I recently wrote about a tourist scam in New York City where a couple of tourists paid $400 to ride the FREE Staten Island Ferry! I came across this story not too many days after hearing about tourists being charged up to $30 for a hot dog in the city!
This goes to show that you need to do your research and have an idea of what things should cost when visiting a new place.
I just came across another story of a massive scam which might be better described as a con. This time the target wasn’t tourists.
A woman was able to scam restaurants, hotels and a charity out of thousands of dollars posing as a UN diplomat.
Sandra Nelson Zongo claimed to be the Deputy Commissioner of foreign affairs!
According to the New York Post , here are the phony charges she ran up:
- $50,000 at an unnamed Manhattan hotel “by handing over a fake purchase order that said it was “payable on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner” to cover her six-week stay.“
- Bought a 12 person table at a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project at a cost of $150,000. The charity that ran the event was sent a bogus purchase order along “with a federal-exempt number, made payable on behalf of the Office of the Commissioner“.
- “Claimed Temporary Residency for UNGA Delegation” at another unnamed Manhattan hotel where she rang up $35,000 in bills. It was at this hotel that a US Secret Service agent tracked her down and arrested her on October 30.
- At an Upper East Side restaurant has another $8,000 unpaid bill.
She also “manipulated young people into working as interns”.
Zongo was indicted last week and “was charged with impersonating a federal official, wire fraud and fictitious obligations” according to the Post.
Crazy stuff! I can’t imagine how these businesses fell for her scam, especially when it had to do with so much money!
Find out more about the story from the NY Post here.