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Sunday, 8 February 2004
Where to begin……….


I have had my resume on for years.  On January 15th, I received an e-mail from Worldwide Post and Financial Assistance ( in regards to job working from home.  The company had my home address, telephone number and e-mail address from my resume. 


They wanted to know if I would be interested in working part-time as a re-mailer, so I filled out the information about the job.  Within minutes, I received a telephone call from Denis Panin about the position.  His company wanted to send packages to me and have them packaged into one box and shipped to the Ukraine because this would save on the shipping.  Denis told me I would receive one or two packages the first month, and once I established a business repore with them, they would increase the quantity.  I asked him if there was anything illegal and he assured me that they company had been in business for years and that there was nothing illegal about it.  They would send me the money via Western Union or PayPal to pay for the shipping before I mailed the package and they would complete all customs paperwork.  I asked this because I wanted to know if they would complete the USPS Customs form 2976-A.


I spoke with my husband and told him it was worth considering, this of course after I checked how much several small packages would cost versus send one big box with the combined weight.  If repackaged, it would save about fifty percent, so far this made sense to me.  However, I told my husband that I would do some investigating and before I would commit to anything.  I contacted the Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General and Better Business Bureau in Washington, where the company was located and discovered they were no complaints filed on the company.


The next day a package arrived at my house under another name but with my address, shipped via UPS Next Day Mail.  I did not even have to sign for this; it was on my doorstep when I went outside.  I e-mailed the company and two days later, I received an e-mail that they had sent the package and that I would be receiving two additional packages. 


During the period of time that I was waiting to hear from the company, I called the sender on the package that I had received.  They were wonderful!  I explained the situation and asked Brenda to do some investigating with the package.  I told her that I was very suspicious that this may have been purchased with a stolen credit card, which was my instinct kicking in because I had now received thirteen packages under three different names, totally about $20,000 in merchandise. 


I contacted all of the companies and asked them to investigate the situation.  In the meantime, I e-mailed Denis at WPFA and explained that I had been informed by the sender that these were purchased with stolen credit card information and that two of the companies wanted me to return the packages and WHAT was going on.  This was his response:


Hello Karen.

Everything is OK. This situation sometimes happens. We DO NOT perform any illegal actions. This situation was made because of companies policy.  As I told you, we receive orders for stuff for our clients in Europe.

Frank Sapper is in Germany now. He ordered this stuff from us. He asked to pay with his card. We called the bank to confirm that. Bank said OK.  Now, companies decided to speak with mr. Sapper, called him in USA - and they didn't find him. That's why they called you.  I contacted mr. Sapper, he should call all companies he ordered stuff from. Let's do that way - today, I'll give you authorization letter from our company and mr Sapper for the merchandise. This letter moves all responsibilities on our side.  After that you will be able to ship all merchandise.


I'm trying to call you today, but I couldn't.


Hope for your quick response.


If possible - ship merchandise today.


Have a great day, Denis Panin.


Now I am thinking to myself, does he think I am STUPID?  I stalled Denis about mailing the packages and while I waited the other companies to call me back.  I reported the situation to the Federal Trade Commission with no interest in trying to catch this person, can you believe it? 


Then Denis called me and explained that he could give me the telephone number to the credit card company and a confirmation case number about the investigation.  He stated that Mr. Sapper's credit card had been stolen and that the credit card company was freezing all charges until they could re-open a new account for him.  I told my husband that I would provide this confirmation information to senders and once they agreed the situation was cleared up, we would know that this was just a mix-up, yeah right!  It was obvious that there was a problem, even if there were only a few people interested in doing something about it.


In the meantime, this is what Denis sent me:


Hello Karen,

After a long discussion with cardholder, who contacted both companies, but got only negative emotions, we decided to cancell previous orders in these companies. Frank contacted his Bank, and they have this information.  Please, ship those 2 packages back, or order pickup. We will compensate

your losses. All other packages are OK, and we're waiting for them here.


Best regards, Denis Panin.


Yeah, I bet he is waiting!  I finally heard from the other companies and discovered that they were purchased on stolen credit card information.  I returned all packages to the sender’s and contacted UPS and FedEx about the situation and to return all packages unless under my name or my business.


I did keep a log with the following information. 


Date Item was Received, Name on Package, Method of Shipment including tracking #, Item, Weight, Sender of the Packages (name, address and telephone number) and the information to the person in the Ukraine.  I even had an alternative sender including telephone number and address.


In the meantime, my husband brought the mail in during lunch.  I was opening the mail without really paying attention.  I had received a thick envelope with only the return address.  As it happened, it was the same first name and initial as my husband and I opened it.  To my surprise, it was a credit card company dispute about the charges.  Apparently, Denis was able to change the credit card holder’s billing address to mine.  The credit card company was sending the dispute to my house and provided the cardholder’s Name, Address, Telephone Number, his Complete Credit Card Number, Expiration Date, Old Address and e-mail in the letter.  If I was dishonest, I could have done some major damage. 


I e-mailed the cardholder at the e-mail address and received the following suspicious e-mail two days later.  I cannot same that I blamed him at this point!


You are you. I want more detail before I answer.


I contacted him at the telephone number that he provided and learned the following information:  That he had purchased an item on .biz website and somehow someone was able to obtain his  information and the credit card fraud began.  He was a real estate developer located over 1,000 miles a way and has been since last fall trying to find the culprit.  I explained that I was willing to help catch this person but that no one seemed interested in it.


I provided him with all of the information that I had and told him that I would update the Federal Trade Commission with the information and provided him with the case number.  He told me that he could not thank me enough and that since he new the president of .biz, he would be contacting him immediately with the information.


I contacted the Federal Trade Commission and provided them with all of the information and they know are interested in investigating the situation, but only after I told them that the cardholder had confirmed the situation.



Posted by journal2/catchingthecrook at 1:43 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 8 February 2004 1:59 PM EST
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