We thought Wow, what an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with this company" said Bekcy Gilbert who was recently a fraud victim.
The company Becky Gilbert heard about from a friend was GNX-PERTS. The company develops new products. Becky and her husband were very interested in one specific product. It was an additive that allows plastics and paint to glow in the dark.
"It didn't seem ordinary glow in the dark//It was very vibrant glow in the dark, it was lasts a long time, it was put into anything from car paint, to paint for the roads, the striping for the road…" said Gilbert.
The Gilberts work in the trucking business and thought the investment was solid.
"Everybody is talking about safety in the transportation industry so we were like Wow you know this opportunity… Because we know this product would get sold."
GEN-X-PERTS made a convincing pitch.
"They brought some of the product and PowerPoint presentation to show us. They told us that the opportunity would be to purchase stock at $25,000 per share." said Gilbert.
The Gilberts bought two shares for $50,000. 90 days after investing, their optimism quickly tuned to disbelief when they got a call from a postal inspector.
"Very foolish at first to think "how could this possibly happen?" we run a business, college educated people, how could this happen to us?" said Gilbert.
More than 50 people were victims with losses totaling 4 million dollars. Inspectors say the product was real but the company was only interested in making as much money as possible.
"So, they had no conscience as far as I can view it because they were really targeting anyone and everyone in order to get money out of them." said US Postal Inspector Laura Mahlke.
Inspectors say be skeptical of investment opportunities you hear about through friends or social groups.
"Still do your own checking. What I learned in this case, was that this person may believe it is legitimate and they may NOT realize they are part of the scheme trying to lure you in – so do your own independent checking of someone trying to sell you investments, stock shares." says Mahlke.
The GIlberts never got any of their money back and feel they now can't trust anyone.
"The anger I felt to have been stolen from, if you've ever been stolen from and just have something you've worked so hard be taken from you,… lied to… a lot of anger… distrust of people in general." said Gilbert.