Computer Crime Research Center


Local woman's dreams of wealth dashed by fraud

Date: September 09, 2004
Source: Marco Island Sun Times
By: Carol Glassman

Sabrina Mount is a 25-year-old single mother of three daughters ages 6, 5 and 4. Before her old computer crashed, one of her jobs as a mystery shopper took her online to file reports and make surveys. She vaguely recalled entering some kind of contest, so when her telephone rang recently and a man identifying himself as Jerry Monaghan told her, "You've won $50,000," she thought it was legitimate.

"He said he'd send me a check for $1,200 and all I had to do was send him two Western Union money orders, to cover bank fees and his expenses as an agent."

"Monaghan" gave her his phone number, 1-800-442-2345 and a confirmation number: 0013518732.

"He was in a rush," Mount stated. "He said he'd been trying to get in touch with me by e-mail and regular mail and had finally telephoned because if he didn't get my claim in fast there'd be no money."

The check for $1,200 arrived by FedEx from California, she thought. Mount immediately deposited it in her account at Marco Island's First National Bank on Elkcam Circle. Following instructions from the man calling himself Monaghan, she then sent two separate Western Union money orders, to Timothy Ryan and to Blake Smith in Phoenix, Ariz. One was in the amount of $487 plus a $44 service charge, and the other was $503 plus a $52 service charge, making a total of $1,086.

Mount and her three children live with her mother, her sister and her child in an apartment. Without a computer, she's temporarily unemployed. She collects Medicaid, food stamps, and has a $5,000 debt "mainly for medical bills." At the moment, her telephone is almost out of prepaid time and she's worried. She hoped to get work substituting in local elementary schools, but without a phone, how can anyone contact her?
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2004-09-13 07:33:31 - People.....Don't fall this... I feel... Benny
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