|Sulphur Springs man accused of Internet scams|
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
August 8, 2005 - A local man reportedly scammed at least two individuals out of money and convinced a third to pack up house and move across the country for employment and marriage recently through online communications, according to a police reports.
One victim said that the man was seeking donations over the Internet to assist his family following a number of recent mishaps and tragedies, including a supposed house fire on South League Street, which claimed all of his 9-year-old daughter’s belongings. He also reportedly claimed that his wife had died in a vehicle accident and that he had broken a leg at work. A Texas Street address was listed for donations.
Investigators, upon learning the identify of the man, noted that not only does the man not live at the address where the fire was said to have occurred, but that there was no fire there nor does the man have a 9-year-old daughter.
Another woman reported that she and a friend, upon hearing his tale, had both sent donations to the address listed on the Internet to help the young girl. They contacted police after running across subsequent information online that the pitch was a scam.
Still another woman claimed to have been lured to Sulphur Springs by the man, who promised her a job and to marry her. When she arrived with her possessions in a U-Haul, she learned that not only could the man she had corresponded with online not employ her, he did not even have a job himself nor did he have a daughter.
Residents are cautioned to be wary of such scams, and to verify information before sending money, especially it the tale sounds extremely woeful or in instances where funds are to be sent to individuals. Generally, local organizations will establish funds at financial institutes or accept donations on the family’s behalf when disasters and misfortune strike.