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Rip-Off Alert: Con men targeted Christian church groups

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 6/24/2014 6:43 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV — An alleged con man is on the loose after pulling off a multimillion-dollar scam. In this Rip-Off Alert from North Carolina, we outline how he preyed on his victims in a personal way.

Postal inspectors say Ronald McCullough is wanted in connection with a foreign currency exchange scam that cost victims millions.

“The individuals in this particular case would promise they could essentially double your money in a month’s time and there was a minimum investment of a million dollars,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Michael Carroll.

Authorities say McCullough and his accomplice, David Mayhew, targeted churchgoers.

“They would go around to actual churches, and they would meet with pastors and preachers of the churches and try to engage them to let them approach parishioners,” Carroll said.

Since many people could not come up with the million-dollar minimum, the con artists were more than willing to take smaller amounts.

“Because they were Christians and wanted to help other Christians, they were willing to accept money from other Christians in smaller amounts than that,” Carroll said.

A dozen victims lost almost $2 million until authorities caught on to the scheme. Postal inspectors say there were several red flags.

“A very high interest rate in a very short amount of time” was one warning, according to Carroll. “They were telling people that their money was safe and secure. They weren’t going to lose their money.”

Postal inspectors have this advice for consumers:

“If you have an investment opportunity the higher rate of return the higher the risk, there are NO investments with no risks,” Carroll said. “Mr. Mayhew has been arrested, and he is moving through the process for his trial. We’re still looking for Ron McCullough, and we believe him to be located somewhere in and around the Atlanta, Georgia, or surrounding areas.”

McCullough was last seen around the Atlanta area, but scam experts say con men often travel in hopes of finding new victims.

Anyone with information on McCullough’s whereabouts is asked to call the U.S. postal inspectors at (877) 876-2455.

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