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Cops: Cyberscam Led Man to Kill His Family

Thai police say Sanit Dokmai, now charged with premeditated murder, also tried to take his own life

(Newser) - At least 11 people are suspected to be involved with a loan scam that allegedly drove a man to kill his wife and two young boys before trying to take his own life in their family home, Thai police said Wednesday. Sanit Dokmai has been charged with premeditated murder after...

Imprisoned Over Huge Scam, He Insists It Was All Legal

'The Walrus' tells the story of Patrice Runner, who pitched psychic services to believers

(Newser) - As a teen, Canadian Patrice Runner was so intrigued by the power of persuasive copywriting that he set out to become one. Eventually, he was running a booming direct marketing business selling numerous schemes and self-help publications—and the abilities of a psychic, Maria Duval . As Rachel Browne writes for...

She Left a Holocaust Survivor 'Penniless and Betrayed'

Peaches Stergo, who stole $2.8M from him, is handed a 51-month sentence

(Newser) - The Florida woman who "deceived an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor, maliciously draining his life savings so she could become a millionaire through fraud," will pay for her crime. Peaches Stergo, 36, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in April and was on Thursday sentenced to four years and three months...

8 Busted in Alleged California Recycling Scam

They allegedly brought in tons of cans and bottles from Arizona

(Newser) - California charges an extra 5 or 10 cents on bottles and cans, which can be redeemed when they're returned to a recycling center—and those nickels and dimes can add up to a lot of money, especially if you're bringing in out-of-state containers by the ton. The state...

Man's Yearslong Manure Scam Sends Him to Prison

Ray Brewer, 66, sentenced to 6 years for cow dung-to-green energy scheme

(Newser) - A California man is going to prison for running a cow dung-to-green energy scheme that authorities say was a load of manure. Ray Brewer, 66, of Porterville was sentenced Monday to six years and nine months in federal prison in a yearslong scam that bilked investors out of $8.75...

Mom: Kidnap Scam Used AI Clone of Daughter's Voice

Jennifer DeStefano is spreading the word after terrifying phone call

(Newser) - Jennifer DeStefano got a call from an unknown number while her 15-year-old daughter Brianna was at an athletic event. Fearing an emergency, she answered, reports CNN . DeStefano heard a girl's voice identical to Brianna's. She screamed that she'd "messed up," then the terrified mom heard...

Principal Quits After Being Scammed by Fake Elon Musk

She wrote $100K check after months of communicating with fraudster

(Newser) - The principal of a charter STEM school in Florida resigned this week after saying she had been taken in by a scammer pretending to be Elon Musk. "I am a very smart lady. Well-educated. I fell for a scam," Dr. Jan McGee told a board meeting, per WESH...

FTC Warns of 'Terrifying' Phone Scam Driven by AI

Agency says voice cloning can make caller sound like a loved one begging for money

(Newser) - Many of us have heard of the old hoax in which victims receive phone calls from "police" or a "doctor" (actually scammers) saying that a loved one is in trouble and needs money sent stat. Now, in what NPR says "sounds like a plot from a science...

They Make a Living Scamming Scammers
They Make a Living
Scamming Scammers

They Make a Living Scamming Scammers

'Rest of World' profiles the duo behind Trilogy Media of YouTube fame

(Newser) - In the jargon of their chosen field, Artsiom “Art” Kulik and Ashton Bingham are "scambaiters." Which means, as a profile at Rest of World explains, that the popular YouTubers make it their mission to flip the tables on workers at call centers who try to scam unsuspecting...

Her Fake Feel-Good Story Just Went Even More South

Katelyn McClure gets 3 more years in jail in case involving fake $400K fundraiser for homeless man

(Newser) - A New Jersey woman who pleaded guilty to helping her boyfriend spread a feel-good story about a homeless veteran that garnered more than $400,000 in online donations has been sentenced to three years in prison on state theft charges. Burlington County prosecutors say Katelyn McClure, 32, wasn't present...

Feds Nab Pastor, Son in Alleged $8.4M COVID Scam

Evan and Josh Edwards accused of setting up fake ministry, trying to buy posh home near Disney

(Newser) - In early July, NBC News filed a report about a Florida pastor and his family, accused by federal prosecutors in late 2020 court papers of pulling off a big-bucks COVID relief scam. "Why haven't they been charged?" the news outlet asked regarding the "curious" case. That question...

Fake Astronaut Wooed Woman to Pay for Return Ticket to Earth
Woman Duped Out of $30K
in Out-of-This-World Scam

Woman Duped Out of $30K in Out-of-This-World Scam

Online lover convinced 65-year-old in Japan he was astronaut who needed cash to return to Earth

(Newser) - Nigerian prince scams are so 1990s—welcome to the 21st century and the Russian cosmonaut scam. Kyodo News reports that police are looking into the claims of a 65-year-old woman in Japan's Shiga prefecture who said she fell in love with a man online who tricked her into...

Cops: Woman Scammed Own Mom in $140M Psychic Ruse

Sabine Boghici, 48, and accomplices are accused of conning her 82-year-old mother for years

(Newser) - A Brazilian woman was arrested this week and accused of recruiting a group of fake psychics to scam her own 82-year-old mother out of about $140 million in cash, artwork, and jewelry, reports the Washington Post . The alleged scheme began in January 2020, when Genevieve Boghici, the wealthy widow of...

GoFundMe Scammer Pleads Guilty a Second Time
GoFundMe Scammer
Sentenced to a Year in Prison

GoFundMe Scammer Sentenced to a Year in Prison

Katelyn McClure could get more time on state charges

(Newser) - Update: New Jersey woman Katelyn McClure has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for her role in a 2017 GoFundMe scam. McClure, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud, was also ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution, the Department of Justice says. The 32-year-old could face more prison...

If You Get a Call From 'Elliot Stewart,' Be Wary

$13M has been stolen from the elderly in a rare-wine scam

(Newser) - The world of fine wine and whiskey continues to be a magnet for thieves and frauds . The Washington Post reports on allegations that three England-based companies claiming huge returns on investments in rare booze actually stole more than $13 million from at least 150 Americans—many of them elderly. Representatives...

Romance Scammer Posed With Wads of Cash in Photos

New Jersey's Rubbin Sarpong is sentenced to 14 years in prison

(Newser) - A New Jersey man just got sentenced to 14 years in prison over an online scam in which he tricked about 40 women on dating websites into sending him money. Prosecutors say one of the women killed herself after wiring him $93,000 and realizing she'd been duped, reports...

She Asked the Handyman Out. She Would Come to Regret It

'Toronto Life' delves into Heather Rovet's relationship with an alleged serial scammer

(Newser) - It was an innocuous start. The handyman who showed up to fix her cabinets in July 2018 turned out to be talkative and charming. On a return visit to fix a towel rack, Heather Rovet asked him out, and the relationship quickly became serious. She wouldn't learn what a...

Florida Parents Fall Victim to Easter Egg Scam

They say they were asked to pay in advance for 'Egg My Yard' deal

(Newser) - A cruel scam left children in central Florida thinking the Easter Bunny had skipped their home, parents say. The scammed parents say somebody calling themselves "Sarah Honey" advertised an "Egg My Yard" deal on social media, promising to scatter eggs filled with candy or toys in yards, along...

SIM Swaps Are on the Rise
SIM Swaps Are on the Rise

SIM Swaps Are on the Rise

The sophisticated scam cost people $68M last year

(Newser) - Beware the SIM swap. The FBI says the sophisticated scam that involves hackers getting access to first your cell phone and then your financial accounts is on the rise, Fox News reports. It starts with scammers getting someone's personal details, which can be done via phishing emails, phishing calls,...

Cops: Grandma Outsmarts Her Would-Be Scammer

Long Island woman, 73, lures him to her home, where police were waiting

(Newser) - This time, the "grandparent scam" backfired in a big way an on alleged scammer. Police on Long Island say a 73-year-old woman lured a man trying to con her out of $8,000 to her home, where officers arrested him, reports News 12 . The case unfolded last week, when...

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