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Friday, December 18, 2015

Troopers Foil Scam--Save Elderly Couple's $21,800. Mailed To Scammers

The PSP Central Interdiction Unit, in conjunction with the Hampden Township Police Department, saved an elderly Hampden Township couple from being victimized during a recent scam attempt. The unit was notified on Dec. 14 of a suspicious package being sent to the Philippines; it contained $14,500 hidden within a magazine. Troopers traced the package back to the couple. They told investigators that they had won an international sweepstakes of $750,000, and were paying the taxes ahead of time as instructed by a “lawyer” from New York. They sent $7,300 to an address in Florida a week prior. The address belonged to another victim of the same scam. The money was seized, and all $21,800 will be returned to the couple. 

Captain Heckman, Director, PSP Drug Law Enforcement Division, said “Due to the great efforts of the Central Interdiction Unit, this couple will get all of their money back. More often than not, victims of scams never recoup any money sent. Making people aware of these scams and how to avoid them is the best defense in trying to keep people from being victimized. The efforts of the Pennsylvania State Police Interdiction Unit are not strictly about confiscating, seizing, and forfeiting money. It’s about identifying and thwarting criminal activity.”

The Pennsylvania State Police would like to remind people of a few basic tips. It is more than likely a scam if: you are asked to send money upfront for any fee, including taxes, processing, or shipping to get your winnings; you are asked to send money via wire transfer; you “win” a lottery or sweepstakes that you never entered; or you are sent a check to deposit money, then asked to send a portion back. 

Do not give your personal information (SSN, bank account numbers, etc.) to anyone, unless you know who you are giving it to and why they need the information.

Remember, if sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Seek a second opinion if you are unsure.

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