Every Small Town Has Skudds, Right?
Meet Nadia Potov, a beautiful thirty-eight year old Russian business woman, who travels around the world.
Harry and Nadia fell in love online. Three months and one hundred and seventy one emails later, Harry proposed. He has no money but Nadia is loaded. They decided to pick out a ring at Nadia’s expense and have it shipped to Harry. She then sent Harry a pre-paid shipping box and after examining the ring, he wrapped it in wedding paper and mailed it to her. The engagement was finalized and Harry received a picture of the ring on Nadia’s finger.
In the lengthy emails sent to Harry, Nadia explained the US was holding up her visa because her father had been a member of the KGB. She was being made to jump through time consuming hoops in order to move to the US. Nadia was heartbroken that it was taking so long but she would move heaven and earth to be by the side of her one true love.
Nadia began ordering American clothing for their honeymoon trip around the world. The clothing was also mailed to Harry and after fantasizing about Nadia wearing them, he shipped the clothes using the boxes she provided. This continued for months while the visa was in limbo.
One sunny Small Town day, I was contacted by the Post Master General’s Office. I know it’s hard to believe but Nadia was using stolen credit cards to purchase her wedding items and Harry was the victim of a popular fraud scam.
I was given the unlucky task of speaking with Harry. The Small Town Police Department avoids the Skudd family like the plague. I’ve tried coming up with a politically correct way to describe the clan. This is the best I can do…
If you put the entire family’s crayons in one box, half the box would be empty, but please don’t put them together in close quarters because they like to co-mingle. Their colors are off and that’s the other half of the problem.
We call the property the Skudd compound if this helps your mental picture. I gathered my courage and drove to Skuddville. First, I had to get past two pit bulls in the yard and jump onto a rusty old van that serves as the front porch which leads to the doublewide trailer.
I “popped” my Taser at the dogs. This is when you remove the cartridge and pull the trigger. The electricity arcs and causes a loud noise much like a cattle prod. The dogs have been previously tased and want nothing to do with the sound. Nope, I wasn’t there when they were electrically disciplined. Please don’t notify any animal rights activists, it’s hard enough dealing with the Skudds.
I had never been inside the home. All business is conducted on the van, I mean porch, for which I count my blessings. I spoke with ex-grandma Skudd first. She is Harry’s ex-wife but is also a blood relation and continues to live in the home. She shuffled off to get Harry.
My hand was cramping from the death grip I had on the Taser. The growling and snarling dogs continued pacing back and forth. My courage was waning when Harry finally came to the door. I rapidly explained my reason for the visit. He was utterly stunned. At least that’s how it seemed, his expression never changed.
Chewing tobacco landed at my feet. With a grunt, he went back inside but returned with two pictures of his fiancé. One was of a beautiful woman who looked to be twenty-five and the other was of a feminine hand with a ring on the finger. He also had an official looking Russian document announcing their engagement. I wanted to scratch my head because the document was in English.
Going to the Skudd compound always makes me want to scratch but it’s usually caused by my repugnance to head lice.
Anyway, I told Harry if he sent anymore packages he would be charged with a felony. Black spit again landed at my feet. Harry went back inside but this time slammed the door in my face.
One month later, I returned with Agent Smythe from the Post Master General’s Office. The Agent gamely placed his foot on the van window and hoisted himself up while I kept the dogs from eating us. Harry was officially scolded with threats of federal prison and search warrants.
Unfortunately, the threats did not deter Harry; he believed he was smarter than the average detective and the entire US Postal Service. His son purchased a post office box so Nadia could continue shopping for her trousseau.
To my great surprise Agent Smythe did not keep his promise and was never again seen in Small Town. The request to arrest Harry came by telephone communication. My arrest of Harry Skudd was less than pleasant and I choose to block the details from my memory.
The elderly and mentally disabled are at high risk for fraud. You don’t need to be a Skudd to get caught up in illegal activity. The FBI has information on the latest types of fraud at http://tinyurl.com/6as84sl and the latest e-scams at http://tinyurl.com/32sjrff
If something sounds too good to be true, IT IS!
Epilogue: Harry spent one night in jail and took a plea bargain which included one year of probation with no internet access allowed. Nadia is looking for another lonely man to marry. Teeth are optional.