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jennifer steinfeldt  warren

Update on the Lesson Scam Situation

July 28, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Thank you all for your kind responses about the violin lesson scam. I went to the police report yesterday with copies of the cheque and western union transfer and a whole folder of the emails. And my bank account statement which showed the money as available....showing I wasn't so dumb...I waited three days and thought the money was in there. Apparantly the teller I went to was new and o.k.'d the check when he shouldn't have. The police told me it was a stolen bank account with a real check...anyway.

Bottom line. There is a detective on the case who might be able to trace the person through email. I saved even the bubble envelope the check came in, although all these addresses are different. I should get a call from the detective in a few days. There is incentive here because there are many many cases similar to this in our area right now....one woman lost her children because of one for 10 thousand dollars that put her so deep in the hole that she couldn't care for her kids. I'm lucky that it wasn't so bad as that.

The thing that makes me so upset is that I'm not a stupid person. I DID see the red flags and asked about them and tried to clear things through. These people were very , very convincing. I am gulible, yes, but I didn't just run out and put the check in my account and take out cash and run to Western Union. The part where the ignorance comes in is that I don't knwo that much about banks and I'd never used Western Union before (or anything similar)....and have only dealt with money or banks as far as a simple checking account.

And I was lulled in easily because we were scratching to make ends meet anyway, and this would have helped out, and the work would have helped in many ways. Intense, short...

I think I have done all I can do. Now I just have to try to keep going on and not think about it too much. The police, the bank, and Western Union were fairly sure I'd not see my money again. But I feel better that I have at least tried to do something about it.

I told my violin teacher i.e. owner of the viola... he was sympathetic, but didn't say anything about the viola. I did play on it yesterday knowing I have to give it back, which means I'm not in the state of mind I was the day it happened...because I couldn't even look at any instrument for two days without feeling ill. Now I can practice again.

Thank you for all the support.

-Jennifer S. Warren
p.s.-
(In response to the last poster in the replies to the original blog post........
are you serious????? I wouldn't be opposed. Maybe there is something I can do in return? My contact info is on my bio page. Family has been helping out as much as they can, though, yes, we are still in the negative with the bank.)

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on July 28, 2007 at 4:27 PM
Jennifer, it sounds to me that the bank is partially at fault and has contributed to your loss. You may want to negotiate with the bank to see if all or part of the debt can be forgiven. This sounds crazy, but you may need a lawyer to negotiate this. It’s an option might worth considering anyway.

True, you may never see the money again, but the bank (and maybe Western Union) could have exercised some more due diligence to prevent this from happening, and they should do something to mitigate the fact that they have failed you in this case. Don’t let them off the hook yet.

From Patricia Baser
Posted on July 28, 2007 at 4:33 PM
I got one of those scam emails this morning (which went straight to a spam report). Same kind of story-coming to town in a few weeks and asking for daily lessons for their kid. I hope they can track down the person that did this to you.
From jennifer steinfeldt warren
Posted on July 28, 2007 at 6:58 PM
There is a fraud line that the bank gave my husband when he went to a different branch to ask questions. I have unbelievable documentation just because I'm an obsessively organized person....and can show how the bank posted that the money was IN the account, etc. etc. But we are going to wait until we get the police report.

Patricia, I can't believe you just got one of these...so similar. Wow. I had no idea it was SO common. Musicians are a good target, I guess. Or strings teachers/performers. Since a lot of us are self-employed. Oh well.

I hope this saves someone from getting into the same trouble, at least!!!!

Sals,
JW

From Ben Clapton
Posted on July 28, 2007 at 10:46 PM
Jennifer, one option might be to set up a blog on Typepad, which allows you to set up a tip jar in which people can donate money. I'm sure when people read your story, they'd be more than willing to donate a few dollars, and if about 225 people donated $4, you'd be in the clear.
From Bernardo B
Posted on July 29, 2007 at 1:20 PM
Jennifer. That's just so unfair. I'm sure a lot of people from this site would give you a little something to help with the bank. You should follow Ben's advice, setup the donor-type account, and advertise it on v.com. Good luck.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 29, 2007 at 9:53 PM
Jennifer, I'm glad you went to the police and they put a detective on the case. I hope they find the culprit. BTW, I get similar emails frequently.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on July 30, 2007 at 2:24 AM
You know, if you get a lot of these emails, you can turn it back around on them in some pretty creative ways.

http://www.dumbentia.com/gallery_scammers.html

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