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How woman found herself in middle of international scam

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credit-cardsTime and time again, you are alerted to online dangers. Now, experts say you should also beware of people who try to take advantage of your friendship and involve you in a possible crime.

“This is a real nice media projector,” Lt. Tim Trowbridge with the Kennett Police Dept. says.

It’s all part of a stolen stash investigators tracked down at a Kennett woman’s home. Turns out, she got taken in by an online scammer, so we promised to protect her identity – in exchange for her story.

“I met this man, and we were friends. I met him online. We had chatted and my husband was very understanding,” she says.

The woman tells me she just wanted a friend and George Wellington, as he called himself, came across friendly – online and in a picture he sent – supposedly of himself. “He was well mannered, very educated, very polite, very complimentary; like I said we talked about everything under the sun,” the woman tells me.

Then Wellington said he was moving to Ghana, Africa and asked his friend in Kennett for a favor.

“He asked me if he had things sent to me, would I forward them to him? I said yes as long as they weren’t illegal.”

Lt. Trowbridge says the items were mostly projectors. He says the projectors weren’t stolen, but they were purchased illegally – with stolen credit cards.

“They were shipping these projectors to three locations. One in Ohio, one in New York. We were able to run down the one in Ohio, but we are still trying to track down suspects in New York.”

Police say in return, the people Wellington met online would get special gifts and of course, his friendship.

Trowbridge says he’s worked with police in other states to track down the rightful owners of the stolen credit cards, and also made contact with Wellington to let him know the game was up.

Since then, he says he’s turned the investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Meanwhile the woman in Kennett says she’s learned her lesson, and plans on staying offline from now on.

“I felt like I was being used and put myself in jeopardy,” she says.

Investigators say the woman herself won’t face any charges – because she’s cooperating with them.

Again police ask you to beware of sharing too much information with strangers online. They also advise you to check your credit statements regularly and contact your card company if you notice any charges on there you don’t recognize.

Source: ABC

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