Police: Township Residents Scammed Out Of $31,000

Three township residents were scammed out of a total of $31,000, as reported to police at the end of November and beginning of December.

On November 30, a township woman reported that she was scammed out of $26,000 in what policed said was a cryptocurrency scam.

The woman told police that she had been contacted through her LinkedIn account by a person who convinced her to make the investment.

The woman told police that the person stopped contacting her after the “investment” was made.

On December 6, a township man reported that he had been fleeced out of $3,500 in what police called a gift card scam.

The man reported that he had been contacted by phone by a person who purported to be an Amazon employee, who, police said, talked the victim into buying $3,500 worth of gift cards “to assist with unauthorized activity on his Amazon account.”

The victim stopped buying the gift cards after his suspicions were raised, police said.

On December 7, a township woman was conned out of $1,500 in what police called a gift card scam.

The woman told police that she was looking for employment online when she was contacted by a person who purported to be an employee of Whole Foods.

The person convinced the woman to buy $1,500 worth of gift cards, which she did until she realized she was being scammed, police said.

The victim also received a fraudulent check – which bounced when she tried to cash it – from the scammer, police said.

Franklin Township Public Safety Director Quovella Maeweather described these scams as “part of a national trend.”

“These highly sophisticated scams use social engineering to manipulate and build trust with potential fraud victims,” she said. “We are naturally inclined to trust people, especially when the message appears to come from a trusted source with a logical scenario. Spammers want you to act first and think later. I recommend you slow down and research the facts.”

The Franklin Township Police Department offered the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of a phone scam:

  • If you believe a call is suspicious, immediately hang up.
  • Never give personal information such as Social Security numbers or bank account numbers over the phone.
  • Never wire or send money in response to an unknown person who makes an unexpected demand.
  • Block the scammer’s telephone number and e-mail address.
  • If a caller claims to be from a specific public agency, hang up and call that agency directly to determine whether there is a legitimate reason to contact you. Do not use any phone number given to you by the caller.

The Federal Trade Commission has a web site with tips on how to avoid being scammed.

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