman was offered the trade of accepting a $930.50 money order in exchange for returning $650 of it via Western Union, according to state police at Fogelsville. That's a profit of $280.50. Sound good? The Lower Macungie woman thought so. Police did not detail what additional work Betsy Jean Rothrock of 1236 Eagle St. had to do for the money. Usually it's a matter of offering opinions of products and services following trips to stores. Rothrock had signed up for a Mystery Shopper program on the Internet, police said. …
Friday, February 22, 2013
Allentown man and woman told philanthropist Linny Fowler they needed money for a sick child, but spent her money instead on clothing, travel and gambling, DA John Morganelli says.
Marlene “Linny” Fowler was well-known in the Lehigh Valley for her generosity, giving millions of dollars away to institutions, causes and individuals she thought needed the money. But according to a Northampton County grand jury, two Allentown residents who got more than $1.2 million of the late UPS heiress’ money were taking advantage of her generous spirit. On Friday, Shawnta Equana Carmon, 32, of 27 West St., and Hassan Rahman Carmon, 34, of 848 N. 16th St., were each arraigned on four felony theft counts. Both were committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail. Shawnta Carmon took more than $1.15 million from Fowler during a four-and-a-half-year period that started in January 2008 and ended in August, according to …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Lower Macungie man was cheated when he wired $200 to a person who said he had to pay a licensing fee to register his business, troopers report.
A Lower Macungie Township man who runs an online business thought he was complying with a demand to register his service but was cheated out of the money instead, police said. William Ralph Boyle Jr. of the 1100 block of Hillview Drive was contacted by someone who claimed to belong to the outsourced corporation involved with his online business, according to state police at Fogelsville. That person said in December that Boyle needed to pay a $200 licensing fee to maintain his business. Boyle sent $200 via Western Union, police said. However, Boyle learned that the funds were not submitted to his company through the source to whom he sent the money. Police are investigating the incident as theft by deception.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Lower Macungie woman reported her suspicion before it cost her, troopers report.
Credit a Lower Macungie woman and her bank for realizing that a "secret shopper" claim had a few more secrets to it than met the eye, according to police. Wanda Ivette Valle of the 7400 block of Spring Creek Road took a check that she was to be paid to her bank for deposit and was told it was no good, according to state police at Fogelsville. Valle had received a letter and the check in the mail from Survey America to be paid to become a "secret shopper," a program in which -- when legitimate -- undisclosed participants evaluate the goods and services provided by a business and report their findings. She was sent a check by the company for first assignment, meaning the value and responsibility of guaranteeing the check would be transferred…
Friday, October 5, 2012
Elderly woman reported ruse after paying $356.61 in 'processing fees' after being told she won the sweepstakes, police say.
We've all seen on television commercials the joyous celebration of winners of the Publisher's Clearing House. The Prize Patrol rolls up with balloons. Smiling, peppy people ring the doorbell. And someone stands with an oversize cardboard check as the homeowner gushes in disbelief. We've all probably thought of a thing or two that we would do with some of that money if maybe, just maybe, we were lucky enough for that person gushing in disbelief to be us. That probably was the case for a Lower Macungie woman eight months ago. According to state police at Fogelsville, an 85-year-old resident of Sweetwood Drive was notified by mail that she was a Publisher's Clearing House winner. However, before she could claim her reward, the "winner" would …
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Caller tells Lower Macungie man that his grandson has been arrested in Mexico and needs bail money, police says.
- POLICE & FIRE
- Tad Miller
Thursday, September 27, 2012
They have differing characters and plots, but a scam by any other name is . . . still a scam. The variables are, of course, what makes this type of scam believable to some. That and the urgency that is always involved. Act now! That's always the common theme. And it's insisted upon to prompt an irrational response and one to act before checking facts. This scam occurred on Sept. 20 to a man on Alexander Drive in Lower Macungie Township. A caller said to the man that his grandson had been arrested in Mexico and needed bail money, according to state police at Fogelsville. The victim sent $4,000 via Western Union to Mexico. Police classified the incident theft by deception. Calls like these typically involve a friend or relative who has been …
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Woman believes she won $2.5 million, but pulls back payment in time, police say.
- POLICE & FIRE
- Tad Miller
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
The Money Pak Card Scam recently reared its ugly head again. But, this time, the near-victim was able to stop it in time. A Lower Macungie Township woman no doubt was delighted Aug. 6 to hear by telephone that she had won $2.5 million. Similarly exciting was the offer that she quickly could receive $85,000 of that amount. The catch? All she had to do was send $5,000 via a Money Pak Card purchased through Walmart, according to state police at Fogelsville. But the woman, by unexplained means, learned her windfall was a scam. She subsequently successfully canceled payment. However, police learned she previously had been scammed out of $500 in another contest "win." Police said that telephone calls with Area Codes 876, 809 and 284 are …
Friday, July 20, 2012
Caller wanted resident to buy $1,000 gift card to help him get a relative back to Pennsylvania, police say.
A Lower Macungie Township man deserves credit for sniffing out a variation of a scam and not falling for it. His reward? He gets to keep the $1,000 he would have otherwise been conned into giving a crook. The rest of us benefit, too. We get to hear the new sales pitch and learn to avoid it. Edward Konmath, 75, of 7460 Catalpa Drive told state police at Fogelsville that he received a call at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday from a man claiming to be a relative. The man went on to say that he was in Florida and his wallet was stolen. You can guess what came next. The caller, of course, asked for $1,000 from Konmath so he could return home, police said. The caller said he could obtain access to the money if Konmath would purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak gift …
Monday, July 2, 2012
Partner in Lower Mac business is victim of scam, paying money to bail employee out of jail, police say.
So much is made today about a lack of employer-employee loyalty, but a Lower Macungie businessman was scammed recently when he paid money to bail a worker out of jail, police said. The problem was, the worker wasn't in jail. William Dennis Ouellette Jr., listed online as a managing partner of Texas Roadhouse, 6268 Hamilton Blvd., received a call from a man about 11 a.m. June 29, according to state police at Fogelsville. The caller told Ouellette, who lives in Blandon, Berks County, that one of his employees had been arrested and needed bail money. The caller, who identified himself as a "law enforcement officer," said money should be sent by wire transfer to an unknown individual, police said. Ouellette sent an amount of money that was not…
Friday, March 9, 2012
Police say they were told to send money before they would receive promised amount.
A thief scammed a Lower Macungie pair out of an undisclosed amount of money recently by telling them they were approved for a loan, but only if they sent money first. State police at Fogelsville only identified the alleged victims as being 26- and 27-year-old women living in the 6700 block of Lower Macungie Road. The women were told they would receive the loan but that they had to transfer money via Western Union. When the women suspected a problem, they requested their money back but to date have not received it. They reported the suspected scam on Feb. 20. Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 610-395-1438. In other recently reported Lower Macungie incidents: Burglary: Reported Feb. 21 by Marilyn Judith Claire of 2846 …