Drug Lords, Mafiosos, and PacNet? How the Controversial Payment Processor Ended Up on the Naughty List


In 2015, a woman wrote to the Florida Attorney General about her 84-year-old mother, Ruby Helms, whom she said spent all her Social Security and Veteran’s benefits on scams. She lost out on over $50,000, her retirement investments, and jewelry. She went into extreme debt. She wrote, “I obtained copies of the checks and identified a pattern that fees from a significant number of these differently named sweepstakes were deposited in PACNET accounts.”

A woman from California, Jennifer Bell, noticed that a handful of checks sent to three different places were saved from an older relative’s digital bank records and were all stamped with “PacNet.” The 87-year-old woman who signed the check was struggling with dementia and sent thousands of dollars to many different fraudsters. Bell and other family members learned that the woman drained the $100,000 balance on a reverse mortgage which forced the family to give up the property. Bell said, “It’s horrifying to think she was able to give that away in less than five years…of all of the things she didn’t want…she didn’t want to be in a nursing home. Because she gave all of her money away, her worst nightmare happened.” She died just last year.