The Better Business Bureau in Louisville was contacted this week by a consumer in Chicago who responded to a Craigslist ad. After responding to this job ad, the consumer was offered a job with “Moyse Consulting Co.” The company listed an address in Louisville and has a snazzy website, www.moyse.biz. (There was a real business named Moyse Consulting but this business closed in 2010. The “new” Moyse Consulting Co.” has simply stolen the name of the former legitimate business.)
The consumer stated that he accepted the job and began receiving packages at his Chicago home addressed to “John Doe,” “Santa Claus” and other names that might have raised suspicions. Nonetheless, the consumer thought at first that this was a real job. He dutifully followed instructions to ship the packages to Russia, the Ukraine and other foreign destinations. He was confident that he would be paid by his new “employer” and was even using his own limited resources to pay the shipping costs.
Finally, the consumer began to have suspicions and contacted the BBB. The BBB promptly advised the consumer that this ”job” was a scam, and that by participating he was becoming involved with a criminal enterprise. These “re-shipping” scams always involve receiving merchandise that has been purchased using stolen credit card numbers and then re-shipping that merchandise to locations outside the United States. But even after we told the consumer that he was dealing with scammers, he went back to his “boss” and requested information to show that Moyse Consulting Co. was a legitimate business. The boss accomodated this request, sending the consumer two “business registrations” that looked real enough, one from the “State of Kentucky,” and the other from Metro Louisville.
This BBB’s ace investigator, Bruce Gadansky, quickly found discrepancies in the documents, including these:
- The document had ”State of Kentucky” as the heading, but we’re the “Commonwealth of Kentucky” on all official documents.
- The document referred to the “Kentucky Division of Revenue,” Kentucky’s is the “Department of Revenue.
- The document also referred to the “Department of Treasury.” But Kentucky has no agency using that name.
- The document listed a Sequence Number of “1418079.” Kentucky uses SIX digits and doesn’t call them by that name.
- The document was boldly signed by “James J. Fruscione.” As it turns out Mr. Fruscione is a director of a Division of Revenue…in New Jersey.
Once these discrepancies were pointed out to the consumer, he was finally convinced that he was dealing with scammers and agreed to contact the FBI office in Chicago. Unfortunately, this story will not have a happy ending. The consumer will at best have lost the money that he spent to re-ship the merchandise. At worst, he could find himself in legal difficulty.
Following two fundamental rules would save a high percentage of scam victims: 1) Never wire money to someone you don’t know well and trust completely…and have certainty that the money is actually going to that person; and, 2) Don’t get involved with shipping merchandise overseas or paying a “shipping agent” to receive merchandise such as a car, boat, motorcycle, horse or anything else that you have purchased online but not seen.