Creston woman loses $4,000 to phone scam

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  • Dec. 2, 2011 7:00 a.m.

An elderly Creston woman has been hit by an apparent scam that has left her with a credit card bill of $4,000.

Pearl Toews’ nightmare began a few weeks ago when a smooth-talking phone salesman convinced her to make what she thought was a $495 purchase. She provided her credit card number and address, knowing only that the salesman’s promises sounded good.

Last week she received a package by courier. Inside was an invoice that said she has been charged $4,000 for four “testimonial educational packages”. Rainmaker Marketing LLC, operating out of Mesa, Ariz., sent the invoice, which also itemizes that she will be provided with 2,000 “qualified debt leads” at no additional cost.

“I don’t really know,” Toews said when asked what she expected to receive from the company. “But he said the charge was $495.”

When Toews’ family contacted Visa to see about stopping payment for the bill, they were told that the transaction had been authorized when the couriered package was opened.

Information provided along with the invoice is vague about what Raintree Marketing LLC actually does, or what value the recipient is receiving for her money.

A website for Rainmaker Marketing LLC provides no information about what the company does, but lists “event marketing and management” and “business sales consulting”. It implies that potential customers can make money, but does not say how.

Emails to the contacts listed on the website were rejected by the server, with a message that the recipient’s mailbox is full.

Creston RCMP have been contacted in this case and Staff Sgt. Bob Gollan recommends that no one should provide credit card information to telephone solicitors.