SUGAR GROVE – A woman reported losing $45,000 to a scammer who said she needed to pay to receive $25,000 that she had won, according to police reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
The woman, a resident of the 200 block of Bastian Drive, reported being defrauded Sept. 21, according to reports.
She told police she sent the money because needed to send $1,000 to receive the winning $25,000, the report stated.
She told police that from July 24 to Aug. 30, she sent an unknown scammer $2,000 in cash through the mail and $10,000 through FedEx, the report stated.
She sent the remaining $33,000 in gift cards, the report stated.
The latest fraud which prompted her to report it to police was that she was told she owed the FBI $100,000 and if she didn’t send the money right away, they were going to arrest her, the report stated.
All the correspondence was by text message and she never spoke to anyone on the phone, the report stated.
Police told her there was no way to get her money back. Police also told her to stop responding to text messages because all of them were frauds, the report stated.
Police also told her to change her phone number and if she gets any more requests for money to delete the text or phone number, the report stated.
According to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information website, www.consumer.ftc.gov, any prize requiring the winner to pay is not a prize – it’s a scam.
Scams sent by text message is considered a “triple threat,” according to the website, because its true goal is to get the recipient to reveal personal information.
Clicking on a link in the message can install malware that collects personal information from the phone, which the scammer then sells to marketers or identity thieves, according to the website.
Personal information – everything from a Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank and utility account numbers – can be used to steal or open new accounts in your name. The website advises never giving that information out in response to a text message.
Complaints can be filed with the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission regarding unwanted commercial text messages.