There are four known victims of alleged scam artist Nameer Elias in Macomb Township and Macomb County Sheriff’s detectives believe there may be more.
The 36-year-old Macomb Township resident was after approaching several people in the city and offering them phone, TV and Internet services for one year for $1,000, according to Detective Ray White.
Elias is alleged to have posed as an AT&T salesman throughout Oakland and Macomb counties, scamming residents out of thousands of dollars in more than seven communities.
A homeowner in the 50300 block of Steeh Drive is the latest Macomb Township resident to report being approached and subsequently scammed by Elias, according to Macomb County Sheriff’s reports.
Macomb County Sheriff’s Capt. Liz Darga said Elias approached the homeowner on Steeh Drive in January posing as an AT&T salesman with a cash-only promotion for a one-year bundle package. The Macomb Township homeowner advanced Elias $1,100 in cash and received a receipt for the purchase, according to reports, and then Elias promised service would be provided within the week.
The homeowner later paid Elias an additional $3,500 to service her business, according to reports. When the service was not provided, the homeowner contacted AT&T and learned Elias was not an employee of the company, according to the report made with the sheriff’s office.
Three other Macomb Township residents have filed similar reports.
In some cases, Elias sometimes would arrange for the service after the purchase — and even pay the customer's bill for one or two months to avoid or delay suspicion, White said.
He would then offer those customers rebates and special deals if they would prepay for other customers. Two Oakland County victims gave Elias an additional $2,000 and $5,000 "in anticipation of collecting a future windfall," White said.
Elias has a prior conviction for embezzlement and was on probation when arrested. In Oakland County he has been charged with three counts of false pretenses over $1,000; each is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He will face the same charges in Macomb County.
Police believe there may be victims in Chesterfield Township, Shelby Township, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, Troy, West Bloomfield and Warren as well. He mostly targets people in Chaldean communities, White said.
If you believe you have been victimized by Elias, please contact the Macomb County Sheriff's Office at 586-469-5151 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP.