Albion, Holley police warn of scams that are costing people thousands of dollars

Posted 30 January 2020 at 11:34 am

Press Release, Roland Nenni, police chief for Albion and Holley police departments

ALBION/HOLLEY – The Albion and Holley Police Departments have received numerous complaints recently involving phone, mail and internet fraud. These complaints vary in how they are orchestrated but the result is always the transfer of funds that are nearly impossible to trace.

Some of the scams we have received are as follows, but these are only a few of the many fraudulent incidents reported:

• Victims receiving text messages stating that a clergy member of their parish is ill and funds are needed and to send the funds to various locations in the form of cash, gift cards and electronically.

• Victims receiving an item in the mail from Publishers Clearing House advising that they had won and needed to send funds electronically and in cash to various locations to cover the tax before they received their grand prize of over $100,000.

• Victim receiving a text message advising that they had been selected to be an undercover shopper to evaluate retail locations. The victim was instructed to call a specific phone number and to provide a mailing address to receive mail correspondence. After providing their mailing address the victim received items in the mail and instructions to purchase several Walmart gift cards in various amounts over $200 and to send the card numbers to various locations. They also needed to provide their bank account information so the funds could be placed back in their account to verify the account and information, and then additional funds will be provided for “Undercover Shopping.” The victim’s entire bank account was then emptied electronically.

These fraudulent incidents have resulted in thousands of dollars being stolen from the victims.

The Albion Police and Holley Police are working with our federal partners and financial institutions to investigate these crimes. However, there is little that can be done to find the persons responsible or to get the money back. The addresses used are ghost addresses and the electronic accounts where the funds are sent are fraudulently obtained with fake identification’s being used by the perpetrators.

The statement that “If it sounds too good to be true, means it usually is not true” is one of the best ways to determine if something is a scam. The other basic way of determining if something is fraud is to do a simple Google search of the phone number or other information given. The fraud complaints contained in this release will appear with a Google search.

Many of the scams involve fake websites, so use caution going directly to a website provided to verify the validity of the request or offer.

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