Beware of Scams

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I am pretty sure that a man named Ronald XXXXXX out of Chicago, Illinois tried to scam me into sending him money for my lost journal. He wanted me to send him $25 via Western Union and another $25 when I got the Journal. When I asked him to identify more discription in the Journal he said it was actually his son who had the Journal and that he was on his way to go get it to mail it. His cell phone number came up on my caller ID as xxx-xxx-xxxx.
I said I would make sure he got his money when he could convince me he had the journal and it was mailed. He has not called back.

Fri, 04 Oct 2002 1:42pm - I sent an e-mail three days ago requesting that my listing be deleted and it is still there. I have received two phone calls from people trying to scam me into sending them money because they claimed to have my rings. Please, Please, Please remove it for me. I did not enter a password. My phone # is ###-#### and the listing is for Jewelery-Wedding and engagements rings, and I am in PA. My e-mail address is so feel free to contact me if needed. I am sending this from my husbands e-mail account because I think I may have used his e-mail address when I originally posted the listing but I am not sure of this. I Thank you in advance and hope you will take care of this for me ASAP!

(02-20) 08:17 PST RENO, Nev. (AP) -- A man Nevada authorities accuse of defrauding the owners of lost pets has been arrested in California.

William Arnold Muniz, 39, was arrested in Alameda County on a parole violation. Nevada authorities suspect him of running a nationwide pet scam that bilked thousands of dollars from pet owners who thought they'd be getting their animals back.

The state attorney general's office is asking Washoe County to issue an arrest warrant charging Muniz with three counts of obtaining money under false pretenses.

Deputy Attorney General Tracey Brierly said the arrest of a suspected accomplice, Ann Malandish, 31, could come this week.

Authorities allege the suspects checked lost pet ads in newspapers and on the Internet. They'd then pretend to have found the animals and call the owners asking for money to cover bogus veterinarian bills or transportation costs to ship the animal home.

John Czoberek of Fernley thought a kind-hearted couple was returning his lost dog in November when he got a call. Instead, he was bilked out of $1,000.

``If that's the guy, I hope they throw the book at him,'' Czoberek told the Reno Gazette-Journal. ``The scam was so believable, so detailed, so convincing. I felt like a fool.''

Czoberek eventually got his dog back from a couple who found it hiding under their mobile home in Fernley.

Muniz has previous convictions for financial fraud in Nevada and may be tried under the habitual criminal statute, Brierly said.

``This scam was very widespread,'' she said. ``He was operating all over the country getting his leads from lost pet ads and lost jewelry ads. He'd con people at least five times per week at about $400 to $1,000 per person.''

``We're concentrating on prosecuting at least six cases where the money changed hands in Nevada,'' Brierly said. ``At first Muniz sent homeless people to pick up the money for him. He paid them $20 to get the Western Union envelope.

``But then he started picking it up himself and that's when we connected him.''

The three counts listed in the criminal complaint involve a lost necklace and two lost cats. In all three cases the money was sent to Reno or Sparks and the victims failed to get back their lost property, the complaint st ates.

©2001 Associated Press

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