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CONSUMER ALERT: Moneygram scam

Updated: Tuesday, January 14 2014, 08:01 PM CST
Identity thieves and scam artists are now using their *victim's kindness to get into their wallets.

Here's a Consumer Alert for anyone who's used *Moneygram.

(Wanda Wood, Fraud Victim)
"One morning I answered the phone and this a young fella said "hi Grandma""
 
Wanda Wood says the voice sounded like her grandson.
He said he was in Canada and needed help.
She immediately wired him 4500 dollars via Moneygram.
 
(Wanda Wood, Fraud Victim)
"I really and truly thought it was Matt. The kid sounded like him."
 Con artists intercepted *it and money sent by hundreds of others who were targeted in the scheme.
 
(Wanda Wood, Fraud Victim)
"I was really disappointed. There I was out of 4500 dollars."
 The Justice Department found Moneygram in violation of processing thousands of transactions for people  known to be involved in scams.
 
(Nick Alicea, US Postal Inspector)
"The corrupt agents converted the money transfers to cash in a manner that maintained the anonymity of fraudsters."
 
Moneygram profited from the scheme by collecting fees on the fraudulent transactions.

Schemes included "The Grandparent Scam" that lured in Wanda, but also secret shopper scams and sweepstakes or lottery scams.
 
Don Golden's mother lost 60,000 dollars and came close to losing her home.
 (Don Golden, Fraud Victim)
"She decided that she didn't have the money to pay her school taxes because she was putting all of her money in this sweepstakes activity."
 
Moneygram has agreed to pay 100 million dollars for its role in the scam between 2004 and 2009.
 
(Don Golden, Fraud Victim)
"This in my mind is a milestone day because we are seeing some justice for my mother and my family."
 
Postal inspectors will distribute $46 million dollars to almost 18,000 victims or family members of scam victims across the country.
 
(Karen Luther, Fraud Victim)
"It will never give back what I've been through. Because it tore my world apart it really did"

If you think you may be a victim of a Moneygram scheme, log onto justice.gov for instructions on how to file a request for compensation or just click here:

CONSUMER ALERT: Moneygram scam


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