Victim Location 01040
Total money lost $1,160.50
Type of a scam Travel/Vacations
January 7, 2017
My mother, *** *** a disabled woman of 56 surviving solely on disability payments, received a letter (EXHIBIT A) under the letterhead of Office of the Escrow Accounts located at 1 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001, from Douglas Pearson, CEO of Liberty Title and Trust telling her to contact John Maxwell at 866-277-2299×869 or at his direct number 614-309-6320 because of Money in escrow for a rental agreement of a time share *** *** had previously owned. Also named on the letter was Thomas Rosenberg, Director of Travel Accommodations for AT&T. She contacted Maxwell and spoke with him directly and he sent a copy of a check made out to her for $7,800 (EXHIBIT B). Also named on the check was Banco Bradesco, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Maxwell claimed to be the agent working on behalf of Liberty Title and Trust and that he was the only one who could communicate between *** *** and that company.
January 11, 2017
John Maxwell informed the *** *** via a telephone call that she would need to pay a wire transfer fee of $234 in order for her money to be deposited into her account. *** *** transferred this amount via Western Union to account number 730020775400 with the receiver named as Karl Graham and was charged a $24 fee from Western Union. She was required to send a fax copy of the receipt to fax number 800-219-3736 (EXHIBIT C).
January 13, 2017
After *** *** had not yet received a wire transfer, she spoke with John Maxwell on the phone again and he instructed her to send another $273 wire transfer via Western Union that he described as a fee for another wire transfer due to problems the title company had with their wire transfer system and promised that her initial fees would be reimbursed in the next wire transfer. *** *** sent the funds via Western Union to account number 730020775400 with the receiver named as Karl Graham and was charged a $12.50 fee from Western Union. Again, *** *** was required to fax a copy of the receipt to 800-219-3736 (EXHIBIT D).
January 17, 2017
Ms. Vaden received a letter from Office of the Escrow Accounts (EXHIBIT E) telling her that she needed to transfer another fee of $279 in to cover the conversion fee from Brazilian to American funds so they could wire her the funds. Also named on this letter was Larkin & Trust in New York City. *** *** requested a copy of the wire transfer information (EXHIBIT F) from her bank, Peoples United Bank. Another number was listed on the wire transfer confirmation was 800-967-6610. The address for the sender of the transfer was 501 North Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789.
January 23, 2017
*** *** had not received a wire transfer and continued to try to call John Maxwell at both of his provided numbers several times. When he did return her phone call, she requested that a direct check be sent to her via USPS with a tracking number. Maxwell agreed but instructed her to send a fee of $298 in order for the check to be sent and promised this fee would reimbursed in the check that would be sent. *** *** requested that her son lend her $280 in order to cover the cost of this assumingly final fee, which he did. *** *** sent the funds via Western Union to account number 730020775400 with the receiver named as Karl Graham and was charged a $12.50 fee from Western Union.
February 13, 2017
*** *** received a check from Escrow Accounts located at 1 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 in the amount of $1,250 and deposited it into her account. Also named on the check was Banco Bradesco, Sao Paulo, Brazil. *** *** called John Maxwell to inquire why the check was significantly less than it was supposed to be. Maxwell expressed that he did not know why the check would be less than it was supposed to be and would make a call to find out why. When Maxwell returned her call, he claimed that the large amount of the overall sum would need to be sent in smaller installments but did not know the timeline of those payments.
February 16, 2017
*** *** received a letter from her bank, Peoples United Bank, showing that the check had bounced due to it being an “Altered/Fictitious Item” and Peoples United Bank charged her a fee of $15 due to the check bouncing. *** *** called John Maxwell and he claimed to look into the matter. Since then, Maxwell has not returned *** *** calls.
Impact – late February, 2017
*** *** has lost 1,160.50 in fees and wire transfers to a fraudulent account, is currently overdrawn on her bank accounts, continues to be charged overdraft fees by Peoples United Bank, has entered collections for many of her bills and the company that owns her apartment has begun eviction proceedings against her. Furthermore, she has encountered tremendous pain and suffering exacerbating the symptoms of her disability. This is not the first time this scam has been reported. You can find more details here: https://reportscam.com/libertytitleandtrustcom/.