Darien Police has received more reports of residents scammed out of money using gift cards.
An Aug. 7 incident ended with a resident losing $2,700 and another losing $200 on Aug. 22, according to a press release. The incidents were similar to the previously reported Aug. 13 incident in which an unknown caller asks to be paid with prepaid or gift cards.
On Aug. 7, a resident received a call from a male identifying himself as Damien Barbosa. The caller ID showed the call (509-414-6368) as Washington D.C., U.S. Attorney General's Office. The caller was aware the resident had a Payday loan and mentioned that the resident owed the IRS back taxes. The resident was instructed to go to Walgreens or Walmart and purchase Green Dot gift cards in the amount of $2,700.
The resident complied with the request then called back and provided the card and PIN numbers. The $2,700 was immediately transferred off of the cards, the release said.
On Aug. 22, a resident was searching the Internet for a money loan and located a web site instantmoney.com. After contacting the company, the resident was instructed to go to Walgreen's and purchase $200 in Vanilla Network Reload gift cards for fees to process the loan. The resident then contacted the company and provided the card and PIN number. A short time later the resident checked the card balance and found the $200 was transferred off the card. Attempts to call the company were met with hang up calls.
Darien Police continue to work with store management to address the recent scams and how to notify customers of the possible scam.
Avoid Being Scammed
Police strongly encourage residents to be cautious and skeptical about phone calls or e-mails received about obtaining gift cards, and then being asked to provide the card and PIN numbers. More than likely this is a scam. Once the money is transferred off of the card it is untraceable.
You can conduct a quick Internet search using the phone number provided if you suspect a scam. If other victims have been scammed, there may be reports in the Internet. Additionally, there are a number of web sites devoted to reporting scams. ScamGuard can be accessed at scamguard.com.
This information was courtesy of the Darien Police Department.
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