Woman Contacted Rochester Police After Losing $118,000 to Scam
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester police recently received a report of a scam from a Rochester woman after she lost about $118,000.
Police Captain Casey Moilenan says the 68-year-old woman told investigators the scam began last month when a pop-up on her computer screen alerted her that it had been infected by a computer virus. The woman indicated she responded by calling the phone number that was listed in the pop-up.
Officials say that put her in contact with a scammer who convinced her to provide them with access to her computer and bank account by claiming she would be arrested because her money had been placed in Chinese gambling accounts. She was then connected to a second scammer claiming to be an employee of her bank who talked her into making four separate payments to the scammer.
The first was for $6000 and was followed by a $27,000 payment. The victim then sent a $55,000 cashier's check to an address in Colorado before moving $33,000 into Bitcoin and sending it to the scammer.
Captain Moilenan says the woman eventually became suspicious and contacted Rochester police last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Rochester Police say an employee of a local convenience store likely prevented a man from losing thousands of dollars to a similar scam.
Police Captain Casey Moilenan says the incident occurred last Thursday at the Holiday station on Fourth Street Southeast. The employee saw a 68-year-old man struggling to operate a Bitcoin machine all talking on his cell phone.
Moilenan says the employee suspected the man might be the victim of a scam and called the police department. Responding officers spoke with a man and he eventually told them that he had been instructed to send more than $12,000 in bit coin after he was informed that his computer had been infected by malware and the caller indicated the payment was needed so his computer could be cleaned of the virus.
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Gallery Credit: Luke Lonien