Woman Gets Nine Years for Running Immigration Services Scam

An East Los Angeles woman was sentenced today to nine years in county jail for defrauding more than 30 people through her home-based immigration services business, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David M. Horwitz also ordered Dalila Moreno (dob 11/23/54) to pay $303,500 in restitution to the victims. She will be subject to three years of mandatory supervision after serving her prison term.

Moreno pleaded guilty on Aug. 16 to six counts of counterfeit seal, three counts of forgery, one count of grand theft of personal property, one count of attempted grand theft of personal property and one count of extortion, all felonies. She also admitted an allegation of taking property valued at more than $65,000 in the negotiated plea agreement.

Over several years through 2015, Moreno told her 32 victims that she worked for the government and had special government connections, then falsely promised to expedite the processing of visas, resident alien cards and citizenship petitions. She pretended to provide services by creating false visas and passport stamps for which she collected payment from the victims.

Deputy District Attorney Ryann Gerber Jorban of the Consumer Protection Division prosecuted case BA462322.

The District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division and Bureau of Investigation and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case.

Fresno Mother Targeted in Kidnapping / Ransom Scam

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office would like to warn citizens of what could be an ongoing, widespread scam. Detectives became aware of an extortion attempt while handling a call for service on November 13th, 2018.

Fresno County Sheriff’s dispatchers received a call from a Fresno woman who reported a possible kidnapping of her daughter. The woman explained that an unknown man named Pedro had called her speaking Spanish. He told her he had kidnapped her daughter from a bus stop. Pedro said that if she wanted her daughter safely returned, she would need to transfer $500 to him using a money wiring service. The phone number on the caller ID originated out of Mexico and began with a 52, followed by 10 digits.

The woman, who has a total of four daughters, became suspicious, so she hung up the phone and contacted her husband. Her husband mentioned he had picked up one of their daughters at school and she was safe. Deputies responded and learned of two schools the three other girls attend. Deputies visited the campuses and discovered all three girls remained safe at their schools. Pedro later called back and a deputy who remained at the home answered the phone. He identified himself as law enforcement, which caused Pedro to curse at the deputy and hang up on him. Deputies attempted to call back the number, but were unable to get through.

Allegations of kidnappings should always be taken seriously, however, there are simple steps to take in order to verify the credibility of the claim.

– Do not rush to send money.

– Do not reveal personal information such as names, locations, etc.

– Ask the caller questions that a stranger would not know.

– Attempt to contact a friend, relative or the potential victim to see if everything is ok.

Please document any information, such as the caller’s name or phone number and report it to the law enforcement agency overseeing your jurisdiction. If it’s determined to be a scam, you may also utilize our online reporting system. Please visit www.fresnosheriff.org and click on “Report a Crime” located at the top of the page. You should select “Harassing Phone Call” to make your report.

Virtual Kidnapping Scam

The Livermore Police Department would like to share some information with you regarding a scam that has been going around both locally and nationally. We have recently received reports involving a scam where someone will call a victim’s phone claiming to have a family member or family members as a hostage. A simple Google search of “Virtual Kidnapping” will show you how often this scam is being used.
These scammers will generally call you and demand ransom in exchange for your loved one’s release and tell you to wire the money for the ransom payment. When scammers call victims, direct the person to purchase green dot gift cards or direct them to transfer money via a wire transfer service. According to the FBI, scammers ask for wire transfers because the wire transfers are extremely difficult to trace. In addition, scammers will insist that the victims stay on the line until the wire transfer is complete.
Understandably so, this type of scam will strike fear into anyone’s heart. Therefore, we want to share with you some things you need to know to protect yourself from potentially falling victim.
– These scammers will often have pre-recorded messages of individuals yelling or screaming in the background as they talk on the phone.
– The scammers will tell you to withdraw funds from your account and to either purchase gift cards, green dot pre-paid cards, or complete a wire transfer.
– Most of these scammers will tell you to stay on the phone and not call the police or something will happen to your family member(s).
– Scammers will ask you to honk your horn while you are in your vehicle so they can hear you are still in the car.
– When these scammers call, the numbers will usually come up as being from out of the country or foreign.
– Recently, these scammers have been able to spoof a phone number you may recognize.
– These virtual scammers are becoming more sophisticated. They have been using technology and sophisticated methods to dupe people into thinking that their loved ones have been kidnapped.

Things to consider:
– Know the vast majority of these are completely fake.
– Call your family members to make sure they are ok and confirm they are not in distress.
– You may not want to withdraw any money or send anyone money of any kind (including gift cards) without determining the validity of the call.
– Notifying your local police department immediately and report the incident to the FBI.

The police department wanted to share with the community information about this scam and encourage people to gain additional information by conducting a Google search of “Virtual Kidnapping” and learning about all the tips provided by the FBI to protect yourself.