A Canadian con man who was caught on video bragging about stealing from the elderly was among 200 people charged by US Authorities with defrauding seniors.
Andrew John Thomas boasted about his sweepstakes scheme at a 2016 conference for postal scammers in Whistler, British Columbia, authorities said.
“My ability to whore my beautiful talent to sell this s— to people who don’t need it. It’s hard to be, it’s hard to be proud of it, but well I’m good at it.” said Thomas.
Authorities say Thomas masterminded the swindle of more than $4.5 million annually by duping senior citizens into believing they had won large sums of money. He targeting elderly Americans typically notifiying them via mail that they’d won a sweepstakes prize and all they needed to do to claim it was to pay a processing fee and money for taxes.
The mailings instructed recipients to return a response card with a processing fee in order to accept the bogus winnings. They received no money — only more solicitations. While many stopped sending money after realizing they had been duped, others continued to do so in hopes of claiming the prize.
U.S. law enforcement officials announced what they labelled as the largest ever fraud enforcement action involving elderly Americans, charging more than 200 people and bringing civil actions against dozens more.
Agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, (the enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service), executed search warrants at 14 locations that some of the same fraudsters have run for years.
Officers from the Vancouver Police Department in Canada served dozens of search warrants as part of the enforcement action.
This was a clearly a well organised and effective take-down of a lot of scammers by co-ordinated action between US agencies and the Canadian Police.
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