A worrisome new scam warning from the Better Business Bureau.
The so-called "one ring" scam exclusively targets cell phone users. Victims will receive a call that rings only once and then ends. If the user tries to call the number back, they are charge a $19.95 international call fee and upwards of 9-dollars a minute during the call. The BBB says the calls appear to come from islands in the Caribbean, but some calls may be domestic.
The BBB says anyone who thinks they have been victimized by the scam should notify their carrier immediately in order to have a better chance of having charges removed.
Knowing the Health Department suspected Edward Mueth had been scheming to steal millions of dollars before he killed himself would have made things easier for St. Louis County Police investigating the fraud. That's according to Police Chief Tim Fitch, who told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his department didn't learn about the scam until 18 hours after Meuth's September 19, 2013 suicide.
Now, the paper reports it has received documents that show that County Health officials suspected the scheme, but delayed reporting it to law enforcement.
Officials say Mueth embezzled $3.4 million over six years by using his computer company to overcharge the county for equiptment and technical services.
An independent audit of St. Louis County operations shows Edward Mueth collected $3.4 million from the St. Louis County Health Department before killing himself last month.
Mueth shot himself the day before he was to meet with his bosses at the County Health Department to discuss invoicing irregularities regarding his company, Gateway Technical Solutions.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it's still not clear what goods and services Mueth's company actually delivered to the health department over a six year period.
The audit, delivered to the County Council Thursday, found that the county had approved equipment purchases and leases from Gateway Technical Solutions at prices that were well above retail.
The audit had been commissioned before Mueth's scam came to light. A police investigation into Mueth's financial dealings with the Health Department is ongoing.
Area residents should be on the lookout as a Chesterfield grandmother fell victim to a scam.
Police say the woman was contacted by a group of scammers who told her that her grandson was being held in a foreign prison. The woman says that over a series of phone calls, she was convinced to wire a quarter-of-a-million dollars to a bank in Peru.
Chesterfield police say they have not received other reports of similar scams, but residents should still be aware.
An nationwide email scam is popping up in Missouri.
The email claims that the recipient is owed millions in unclaimed property. The email typically comes from someone named Alex James and says that the money comes from a dead relative. The sender then asks for personal information to claim the prize.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel reminds everyone that they can check for unclaimed property at showmemoney.com.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Las Vegas man is accused in Illinois of a timeshare scam that federal prosecutors say bilked $10 million from more than 3,000 victims across the United States, Canada and other countries.
A grand jury in East St. Louis has indicted 37-year-old Michael Patrick Sullivan on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The fraud allegedly took place from December 2006 to January 2012.
The indictment alleges that Sullivan's Vacation Max telemarketing company falsely represented it found corporate buyers interested in acquiring blocks of timeshare units.
The company solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars from each timeshare owner in purported pre-paid closing costs and related expenses, but no sales actually occurred.
Online court records don't show whether he has an attorney.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A California man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge stemming from a mortgage audit scam that authorities say bilked consumers out of more than $400,000.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 30-year-old Derek Thomas Doherty, of Irvine, Calif., owned and ran Home Safe Financial. He offered homeowners in Missouri and elsewhere an audit for $3,000 and a free loan modification. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins said in court that Doherty never completed an audit.
Doherty started the business in St. Louis, moved to Overland Park, Kan., in May of 2010 and then merged with a California company in July of that year.
Collins says consumers lost more than $400,000 to the scheme.
Doherty could face 15 to 21 months in prison on the felony mail fraud charge.
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri authorities are trying to determine what to do with at least 1,700 concealed-carry permit holders who received their required firearms training from a man accused of shortchanging his students.
Fifty-two-year-old Donald Crangle is charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with seven misdemeanor counts in the case. His attorney, Williams Buchholz, didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an investigation began when a permit applicant presented a certificate showing he'd received eight hours of firearms training that very day. The St. Louis County police records clerk was stumped because it was only 1:30 p.m.
Undercover officers then attended Crangle's class. Police said participants were told they'd completed the course after just three hours and without meeting any state-mandated criteria.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Thursday that Patrick Percival Wilson pleaded guilty to two felony counts of exploitation of the elderly, one count of stealing by deceit and one count of unlawful merchandising practices. The attorney general's office was appointed special prosecutor in the case.
Koster says an elderly couple from Perryville was scammed into believing they won a sweepstakes of $85 million. Wilson and his colleagues convinced the couple to send money to pay taxes and fees for their winnings.
Wilson told authorities that he received at least $67,000 of the money. The rest was sent to Jamaica.