Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Scam Psychology: Did they really think they can get away with it? They sure did!

Sometimes, the actions of certain... perpetrators are puzzling, at least to people from the outside looking in. If they had not gone back for that one last thing, they may have gotten away scot free, but because they felt they can do it, they now face much much more trouble than if they had not.

One such incident, which had nothing to do with scam, was published at Jalopnik recently. Basically, a motorcyclist at Golden Gate Bridge did not like the camera crew from Channel 4 News there filming. So the guy made an illegal U-turn, went down the ONRAMP the wrong way, parked his bike, just to come have a "don't film me!" moment with the reporter. Which of course, only lead to even MORE filming. The entire sequence was caught by surveillance camera at the control center, who then summon Golden Gate Bridge Patrol, who detained the gentleman for questioning, and upon finding that the bike is UNREGISTERED, and the guy doesn't even have a motorcycle license (he has a car driver license) California Highway Patrol was summoned and the bike was towed and the guy have to find some other way home.

The guy seriously thought he can make illegal U-turn, drive the wrong way down on-ramp, and have no consequences? Nah.

Alleged crooks do things just as stupid, and sometimes, much worse.

Those who keep up with the Scamworld should recall that when TelexFree in Boston was raided by law enforcement on April 16th, 2014, the day after they tried to declare bankruptcy in Las Vegas (on the other side of the country). DURING THE RAID, their Chief Financial Officer Joe H. Craft tried to retrieve his bag containing his laptop and over 36 MILLION in cashier's checks, all of which are company money. When accosted by a Sheriff's Deputy, Craft claimed he was a bankruptcy consultant and all that is his personal property. He was ordered to hand over the bag, NOTHING leaves, and that's when the cashier's checks were discovered.

The guy seriously thought he can lie to law enforcement, and try to leave with over $36 million in cashier's checks, when there's a Federal and State police raid in progress?

Ah, but things can get worse. In at least two more cases, two potential idiots seriously thought they can get paid more when they may actually OWE money.

Any one remember Zeek Rewards ponzi scheme? It was shut down in August 2012 by SEC and other Federal agencies as a $850 million ponzi scheme. I was one of the most vocal critics asking questions and one of their consultants tried to shut me down, but that's another story you can read elsewhere. Any way, Zeek Rewards Receiver Ken Bell recently filed some documents to deny some claims, and it makes for an interesting reading.

In the document, the receiver stated that the two largest claims filed were 30 million, and 14.9 million, respectively.

However, receiver's records revealed that the claimant who filed the $30 million claim had only put in $10.00 (yes, that's a mere TEN DOLLARS) into Zeek.  Did he really think he can file that, even as a joke?

Which brings us to the 2nd claim... 14.9 million by "Plastic Cash International" (PCI). They started processing payments for Zeek in June 2012, two months before Zeek was shut down by the Feds. They filed a claim 12 months later, claiming they are owed 14.9 million for losses sustained. Receiver denied their claim, stating that they are a "trade creditor", which is of a lower priority than the victims of the Ponzi scheme that had put in money.

PCI appealed, which prompted the receiver to look again

As it turns out, Zeek was using an intermediary called SecureNet to do business with PCI, and somehow this was overlooked or never came up in the investigations, and additional accounts were discovered. One account had over 800,000 dollars, which was then seized by US Secret Service as per previous court order.  So the receiver went back to ask PCI... are you *sure* you're not holding any Zeek money, under some other name, in some other account? PCI said no.

They were lying. Turned out there was yet MORE account where PCI had stashed Zeek funds... another 8.9 million dollars worth, almost ALL of the money they received in those two short months, that were never turned over.  Half of which was charged as "fees", "fines", "chargebacks", and such by PCI. The other half is simply... gone.

And here they are asking for 14.9 million MORE, when they put no money into Zeek, yet they want to be treated same as people who did put money in.

And they really think they can get away with it?

Would you want them to, if you're one of the Zeek victims, watching them "have their cake and eat it too"?

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