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Crime And Courts

Prineville police issue warning after resident scammed out of over $107,000

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False claims of 'Publisher's Clearing House, '

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – Prineville police are warning the public to beware and to help protect seniors from an elaborate scam involving a supposed big jackpot and “an FBI agent” who defrauded a resident out of more than $107,000. Now, the real FBI is involved in trying to track down the scammers.

Police said the scam usually begins with someone claiming to be from “Publisher’s Clearing House” calling the resident to say they won a big prize – the amounts vary, but usually over $1 million – and that they need to send a cashier’s check to cover the fees, in this case $24,000 though it could be as little as $100.

About a week later, there’s another call – this time from “the FBI,” claiming the check that was sent was fraudulent and the victim is now under investigation – but can take care of it by sending more money. “They use scare tactics and threaten arrest,” police warned in a Facebook post on Friday.

The victim in this case received a form, supposedly from the “Federal Reserve Bank,” outlining the fees connected to the “fraudulent check.” The “FBI agent” becomes friendly, says he’s only “doing his job,” and tries to form a relationship with the victim. But he requests more money while promising the matter will be taken care of.

“Once the relationship is established, the ‘FBI agent’ will prey on the vulnerable victim, telling them everything they want to hear,” the police warning said. “They do this by getting the victim to tell them (usually over text messages) about their life, hopes and dreams.”

Police said the scams often involve seniors, especially those widowed or living alone.

Officers reminded that no legitimate law enforcement agency will ever call to ask for money or gift cards to take care of an investigation or arrest warrant. And they surely won’t “put pressure on you to act fast by giving your personal information or again, require payment. Also, Publisher’s Clearing House will never call, asking to send them money for a prize.

The scammers can spoof phone numbers to match ones used by legitimate agencies. They can easily find out the names of local law enforcement to trick the call recipient – so don’t rely on your caller ID.

“These scams are multi-faceted and very difficult to investigate, as many times the scammers are located in another country,” the police warning said.

Prineville police are working with the FBI – the real one – and other law enforcement agencies in an attempt to follow leads in this scam.

“PLEASE reach out to grandparents/parents that may not be on social media,” the warning said. “It’s very sad to see our elderly population have their life-long savings wiped out.”

Another tip they offered: If not sure something is a scam, “stop talking and ask for their phone number. Tell them you will call them back after you speak with police or your attorney. If after that they threaten you or give you an ultimatum, they are a SCAM. DON’T BE PRESSURED. Remember the old saying, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’”

Central Oregon / Local News / News / Prineville / Top Stories

KTVZ news sources

Comments

33 Comments

      1. The trump Borg are exceptionally vulnerable to scams obviously!! “Gee too bad”as their dear leader after finding out that Mitt Romney had the virus.

    1. Also elderly people and mildly disabled people who are struggling to live independently. It has nothing to do with political affiliation. Anyone who takes advantage of well-intentioned but vulnerable people deserves a spot hell’s worst neighborhood. Having experienced this with a loved one, this makes me so incredibly angry.

    2. This is awful. Leave your team sports at the door.
      People that prey on seniors are vile, and deserve the maximum penalties. Doesn’t matter who the old people are.

    3. nonyabysns, You bought the whole Obuumer and Obiden thing, sucker. The bad part of that joke team is the rest of the world has to suffer them as well. I also love how President Trump lives in your head rent-free. But Hey, no worries, Creepy Sleepy China Joe Obiden will fix everything, just ask Hunter and the ATF!!!!

  1. Funny how all the FBI agents, the IRS, Social Security, Windows Technical Support, Medicare and your credit card company who call you 12 times a day all sound like they are from Mumbai or Bangalore.

  2. “They do this by getting the victim to tell them (usually over text messages) about their live, hopes and dreams.”

    Barney, a 4th grader can edit this better than you can. Figure it out. This is terrible.

      1. An elementary school student can spell and construct sentences better than this senior citizen and it’s embarrassing beyond your comprehension. I haven’t needed a “resume” in 20+ years and won’t need one any time soon. In related news, Barney could “go fishing” and KTVZ would immediately get better, overnight. This comment section is obsolete, pointless, reckless, outdated, and worthless. No respectful or decent news outlet has comment sections anymore. Barney is delusional and mentally ill if he thinks this website or comment section “needs” him. Like I said, it’s worthless, meaning it is not worth a dime to anyone except his “job security”… #embarrassing #delusional

  3. Scammers live in other countries. FBI is a pointless waste of money. It is impossible to stop them unless people stop owning stuff. And put seed in ground add water. shut up. Grow up.

      1. Par for the course. Hey Barney, here’s an idea… The next time you type something up, let someone else read it before you “publish” it. It’s called PROOFREADING! This is supposed to be your profession, act like it. When you misspell words constantly and can’t figure out how to put sentences together, it means you’re not good at your job. It’s terrible that people have to correct you all day long. The time you must have wasted telling people “fixed, thanks” shows how bad you are at this thing…

      2. So I often wonder how many things you edit daily doing so with speed in order to get to the next item?? With that said there are bound to be spelling errors. So what. Apparently the readers are not reading for the story content but instead reading to find errors. A true waste of time on their part.

  4. My late mother was subject to these con’s. Fortunately, she was cheap and would only send them 5 to 10 dollars at a time. We had to change her phone number and forward her mail. One perp threatened to show up at her door. Eventually we had to move her out to assisted living to protect her from these folks.

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