Computer viruses and phony restaurant inspections: Your weekly ScamWatch
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for.
Restaurants scammed –- A fake health inspector has been targeting restaurant owners in Los Angeles County, trying to get their credit card information, Supervisor Don Knabe said in a news release. The man has directed restaurant owners to call a telephone recording, which asks them to input banking information, Knabe said. Los Angeles County health inspectors always present a county-issued photo identification card upon request and will never accept payment or charge a fee for a county letter grade, Knabe said.
Film investments –- Two Southern California men have been charged with defrauding victims of more than $300,000 by making false claims that they would use the money to produce an independent movie with big-name movie and music stars. Bart Slanaker and Joseph Roth are accused of operating a North Hills boiler room at which telephone sales people would cold-call victims, offering them a chance to invest in an independent movie they said was called "There for Hope," the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles said in a news release.
Computer virus removal –- Cyber criminals have been using a telephone scam to access consumers’ home computers and download personal data, according to a bulletin from the Internet Crime Complaint Center. A caller will tell victims that their computers are infected with a virus and direct them to a website that reportedly will help fix the problem, the bulletin said. When victims click on a link on the website, the caller is able to access the victim’s computer and obtain personal information.
Disbarred lawyer –- A Beverly Hills man has been indicted on charges that he operated an investment scheme that caused victims to lose $9.5 million. Mark Roy Anderson, 56, reportedly told victims that they could make enormous profits by investing in various oil companies, the indictment alleged. He failed to tell victims that he had been previously convicted of mail fraud and disbarred by the state bar of Nevada, prosecutors said.
-- Stuart Pfeifer