Paul and Lucy Spadoni periodically live in Tuscany to explore Paul’s Italian roots, practice their Italian and enjoy “la dolce vita.” Paul is the author of "An American Family in Italy: Living La Dolce Vita without Permission," an Amazon bestseller.
All work is copyrighted and may not be reprinted without written permission from the author, who can be contacted at www.paulspadoni.com
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Another scam attempt using my identity—this time unsuccessful
My scammer body double is at it again, trying to sell a car to
a woman in Germany. The woman, whom I’ll call Maddie, contacted me today on
Facebook, saying: “Dear Paul! I was about to buy a car and was contacted by “Fekete
Zsolt Akos,” who obviously stole your identity. He sent me a passport (which
was photoshopped) and some of your pictures. Thanks to Google, I found (with the pictures) your blog and read about your identity theft.”
Maddie sent me a copy of the passport, which shows a handsome
middle-aged man (okay, okay, an average-looking elderly man). It is a copy of
my passport, but most of the vital information has been changed, including the
place of birth, which now reads Roma. The other photos she received have been
copied from my blog.
Maddie lives in Berlin, and she explained that the scammer “writes
me Whattsapp messages and tries to sell me a car. I asked him to send me a
picture of him and the car. Maybe now he smells a rat. He writes from a German
number and writes in (not fluent) German. He says he’s a doctor, living in Rome.”
I printed out the fake passport photo, along with a copy of my
correspondence with Maddie (who also gave me both her number and the number
being used by the scammer) and took them to Carabinieri Marshall Ratta this
afternoon. He wrote up an additional report to add to my previous denuncia.
In the best of all worlds, the Italian and German police will
now work together on a sting operation, contacting the scammer by using his
German number and pretending to be interested in buying a car. They’ll then cleverly
lure him into a meeting and nab him, forever clearing my good name! Nei miei sogni (in my dreams)!
Actually, Marshall Ratta told me that since the person being
contacted is in Germany and the scammer is using a German phone card, the Italian
police probably won’t do anything about this current complaint. I doubt that
they’d successfully be able to trick the scammer into coming out in the open
However, this new incident may serve to bolster my case with
the Agenzia dell’Entrate down the road, and I’m also happy to see that my recent
blog entries about my identity theft helped warn Maddie away from a fraudulent
purchase. Thanks also to Google, which allows people to do an image search by
dragging and dropping a photo. That’s how Maddie found my blog. Who knows what
will come next? ------------------------------- See also: A high stakes challenge: I must fight the Italian IRS and Slow progress in the case of my identity theft.