First Newtown shooting scam artist busted by FBI


In the wake of tragedy, the ravening wolves emerge as the first Newtown shooting scam has been busted by the FBI. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

We all knew it wouldn’t take long and lo and behold, a scumbag has borne unto us a Newtown shooting scam, looking to rip people off by posing as a charity. Nouel Alba, a New Yorker, posed as the aunt of a victim on Facebook and set up a donation fund, intent on lining her pockets.

A Newtown shooting scam was only inevitable

This, as the philosopher Collins observed, is the world we live in. Since many people are good natured, they donate time, money or whatever they can toward a good cause, such as donating toward disaster relief or help for victims of a tragic occurrence.

However, it also means crooks start circling like a pack of vultures. Charity fraud in the wake of horrors is rampant and not a single tragic event goes by without someone trying to cash in. September 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Aurora theater shooting, the Haitian earthquake and so forth were all used by scam artists.

The Newtown, Conn., school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is just such a tragedy and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has busted, according to NPR, the first Newtown shooting scam.

At long last, Nouel Alba has no decency

Joseph Welch, chief counsel to members of the U.S. Army undergoing questioning by Senator Joseph McCarthy during the “Army-McCarthy Hearings,” famously castigated Senator McCarthy, asking “at long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Perhaps Nouel Alba should be asked that.

Alba, according to NPR, was arrested by the FBI under suspicion of making false statements, wire fraud, access device fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. She may face indictments for those alleged crimes. Alba, a New Yorker, posted on Facebook that she was the aunt of Noah Pozner, one of the victims of the Newton school shooting. She then allegedly posted that she’d set up a funeral fund for her “brother,” the father of the victim, using her personal email and PayPal account.

The alleged Newtown shooting scam was outed on the “Rossen Reports” segment of the “Today Show” on Dec. 21, and Alba was arrested on Dec. 27. She told “Today” that someone else had posted those things though they gave out her bank account and routing number. She received funds but returned the donations. Getting donations for her legal bills will probably not be happening. She’s likely going to have to get some hefty installment loans to cover those.

Not the only one

Not only that, but according to Today, an unknown party, not related to anyone connected to the event, purchased the domain name, meaning at least one other Newtown shooting scam was likely in the works. The Pozner’s, however, were able to wrestle ownership of that domain away and set up their own dedicated fund.

Anyone who gets interested in donating toward a relief fund or charity of some sort should always find official channels; never believe a word from Facebook, text or email. According to CNN, the charities one can trust if they want to make Newtown shooting donations include the Sandy Hook School Support Fund, run by the United Way of Western Connecticut, Newtown Youth and Family Services and the Newtown Memorial Fund.





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