|Barked: Wed Jun 1, '05 7:24pm PST |
|This is Willow talking now.. I'm AJ's mom and I am involved with "Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary" in West Virginia. I've been involved with the organization for over a year. Today I received an email from the webmaster of the site, Kat. (I've known her for over a year also and have emailed many times with her.)
Please read and pass on the info to any animal rescue organization that you may be involved with:
Date: 06/01/05 15:16:14
Subject: Fraudulent Donations - Scams hit the charities
For anyone who may someone involved with charity organizations or non-profits... feel free to give them pass this message along to them. Carol, the writer of the message below, is the administrator of a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit golden retriever rescue in W.V. If the cons targeted them, I would imagine they are targeting many other charitable organizations as well. I included one of the responses to the original post since they mention the same trend taking place with e-commerce sites and those selling items on E-Bay & Craigslist.
If something seems to too good to be true, it probably is.
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 32 PM
Please cross-post this everywhere!
About 2 months ago I was contacted by an individual named Thereza Criz (may be an alias) about donating to our group. I gave her our information and she said she would send a donation via money order, that she lived in the UK.
She then contacted me and told me she was now in Africa working for the Aides Eradication Group and that when I received her money, I was to immediately send 40% of it to that group. Well, this sounded weird to me, so I told her no way. Then she told me to split it with "groups like yours". I could see no harm there, and agreed to do that.
I didn't hear from her for almost a month. About 2 weeks ago she began emailing me and asking if I had received her donation. I hadn't. Then she wanted me to email her immediately when we received it.
Last Friday I got 4 US Postal Money Orders in the mail - they were for $950 each. They were clearly made payable to Almost Heaven, sent from Nigeria (remember that part), but purchased by a Steve McGee of Indianapolis, IN. My antenna went up immediately. I got the postal inspector's office involved.
I was then instructed by Thereza Criz to send 40% of the $3800 donation via Western Union Moneygram to the Aids Eradication Group in Nigeria. I didn't fall for this scam.
Today, the postal inspectors informed me that these Money Orders are counterfeit. I am turning them over to them for disposition. The Postal Inspector told me that this counterfeit group has even pulled this scam on churches.
Please, please forward this message to everyone and anyone that you think might be targeted as a victim. We are a small rescue - so no one is safe.
Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc.
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