Bank Irregularities Lead to Arrests
Your next door neighbor might be helping people in Nigeria steal your money. Last month, East Moline police arrested 57-year-old Barbara Segura and 48-year-old Frederico Sausedo, and they're accused of running an internet scam.
Lieutenant Darren Gault says a local bank notified the police department when routine monitoring showed the suspects' accounts were receiving payments from all over the country, and that the money was then "wired" overseas. So he called the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center to find out more about the suspects.
In this case, Gault says victims were taken in by an advanced payment scheme. For example, people are persuaded to pay someone a fee of 100 to 1,000 dollars BEFORE receiving a promised 100,000 dollar government grant.
He says Segura and Sausedo were in the "middle" of the ranks of Nigerian scam artists. And they're not from Nigeria.
On Tuesday, Segura and Sausedo pleaded not guilty to felony charges of money laundering, theft, and wire fraud.
Gault and his detectives in East Moline have investigated many types of scams, including internet, email, and phone schemes. His advice is be skeptical, research, and verify, verify, verify. And, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."