Scam artists switch gears

The man trying to scam a Fallong woman by saying she had won the Canadian Lottery has stopped calling. But now someone's using another method to try to lure her to send money -- fake checks and letters.

"Now I'm getting checks saying I've won money," said Mary Voris. "From Midland Guarantee Reserve, $7,300 payable to me if I send them $29.95. There's another check of $5,482.59 that's mine if I send them $29.95. Then there's the Canadian Maritime Insurance check for $5,000 -- if I send $29.95."

Voris was told by Phonebusters, a division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this is a way for scam artists to "follow up" on a person.

"I cannot tell you how many of these letters I've thrown away. I used to get three or four a week. Until the phone calls came in I didn't pay attention to them. I also got one from American Wealth that said I could win $12,500 and all they want is $7.98. Isn't that interesting?"

Voris said had she mailed the money she could be spending $100-$150 a week to get nothing. And her suspicions of where the money may be going were confirmed by an employee at Phonebusters.

"They told me this money is commonly used for child pornography, drug rings and terrorists," Voris said. "And I'm not the only one getting these letters."

Nevada Attorney General's Office investigator Teresa Duffy has been working with Voris to gain as much information as possible for possible prosecution.

"We've been doing our best to follow up on these cases," Duffy said. "It's very common for them to follow up with physical paperwork to make (a scam) look more legitimate. It's a common ploy."

Duffy said the scammers are getting more and more clever and are using several different forms of "prizes." She also said only with cooperation from people like Voris do they have a chance of catching the criminals.

"We try to act as quickly as we can because time is of the essence," Duffy said.

"It's people like Mary who help us set up stings. We're hoping Canada can help narrow this down with the extra paperwork Mary has been forwarding to us and them."

"It makes you wonder how many actually fall for this type of scam," Voris said. "They are very persistent so I decided to get as much information as I possibly could because if you can catch one, you can catch more. I just want him caught and to leave us seniors alone."


Carson City Sheriff's Department: 887-2500

Consumer Affairs Division: (800) 326-5202 (

Better Business Bureau: 322-0657 (

Fraud Hotline: (800) 266-8688

Phonebusters, a division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: (888) 495-8501


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