Shaw Capital Management Scam Info: Internet scam money trail leads to Martha's Vineyard

in Money

By Steve Myrick
Published: February 2, 2011

Edgartown police have traced a cyberspace trail through more than a dozen states in pursuit of a craigslist scam artist who cons people into sending money to Martha's Vineyard to buy a nonexistent all-terrain vehicle.

This week, they turned to their own high-tech tools, surveillance video, and their own new crime-fighting website, to track down the Internet thief.

Officer Michael Gazaille first began investigating the scam in December, when Brian Cullen called the Edgartown Police Department from Oregon, Wisconsin.

Mr. Cullen saw an advertisement posted on craigslist, the wildly popular online aggregation of free classified ads offering everything imaginable for sale from locations around the world. The ad offered a Polaris four-wheel,  all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for sale. The price was $2,920.

The seller directed Mr. Cullen to an eBay web page where the well-known online auction market arranges escrow service for people buying and selling items at a distance. The escrow service holds the money, until the buyer gets the merchandise and approves the sale. Then the service releases the money to the seller.

Except, it wasn't really an eBay web page. It was a spoof, intended to look like a page on the eBay site, although Officer Gazaille said there were some fairly obvious clues that something was amiss.

Mr. Cullen filled in all the information required by the fake web page. The seller instructed him to wire the $2,920 price to Martha's Vineyard, by Western Union's money transfer service.

He did. Big mistake.

Someone picked up the money at the Stop & Shop grocery store in Edgartown, which offers Western Union money transfer service. The suspect listed an Oak Bluffs address on the form. Asked for the required identification, he showed the clerk an Illinois driver's license issued to Luri Kankadze. Police could not find anyone by that name in any local records. He is not at the address he listed. Police assume that the I.D. was also a fake.



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Shaw Capital Management Scam I has 11 articles online

The Shaw Group Inc. was founded in 1987 as a fabrication shop in Baton Rouge, La., by Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer J.M. Bernhard Jr. and two colleagues. Driven by leaders with bold vision and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, the company has evolved into a diverse engineering, construction, technology, fabrication, environmental and industrial services organization with 27,000 employees in strategic locations around the world.

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Shaw Capital Management Scam Info: Internet scam money trail leads to Martha's Vineyard

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This article was published on 2011/04/01