Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fw: Attorney General Consumer Alert / Phony Email Promises Business Gain, Delivers Bank Loss

----- Original Message -----
From: "AGNews" <>
To: "AGNews" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:41 PM
Subject: Attorney General Consumer Alert

> An Attorney General Consumer Alert has been issued.
> Please click the web address below to view the alert online.
> Please do not hit Reply to send a message to Attorney General
> Crist or the Attorney General's Office. This email address cannot
> receive incoming messages. If you wish to contact the Attorney
> General's Office, please go to
> and use the convenient Contact Form provided there. Thank you.
> The text version of the Consumer Alert is below.
> Crist: Phony Email Promises Business Gain, Delivers Bank Loss
> TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist today issued a consumer
> alert warning Floridians of an email scam that targets businesses.
> Crist said at least one Florida bank has already been affected by the
> scam, which offers a business venture but in reality compromises the
> security of bank accounts.
> The scam begins as an email, sent from "" to
> a targeted business. The email claims that an individual named Manabu
> Hamamoto is looking for manufacturer's representatives to sell
> equipment. If the recipient is interested, Hamamoto sends a check for
> more than $40,000 to cover the starting costs of the venture.
> The check is drawn on the account of Caleb Haley & Co. LLC, issued by
> the Apple Bank for Savings in New York. Both Caleb Haley & Co. and
> Apple Bank are legitimate institutions, but the check is a copy of one
> stolen from the mail and altered to be payable to the business
> Hamamoto has targeted. The check looks real, complete with a
> watermark, but the account has been closed and the check will not be
> honored.
> The target of the scam is instructed to deposit the check into its
> bank account and immediately let Hamamoto know so he can transfer
> funds to the equipment sellers, one of the duties the business
> supposedly must perform as a manufacturer's representative. Even
> though the checks are fraudulent, some banks have accepted them,
> providing a possible opening for Hamamoto to transfer funds out of
> business accounts.
> "This is yet another example of a clever con artist targeting
> law-abiding citizens," said Crist. "Floridians should remember that
> legitimate business opportunities do not just show up in their email
> inbox - they result from hard work and careful planning. It is
> important to remember that in this email age, promises from strangers
> should be viewed as a potentially devastating scam."
> Floridians who have received an email from Manabu Hamamoto or
> are advised to contact the Attorney
> General's Office at 1-866-9-NO-SCAM (1-866-966-7226) or file a
> compliant online at
> To unsubscribe or change your profile you may click on the link below.
> Thank you.

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