Catawissa Borough police were contacted on Saturday by a victim who reported being scammed and losing a substantial sum of money.
Residents in Catawissa Borough, New York, were conned out of $35,000 on Saturday, according to the Catawissa Borough Police Department. On Saturday morning, the female victim says she was checking her email and received a “security notification” urging her to call Microsoft at 1-845-237-5714 immediately.
An official statement claims that the victim contacted and talked with someone who informed her that her computer had been hacked.
In order to get the victim to believe she had been scammed out of $18,000 by a pornographic website, someone posing as a Bank of America representative called.
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To cover her tracks, it was suggested that she buy gift cards for the same amount that had been stolen from her credit card.
Investigators claim the woman was instructed to buy gift cards from Lowe’s Buckhorn and she was not permitted to contact anybody else or hang up the phone, as both her mobile and home phones were being monitored.
Using her Mastercard, the victim went to Lowe’s and bought one $1,000 Mastercard gift card, according to authorities. Lowe’s personnel were forced to alert her of a suspected fraud and stop her from purchasing any further gift cards as a result of her actions.
The victim returned to her vehicle, where the fraudster was waiting for her on the phone. Press release: After learning that she could only afford one gift card purchase, the victim called the scammer back and said that she could only afford one, so the scammer instructed her to go to Home Depot and make up a narrative about why she needed gift cards.
Crimewatch says the victim bought four $2,000 gift cards totalling $8,000 from a store in Columbia County. According to the victim, the fraudster then directed her to provide the scammer with the gift card numbers, which she subsequently did.
The victim was also instructed to return to Home Depot and use a separate register to acquire nine more $2,000 gift cards, which she did.
The fraudster phoned the victim again once she arrived home. Now that her Service First Debit Card had been hacked, the victim was instructed to buy additional gift cards in order to fix the problem.
They traveled to JC Penny since something didn’t feel right, and the victim was instructed to acquire an additional eight $1,000 gift cards, for a grand total of $8,000.
It was Sunday morning that the scammer attempted to call the victim, but the victim didn’t respond and later she and her sister went to the Catawissa Police Station and reported the theft.
Please call the Catawissa Borough Police Department if you have any information on this individual or these events.