Salina Woman Connected to Offshore Scam
Jeff Garretson - October 23, 2013 11:58 am
Bogus documents seized by Salina Police were shown to the media on Wednesday morning.
A confidential tip leads to the arrest of a Salina woman, police say is connected to an online Nigerian scam.
According to Lt. Jim Norton, Salina Police arrested 51-year-old Simone A. Wortham, 619 S. Santa Fe Apt. D, on Tuesday evening after investigators found a pile of bogus money orders in her possession.
Lt. Norton tells KSAL News that Wortham is a local cog in a world wide money scam run from Nigeria. Police say the victims were found selling low cost items on CriagsList like dining plates, guitars and animal traps – and were sent a money order that exceeded the sale price.
According to Norton, that is where Wortham came in, “These outside sources would then supply Simone with the names of the potential victims, who were selling things, as well as the money orders,” he said.
Police say Wortham pressured the victims over the phone and by text messages to quickly return the funds through a money order back to her.
The investigation centered on eight victims who were scammed out of $5,425 during a time frame between July 20th and August 14th.
Lt. Norton is warning those doing business online, “Don’t feel pressured if you receive a money order that’s in excess of your selling price,” he said. “Let your bank prove it. Let your bank show if those funds are available or not.”
Police say more arrests are possible in the case. Wortham is facing numerous charges that include felony theft and forgery.