TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: 2.8 Million Defrauded in Latest Schemes

2.8 Million Defrauded in Latest Schemes

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 23 May 2006 15:39:20 -0500

Hundreds arrested in international fraud schemes.

More than 565 people on three continents have been arrested over the
past year as part of an international operation targeting
mass-marketing fraud schemes, the U.S. Justice Department said on

The department said about 2.8 million people had fallen victim to the
fraud schemes that were carried out through the Internet, and by

Through "Operation Global Con," police in countries across North and
South America and Europe have uncovered a number of scams and have
arrested 565 people since March 1, 2005. The majority of the arrests
were made in Spain, followed by the United States, Canada and the

Some of the schemes included sweepstakes fraud, when a victim is told
he or she has won a large amount of money in a sweepstakes but must
first pay bogus "fees" or "taxes" on the winnings. Once the victim
sends the payment, no sweepstakes winnings are ever received.

Other scams include fake offers of "pre-approved" credit cards and
loans, offers of nonexistent investments and tax fraud schemes.

About 2.8 million victims have suffered losses totaling more than $1
billion in relation to these fraud scams.

Officials said elderly people were often targets of the fraud because
they are perceived to be more vulnerable and willing to believe the
mail or telephone offers.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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