They’ll shoot you just to see if their gun works
Ted Hubert
Little Odessa is the nickname of a neighborhood in New York City. Most of its residents are Russian immigrants seeking a better life in our land of the free.

It is also the United States headquarters for the Russian mafia that operates here and in 49 other countries. It is fast becoming a global problem.

These criminals are so insensitive to the welfare of others that Vyacheslav Ivankov, one of the most notorious members of the Russian underworld, was kicked out of Russia because he killed too many people.

Ivankov left Russia, but it was not an action from the Russian government that put him on the lam and caused him to f lee to America.

His arrival in New York alerted the authorities Robert Friedman, author of a recent book about the Russian mafia, writes: “Italian organized crime has an unwritten rule that they don’t go after cops. They don’t go after prosecutors. They don’t go after American journalists.

“The Russians go after every- body. One retired cop in New York told me, ‘They’ll shoot you just to see if their gun works.”

A woman living in The Woodland, Texas purchased a tractor on what she thought was eBay for $13,000. It was never delivered and she contacted the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office.

It turns out she was never on eBay, but was on a website pretending to be eBay. It looked authentic and could fool most people with an untrained eye.

Money sent for the tractor was traced to an account that had been seized by the FBI’s investigation of passport fraud. An FBI investigation kept the money frozen and luckily the buyer got all of her money refunded.

This investigation also determined that this was a Russia mafia scam.

Ivankov was arrested in 1995, convicted of extortion and served 9 years in prison. In 2004 he returned to Russia. He was murdered 13 months ago at age 69.

Be careful when buying items online. Know the company you use to make online purchases, and report your suspicions of being scammed as soon as possible.

The least amount of contact you have with these criminals the better off you are.

Scammers can be very dangerous.

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2010-11-25 digital edition

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