A man was indicted on Monday for running a scam in which he called people and, representing himself as an employee of the Rami Levy supermarket chain, persuaded victims to deposit money in an account he owned in order to be eligible for delivery of “prizes” they won. What’s exceptional about the scam is that it was run by a prisoner – from behind bars.
The 39-year-old prisoner, run by a career criminal with many charges of fraud and robbery to his name, was indicted for cheating over 200 people out of sums of money. He would call up victims and tell them they had been selected in a special discounting program by the supermarket chain, which allowed them to buy electronic devices, refrigerators, food processors, vacuum cleaners, household appliances and other items at way below market prices. All they had to do was deposit money into a bank account, and the items would be delivered by special messenger.
The amounts of money he asked buyers to transfer was extremely low – in the neighborhood of NIS 100 per victim – and given the reputation for discounting that Rami Levy has, few people questioned the scam. The perpetrator apparently called people at random. The money was transferred into a bank account that belonged to him that allowed him to buy products at the prison canteen.
At his hearing Monday, police asked that the prisoner be kept away from communications equipment.