Issues Fraud Warning for NYS Residents;
Bronx Couple Saved From Potential
The Bronx, NY – Senator Jeff Klein warned New Yorkers to be on
high alert for financial schemes during these challenging fiscal times. Joined
by a Bronx
lottery scam, the Capizuttos, Klein exposed the fraud which is currently being
investigated by Canadian Authorities.
“The bottom line is that people throughout this state
are struggling financially and promises of monetary rewards are appealing. But
please be aware – that if it sounds too good to be true it likely is. Now more
than ever I believe it is our responsibility as public servants to make sure we
are doing more for our constituents in every way possible. We are pursuing this
through every government and legal channel possible – and plan to bring those
responsible for preying on the innocent – to justice,” said Klein.
Last month, James Capizutto received a letter from
"Summit Financial Investments" along with a check for $4,700. The
letter said that he had won $250,000 in the Canadian Lottery and stated that in
order to claim his reward he had to first – deposit the check in his name and
second – send a “money gram” for around $3,000 back to Summit Financial
Investments in Ontario
to cover the tax due on the winnings. Mr. Capizutto smelled something fishy and
contacted Senator Klein immediately.
Klein’s office promptly investigated the issue and found
that the Federal Trade Commission had launched a large scale investigation of
this particular scam back in 2007 that targeted two businesses based in British
asked the Canadian court to order them to provide restitution to their victims.
That case was based out of the West Coast.
Klein’s staff conducted a “sting” and reached out to Summit
Financial Investments twice last month. When the staff stated where they were
calling from – the person on the other end of the phone abruptly hung up. After
staff made a third attempt to contact the organization – this time posing as a
constituent and providing the claim number from the mailing, they were walked
through the process of depositing the check and assured that they would receive
This is how the scam works: by the time the bank realizes
the check is faulty – you've already likely sent the money gram to Canada
So the bank would not only charge you balance of the bad check but
additional penalties and fees – leaving you the red for thousands of dollars.
Klein notified the Canadian Consulate as well as the NY
Attorney General's Office. Currently, Phonebusters, a division of the Canadian
Mounties which handles telephone scams, is investigating the matter.
Klein urged New Yorkers to report similar scams to his
office by calling (800) 718-2039.