Area law enforcement warns of scam after woman loses over $10K

Published 8:21 am Thursday, August 1, 2019

Law enforcement is warning the public to be on the lookout for a new scam involving a false rebate claim.

According to Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik, a woman from rural Mower County reported that she had was notified that she was eligible to receive a $300 rebate. After giving banking information to the scammer, $3, 000 was transferred from one of her accounts to another.

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The victim was then contacted by the scammer, who said they had made a “mistake” by transferring $3,000 instead of $300 and instructed her to purchase gift cards and provide the PIN numbers to pay the difference. The victim did so, after which the scammer transferred more money from one account to the other. The scammer then contacted her again and said the new amount was not supposed to have been sent to her and again instructed her to pay it back in gift cards.

In total, the victim lost over $10,500, Sandvik said. The case is under investigation.

Sandvik warned that anyone offering money as a prize for a contest you did not enter or rebates that you did not apply for is a scam. He also warned that no credible agency, be it the IRS, law enforcement, utility providers, etc., will require you to pay via gift cards; this tactic is used to prevent the victim from contacting their financial institution and makes tracking the scammer more difficult.