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Fraud, Deceit, and Being Scammed

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We all read about it constantly in newspapers and online. We've sadly become familiar with the words "Hackers", "Imposter Scams", "Fraud', and "ID Theft". We tend to be cautious in what we reply to and know when not to reply. Despite exercising caution, I'm sad to report to you that our organization was recently scammed. We have been awaiting the results of the six-week FBI investigation and police report. The first of those investigations has been reached with no results.

On January 31st, our board Treasurer received an email asking for a money transfer in the amount of $4,500 to be wired to a credit union in Canton, Michigan immediately. While the email at first looked legitimate, there were signs that it was not. We have never requested nor used a wire transfer and the recipient was someone we did not know. While it appeared the email came from me, the name on it was Kevin Clark. Our Treasurer went down to our bank and made the transfer. It was picked up in Canton within minutes.

On Sunday, February 5th, I telephoned our Treasurer, asking about another item. At that time, he asked me what the $4,500 was for. I was baffled, confused, stunned, and in the dark. Eventually, he was able to forward the initial email request to me. As soon as I saw it, I realized we had been scammed. I scheduled an Executive Session board meeting for Monday night, February 6th.

At that meeting, a plan was formulated. First off, a plan was created to be included in our Policies and Procedures which included limiting use of wire transfers only with prior board approval and requiring checks for non-budgeted expenditures in excess of $500 to require prior approval of at least two board members with a reply confirmation. The next day, our Treasurer visited the Wells Fargo bank from which the wire transfer was made. They asked for six weeks to investigate. He then filed a FBI report. The FBI would not be able to secure the funds, but their investigation set-out to trace it down and find and possibly prosecute the scammers. There are no results with either investigation.

The second part of our investigation was the filing of a police report with the city of Canton, Michigan, which had to be done in-person. Our Secretary, Richard Tobiason, did this. The police findings will be reported to him at the end of March (the next week).
With the passing of the six-week investigation period, it is imperative that we share this event with you. Last week, one of our board members, A.J. Ratliff, made a personal donation of $500 to help offset our loss. We all thank him for his generous contribution.

This needs to stand as a caution to all of our chapters to be careful and on the lookout for future attacks of this nature. Some years ago, one of our chapters was scammed $500. Sadly, it's a reflection of our world; it could happen to you!


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Last modified on Saturday, 22 April 2017 16:05