Email Fraud Cases Impact Ferndale Residents
Two separate fraud cases were recently reported to the Ferndale Police Department. Both frauds originated with emails sent to the victims. The suspects falsely identified themselves as representatives of legitimate businesses and asked for phone calls to address a problem with an account. The combined loss for both victims was over $50,000.
Both victims phoned the provided telephone number and reported speaking with a person with a heavy accent. The suspects then solicited personal information from the victims and convinced them it was necessary to complete a wire transfer to correct a problem. One victim was instructed to purchase gift cards and then provide the card numbers to the suspects. Both wire transfers were to a bank in Thailand.
Both victims were elderly, and it is possible the suspects already had some of their personal information which was used to gain their trust.
While credit card payments offer some fraud protection, wire transfers and gift cards do not.
That is why these are not typical payment options for legitimate business transactions. Any suspicious request from a business can be verified by contacting the business with proper contact information. Do not use internet links or phone numbers from the suspicious email, text, or phone call. Simply look up the business contact information and verify the issue with the company.
The following are fraud-related resources where residents can report suspicious activity:
Contact the FBI at (202) 324-3000 or online at www.fbi.gov or tips.fbi.gov.
Health Care, Medicare/Medicaid Fraud
Contact the Dept. Health & Human Services at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or online at www.oig.hhs.gov.
Internet Fraud & Lottery/Sweepstakes Fraud by Internet
Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) online at www.ic3.gov.
State and Local Fraud
Contact the Ferndale Police Department at 911 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.