Two Stage Scam Used to Swindle Rochester Woman
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The scams reported to local authorities have been gaining in sophistication.
Rochester police received a report over the weekend from a 72-year-old woman who was swindled out of $2600 through a scam that began when she received a text message that appeared to have been sent by Amazon.
A spokesman says the message informed the receiver of the text they had made a significant purchase and instructed the person to call a phone number if they were not responsible for it. The woman called the number and spoke to a person who requested her help in catching the scammers by purchasing some gift cards. Investigators say the caller even remained on the phone with the victim when she went to a local store to purchase the gift cards.
The police reports indicate the scammer then introduced another element in an effort to keep the swindle going. The person indicated they would be crediting $200 to the victim's bank account and instructed her to log on using her computer. When she did, the scammer somehow made it appear $20,000 had been mistakenly deposited in her account and asked her to make additional purchases of gift cards to serve as a gesture of good faith while the banking mistake was cleared up.
It was at that point the woman realized she was been scammed and contacted law enforcement. It is unclear how the scammers were able to make it appear that $20,000 had been added to the victim's bank account.
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