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Richard Branson targeted in $5 million scam

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 01:31

Billionaire founder of the Virgin group Richard Branson telling Reuters he was targeted by a con artist posing as British Defense Minister Michael Fallon who tried to get $5 million in a supposed secret ransom payment. Police are still searching for the fraudster. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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Billionaire Richard Branson revealing that he was targeted in a $5 million scam… involving a fake ransom payment. Branson spoke to Reuters, Wednesday, saying he was contacted by a man, six months ago, claiming to be Britain's defense minister Michael Fallon. (SOUNDBITE) RICHARD BRANSON, SAYING: "He sounded just like the minister of defense in England. He said that there had been a kidnapping of a senior diplomat and the government wasn't able to spend money getting the diplomat back. This diplomat had to be brought back for very important reasons. And the British government was asking four or five businessmen for $5 million each, very secretively to get him back." But after calling the British government himself, Branson learned that the real Fallon had NOT reached out and there was NO kidnapped diplomat. The police are STILL looking for the con artist. …who Branson suspects later impersonated HIM to steal $2 million from a friend. (SOUNDBITE) RICHARD BRANSON, SAYING: "I believe the same person then, when I was on Necker Island just after the storm, contacted the businessman in America, who I have enormous respect for, and said Richard can't get hold of him and could he put up $2 million dollars because Richard can't get hold of his office in England to help the people of the British Virgin Islands. And he did. He put up the $2 million." The Virgin Group founder, who according to Forbes is worth about $5 billion, saying he publicized the incidents to warn others of such scams.

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Richard Branson targeted in $5 million scam

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 01:31