Howard County woman says godson's name used in Newtown scam
4:11 PM, Jan 2, 2013
4:47 PM, Jan 2, 2013
Marriottsville, Md. - We've warned you about scammers using the names of the victims of Sandy Hook to their own personal gain. Now one week later, a woman is arrested for doing just that.
37-year-old Nouel Alba hid her face as she left a Connecticut courtroom last week. The mom of two has been charged by the feds with a crime involving other children, the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.
The FBI claims Alba set up a scam charity in the hours after the tragedy, posing as the aunt of six-year-old victim Noah Pozner. Court documents show she set up a fund she claimed would go to his family, using social media as a lure.
Marriottsville's Vicki Pelliccioti says that kind of scheme is as low as a scammer can go, telling ABC2, "It's disheartening. I don't know how people can do it, but it's reality."
Pelliccioti is the godmother of Newtown victim Benjamin Wheeler. She says his name has also been used in attempted money grabs, "It's money that's not going to his family. It's in his name under somebody else."
A legitimate fund has been set up in Wheeler's name, but Vicki says they've done it the right way, using a bank to process and handle the donations. She says, "That is the only safeguard way to know that your donations are getting to the right place." Experts say you should check before you give to any family fund following a tragedy, recommending those that use a third party like a bank, an attorney or a CPA to handle the money.