I-Team 10 Consumer Alert: Risky investments

Posted at: 07/09/2013 5:39 PM
Updated at: 07/09/2013 5:50 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

As part of our commitment to you, News10NBC tries to help you protect your money. And when it comes to investing your hard earned dollars, be careful who you trust.

I-Team 10 found out no matter what you are told, consumers must also remember all investments carry risk.

A wealthy, retired businessman decided to invest $3 million. The scam artist, claiming to be an international financier, promised he'd be buying European bank notes at half their face values and selling them to other banks across the globe for almost twice as much. A short time after investing his $3 million, the victim, in his 80's, got back $1 million.

Tammy Mayle, U.S. Postal Inspector, said, “They gained the trust of the victim."

As for the other two million, the scam artists, over two years, kept coming up with excuses as to why it hadn't doubled. According to Mayle, the truth was the money was never invested anywhere. She says it never left the fraudster's bank account and that he was living off the money."

John Brewster, attorney, said, "He was devastated. He was incredulous that anyone would take advantage of him in this way."

Especially given the fact that the two million had been earmarked as a donation to the victim's church.

Mayle said, "The victim died before the case was finished.  His wife wrote a letter to the judge saying he was never able to use the investment for his church and he died of a broken heart."

The two scam artists in this case both plead guilty and went to prison.

Two things to remember, don't fall for investments that promise quick returns and claims that you won't lose money. Also, beware of  investments requiring you to wire the money. Wire transfers make it easy for con-artists to move money around to many different banks.

If you find yourself in trouble like this, call the I-Team 10 at 232-1010.