Music, lights, laughter. Doesn't sound like a place where con artists are waiting to pounce. But con men have found a new place to recruit victims.
US Postal Inspector Keith Moore said, "They would approach a young woman at a nightclub, flash a lot of cash, buy them a drink or two and they would say 'hey, we're launching an entrepreneurial business.'"
While still in the club, the con men offer to help these women set up their own company. Briana Scroggiens was one of those victims. She said, "To start my business he told me to go downtown to get a certificate for the business and then take it to him."
She filled out the forms to start a business - then opened a bank account with checks supplied by the con men. She said, "I deposited two checks for I think about $5,000 and I withdrew the money and gave it to the guy."
Moore said they would basically have them deposit fraudulent checks - the checks would then be deemed fraudulent and the women would be on the hook for the money. Briana ended up owing the bank $10,000.
Moore said, "The victims were basically at a loss. Their credit was hurt; they were in debt to the financial institution for the money they lost."
Scroggiens said, "What I learned from this is to be more careful about my choices."
Postal inspectors emphasize that you should never do business with someone you don't know. Briana was one of 25 victims in this case with more than $300,000 in losses.
US Postal Inspector/Consumer Alert