If you take a look in your email spam folder you’ll probably see hundreds of Nigerian princes, lawyers and nice Christian ladies politely inviting you to partake in your share of the millions of dollars they are holding for you.
Those are a few of the schemes that con artists use to lure people but there are other scams on the internet trying to get your money or your personal information.
The current Consumer Report is dedicated to con artists and their schemes. The article focuses on the billions of dollars bilked out of senior citizens each year but don’t let that mislead you into thinking con games are a senior problem. Everyone is vulnerable and the internet provides a whole new twist to tried and true con games.
GAWminers, was a huge international scam that defrauded people of all ages in 49 countries. And tubby Tommy Retzlaff dressed up in a store bought uniform with store bought medals and managed to get a job as a lawyer with a prestigious law firm even though he had no legal education, degree or license.
Con artists, as the name implies, are artists at gaining your confidence. They are excellent social engineers who will patiently seduce you with pretty words and wonderful ideas until you start seeing the potential and possibilities of their wonderful illusion. Once you’re hooked, they reel you in.
While not on the scale of GAWMiners, the scheme of WE Political Consulting is just as insidious. It used political issues to attract victims on Craigslist and social media, promising an opportunity to meet like minded people while working on a worthy cause.
WE Political Consulting promoted a 3 day convention to receive training while meeting with hundreds of other members. Members were expected to buy and resell shirts to help support the cause. WE also expected those who signed up to recruit friends and families to join, pay to attend the convention and sell shirts. Basically a pyramid scheme with each member creating a downline and receiving 1% of the sales made by their recruits. WE had a grandiose fund raising outline that showed profits in the billions of dollars. I guess they were pretty optimistic about shirt sales.
The cost that members paid in advance for the We Political Consulting convention fluctuated from $125 to $750, dates for the convention were changed without notification but as it turned out, no convention was actually ever scheduled. Those who requested refunds were shamed for hurting the cause. Refund requests were ignored or disputed with the claim that payments were “donations”.
WE Political Consultants had two phone numbers which were Washington DC based. They also had two addresses in Washington DC, but both were virtual offices.
Virtual offices are basically post office boxes at a nice address. You pay a monthly fee to use their address to receive mail and have it forwarded to where you actually are.
In this case, We Political Consulting was actually headquartered in Kansas.
The website WEpoliticalconsulting.com disappeared in September as the domain registration expired. Someone actually took the time to wipe almost all traces of it from the internet and wayback machine.
We’re hopeful this is the end of WE Political Consulting but with a presidential election coming up it’s likely it will surface again with a similar scam. So time to share and warn so there are no more victims.
Look for more details about We Political Consultants in the coming week as we take a look at who’s behind We Political Consulting.