Scammers try to cash in on search for fame - Tucson News Now

Scammers try to cash in on search for fame

Greg was looking for his 15 minutes of fame. Too bad scammers were looking for a pay day. Greg got his starring role, but it's definitely not what he wanted.

Greg Scher found an ad on Craig's List calling for extras on a TV show. It simply asked for his name, email and a recent picture. Thinking it was harmless he applied.

Weeks later he received an email from an unknown woman saying she saw his name and picture on a predator's website.

"So I put my name in and hit search," Scher said.

The site is PredatorsWatch.com.

"It brings up my name and picture in Honolulu," he said.

It's the same picture he used for the extras ad, which he hasn't used anywhere else. And right there on the screen, it said he was an active predator.

"The whole thing was bogus, but they were basically blackmailing me into paying them money," Scher said.

If Greg forked over $99.95, his name and profile would be taken off the site.

He didn't fall for it.

"They got the wrong guy," he said.  "They tried to blackmail the wrong person this time."

He traced the email back to Nigeria, which was not a surprise. The website is from Go-Daddy.com, which he contacted to let them know about the fraud.

He also contacted the FBI, which unfortunately can't do much because the Nigerian government won't cooperate.

The Better Business Bureau said people have to take Craig's list ads with a grain of salt.

"Scams over the years have become more sophisticated no doubt," said Tim Caminos with the Better Business Bureau. "They're targeting now individual marketplaces which is amazing because 5, 6, 7 years ago we may not have seen that."

While no one wants to be on a site like this, chances are the only people seeing it are others who are scammed.

Still, it's not the cameo Greg was hoping for.

Investigators say any picture you post or send online could end up on a site like predator's watch, unless you've taken security steps to protect your photos.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can file a complaint with the FBI's Internet Crime Center at:

http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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