Homestay

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FRAUD ALERT - Details of a SCAM perpetrated on a homestay host, using Western Union
By:Linda <Show E-Mail>
Date: 27 July 2008

The victim of this SCAM is Canadian homestay host Linda.

The perpetrator is "Catalina Diego" supposedly writing from Ireland.

"Catalina" supposedly has a cousin, "Sean Mathews", in Toronto.

"Catalina" says her daughter, "Amanda Amado", is ready to start language school in Linda's city and needs to stay with a good family ("God has help me to rise her up in His way so she is a nice girl and you will love her I promise you").

"Cousin Sean" sends a $4,500 bogus cheque to Linda as upfront payment for 4 months of homestay but Oops! the sum is an overpayment (only $3,000 was payable).

Meanwhile, "Catalina" - alleging the sudden death of her grandmother and of being the only relative in charge of the funerals - writes that she is not in a situation right now to send money to her daughter who, presently in the USA, needs to take a flight ASAP to Linda's city in Canada.

"Catalina" asks Linda to send her daughter $2,500 (from the $4,500 "upfront payment" cheque), using Western Union.

Linda does.

The $4,500 cheque, stolen from Western Design group out of Oakville Ontario, bounces.

Linda loses the $2,500.

End of the story.

If you are a homestay host interested in the details of how these fraudsters operate, read the chain of emails below from July 8 to July 24, 2008.

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----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

Thanks alot for your e-mail I really appericiate your concerns about me and with this I know Amanda will be happy with you. Linda, you are a woman and I know you will know how I feel about my duaghter who's 1000's of miles away from home and the child tells you she's no longer happy where she is. I know my half sister very well and I will like Amanda to move on.

Please I will really appreciate if you can send her the $2,500 via Western Union to the below informations she sent to me two days ago. She said Western Union is just a stone throw from their home and she have a friend there who will assist her.

Below is the informations she sent me:
Name: Amanda Amado.
Address: 140 Pine St Ne, Atlanta, GA 30308,USA.
Sender's Names/Address:
MTCN:
Amount sent:

With this it will be faster and she can pay her way through to your home. I will really be glad if you can send it first thing this morning and forward me with the informations so I can send to her. Am very busy with gramma's funeral arrangements she means alot to me and Amanda

Please I am counting on you to take care of her and your family she's the only person I have now since gramma is gone.

Thanking you for your understanding and God bless.

Have a lovely day

Catalina.

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From: Linda
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 7:04 PM

Hi Catalina

So am l understanding that Amanda is ok to share a room with another student? (as our rate for that room she has is $975.00.) Do you have an address for Amanda so we can send her the money. Our Airport in the YVR ( Vancouver) Airport. If you have a phone number for her l can speak to her to organize things. Let me know.

Best Wish's Linda

August- September - October - November $975.00 per month $3,900.00
Most places that charge 750.00 do not include TV Cable and internet and the rooms are smaller, if Amada is willing to share we can move our rate to $750.00 per month.

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----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

How are you and your family? Am so glad that my Amanda will be staying with a good home and you are going to be a nice mom to her. I have told Amanda alot about your family and she's very please and cannot wait to meet with her new family.

I just came in now and will be out again after sending you this e-mail. There's alot for me to do regarding gramma's burial which I want it to come up on the 9th of August if possible. Am the only person doing all the arrangements for the burial. Gramma have only two children my Mom and his brother Gordon which we have not heard from over 9years now so am just alone.

I got an e-mail from Sean about the overage which is $1,500. Our agreed price was $750 per month which is $3,000 for the 4 months. I have asked Sean to loan me the money which he has agreed to, you can call him to comfirm.

Amanda told me she have no cent on her at all and I have no money to send to her right now as I have alot to do here that involve money for gramma's burial. I told her I will talk to you. I am wondering if you can send her $2,500 from the amount Sean sent to you so she can pay some bills, fleight ticket, do some shopping and have some cash on her to move around with when she comes over till I settle down after the burial. I promise you I will make up the balance within her first month with you. Her welcome is over stayed in US, I know what am talking about.

Kindly send me the nearest airport she will land for easy pick up and the airline you think will be ok for her to fly with. I will get back to you later today when I hear from her.

Have a lovely day. Please am counting on you to take care of my Amanda. I will give you her flight details once I get it from her. I have asked her to make sure her flight will land in the evenning say around 6pm or 7pm your local time so you will pick her up. Or what do you think.

Catalina.

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From: Linda
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008, 5:43 PM

Hi Catalina

I have just recieved payment today in this mornings mail. Sean sent $4,500 so l will give the extra money to your daughter when she is here. How are you doing? I hope you are OK lossing a loved one is always hard. I am looking forward to your daughter spending time with our family she will be looked after l promise. Sean was to sent me flight details do you know them yet? Hope your week is going well.

Best Wish's
Linda

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To: Linda
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 8:00 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

Have you receive the payment?

Catalina.

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From: Linda
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, July 21, 2008, 3:30 PM

Hi Catalina

I am so sorry to hear about your loss...she is in god's hands...his love is all around her...which a beautiful thing...remembering her goodness and the lessons she gave as a gift. Special people come in our life and provide us with lessons and there love...It a gift that God gives to all of us. Catalina, if Amanda is unhappy where she is please have her come earlier...l will give Amanda the extra money that Sean sent so please do not worry. She is a beautiful child Catalina....

Thinking of you and your loss
Linda

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----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 8:09 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

How was your night? Mine was too bad as I was trying everthing within my power to see that she live. I lost gramma last night she's everything to me. I grew up under her and she's such a lovely person to me and Amanda.

I will be busy for a while to arrange for her burial but I will try as mush as I can to contact you. I got an e-mail from Sean that he made a mistake on the payment issued to you as it is more than the agreed price but I have told him not to worry that his funds are in save hands and family. Amanda coming will be on the 30th you most have know by now.

I just informed her about our lost and I know very well how unhappy she will be if she get to read my e-mail, she is very close to her. Her last e-mail to me she said she's not happy where she is and will like to move on this makes me worried too.

Kindly let me know if you receive the payment, am still talking with Sean about the overage.

I attached Amanda's picture for you she's a lovely kid as I told you and you will have no problems with her.

Have a nice day.

Catalina.

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From: Linda
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Friday, July 18, 2008, 4:11 PM

Hi Catalina

I'm so sorry to hear that your Grandma is ill...Our prayers will be with her and I'm sure that she will be fine. Sean did mentioned that he will be organizing her flight details and he will forward them to us when he has completed them.
Have a great weekend...

Linda

----------------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 7:33 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

How are you doing? Am so sorry that I have not returned your e-mail. I received a message last week that gramma is down healthwise, I have to rush down to see her and I have been there all this while, making sure that things are fine with her. I just pray that she comes out of this very soon she means alot to us. Please do remember her in your prays.

Amanda will be coming on the 30th by God grace and also note that I got an e-mail from Sean that he had mailed you the payment sometime this week, kindly let me know when you receive it. I will send you her picture once I get home on Sunday.

Have a lovely day.
Catalina

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From: Linda
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 2:56 PM

Good Morning Catalina

Sean l believe was going to e-mail me Amanda's flight details for the 30th of July did you have a chance to forward her picture as well thank-you. We are looking forward to welcomming her in our home.

Have a great day!

Linda

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----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:47 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

Thanks alot for your e-mail and your informations please note that I have forwarded it to Sean who will contact you for other arrangements. Kindly let me know once he contacts you.

Catalina.

----------------------------------------

From: Linda
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Thursday, July 10, 2008, 2:03 AM

Hi Catalina

We have a small family my husband and my daughter who is 10 years old. I understand how precious a daughter is for l waited a long time before God blessed me with my little girl at 40 years of age. She keeps me young! Amanda is welcome in our home on the 30th we will make room for her up-stairs in my daughter room for a few days as my daughter will be at my sisters home visiting her cousins for the long weekend. We would be happy to pick Amanda up at the airport. I work alot from home so that l can take my daughter to school and pick her up for after school activites which makes it nice. We have a wonderful loving home and lots of room for extra guests. Homes in our areas start at one million and up as we are at the ocean and have water front views. So she is in a very save and beautiful neibourhood with lots of parks schools and recreation all around us. Below is our home address and office location. Please feel free to have Sean call us to review.

Best Regards

Linda

August- September - October - November $975.00 per month $3,900.00
Most places that charge 750.00 do not include TV Cable and internet and the rooms are smaller, if Amada is willing to share we can move our rate to $750.00 per month.

----------------------------------------

----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 9:15 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

Thanks again for your relpy, and how are you? Like I said my really worry is for her to be with a good home and that's while I went for a Mother. I prayed very well before I contacted you and I have no doubt she will be happy staying with you. I have not done this before it's my first time and with you. I asked a friend of mine who have done this homestay for her son and she told me that $750 is ok for a month.

I would have love to talk to you on phone but I have a hearing problem Amanda will tell you more of it when she comes over. Please I will like to know how many members of your family that's presently staying with you.

Also kindly forward to me the total cost for the 4momths, your full name, home address and phone number which I will send to Mr. Sean Mathews who will contact you for other arrangements. Cant't Amanda move in on July 30th? you will pick her up from the airport. Amanda can eat anything as long as is what the family is taken for a meal.

Below is my informations
Name: Catalina Diego
Address:121 Grangepark Terrace Clondalkin,D22. Ireland.
Phone: 35387919442.(Note that this is Taylor my cousin cell number he will always get across to me)

Her name's are: Amanda Diego. I will send her picture before the week runs off.

I await your reply and have a lovely day.

Catalina

----------------------------------------

From: Linda
Subject: Fw: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Wednesday, July 9, 2008, 3:22 PM

Hi Catalina

We can accommodate Catalina for August 3rd - November as we have students here from Mexico until the end of July. our fee is 975.00 per month We would be very happy to assist her and welcome her in our home as one of the family.

Sincerely
Linda

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----- Original Message -----
From: Catalina Diego
To: Linda
Sent: Tuesday, July 08, 2008 3:50 PM
Subject: Re: Home Stay

Hello Linda,

Thanks for your respond. Iet me know what your price is like and she will be taking two meals (Breakfast and Dinner), my main worry is for her to stay with a lovely home. I know your home will give her the kind of enviroment she need.

She will be coming on the 20th of July and leave on the 18th of November, 2008. Also we are going to pay up front. I also saw the picture of your home is lovely I most confess.

God has help me to rise her up in His way so she is a nice girl and you will love her I promise you. She will be going to a language school and has two schools which she's looking at, and when she comes over she will make up her mind and I pray you will assist her. Or you can advise us on any good school close to your home.

Let me hear from you.

Catalina.

----------------------------------------

From: Linda
Subject: Home Stay
To: catalinadiego@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 7:32 PM

Hi Catalina

Thank-you for your inquiry;
Thank-you for your inquiry regarding our Homestay/ When would your daughter be comming? what school will she be attending ? we do have accomadation for her . Here are some pictures. Our fee does include Meals, TV, Cable and internet. would she want breakfast lunch and dinner ?
I hope you are enjoying Ireland as my husband was raised in Northern Ireland ( Belfast)

Best Regards
Linda
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