Posted: Monday, 03 October 2011 11:22AM

Phone Scam With A Twist Hits Mankato

MANKATO (TEC News) – Local residents have been scammed of thousands of dollars using an old phone scam with a little twist.
In the first case, the Mankato Department of Public Safety says a Mankato “grandma” received a call last week from someone portraying to be with Canadian law enforcement holding their grandson in a hotel room.
The caller identified the woman’s grandson by name and told the woman to wire money via Western Union to secure his release.
So she did.
Detective Commander Matt DuRose says the woman wired $3,116 to California.
“We have next to no ability to investigate (the fraud),” says DuRose.
Using Caller ID, a Mankato investigator was able to reach the group by phone and spoke to a person claiming to be a fellow officer.
DuRose says the conversation turned hostile with the Mankato officer threatening to turn the case over to an internet crimes task force.
The man on the phone replied ‘What are they going to do about it,” recounted DuRose.

An Oldie But A Goodie...With A Twist
Two additional fraud cases turned up this weekend in Mankato.
With a twist.
This time the calls were made to a pair of Mankato businesses.
In the first case the called portrayed himself by the name of an actual Blue Earth County Sheriff Deputy. They also used the real named of an employee of the business.
In this case the caller said the worker was also under arrest and needed money wired to Illinois.
The person at the business wired $700.
Police couldn’t say this morning if the person who wired the money was the owner of the business or just an employee.
A second call was placed to a business this weekend with the same story.
The caller in this case described the female employee being held in the local jail. A request to wire $1,500 cash was made.
However in this case, police say the woman in question walked into the business before the person could wire the money.
DuRose says in all three cases, the callers had done their research and had actually names connected with victims. He speculated the callers where using information posted on websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to put faces to names and then connect those people to businesses.

DuRose encourages anyone who receives a call to take time to verify the information.
Investigators say you should tried to get in touch with the person they say is in trouble. If the person is in jail or the hospital you should hang up the phone and call the proper authorities yourself.
“The worst that will happen is your loved one will spend a little more time behind bars,” says DuRose.

(Copyright 2011 Three Eagles Communications | All Rights Reserved)
Filed Under :  
Topics : FraudMankato Department of Public SPhone Scam
Locations : Mankato
People : Matt DuRose