Chesterton Tribune



Scammers threaten woman with arrest on drug charges, get her to send money

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A Chesterton resident was defrauded of more than $2,000 after callers pretending to be FBI agents persuaded her to send them money to avoid being arrested on drug trafficking charges, Chesterton Police said.

According to police, on Monday the 60-year-old woman reported that earlier in the day she’d received a call from a “J. Morgan” at the “FBI,” who told her she was suspected of drug trafficking and that investigators had “found” seven bank accounts in her name--in Texas and Mexico--with large sums of money believed to be profits from her business.

The caller then informed the woman “that she needed to close her local bank accounts and obtain cash” or be arrested by federal marshals.

The call from J. Morgan was followed by calls from two other people, who told her much the same thing, that “she needed to pay any amount using EBay gift cards,” police said.

The woman accordingly obtained six EBay gift cards at CVS, at $200 each; three more in the same amount plus one for $150 at Walgreen’s; and another one for $500 at the Chesterton Post Office, police said.

Total amount: $2,450.

After each purchase, police said, the woman returned the scammers’ calls and provided them with the cards’ transaction numbers.

Later, the woman advised her daughter about the incident and was told that she’d been scammed.

The investigating officer called one of the numbers, with an Indianapolis area code, and reached someone who identified it as a Marion County non-emergency line. When the officer identified himself, the other person told him to hold for her supervisor, which the officer did until he was disconnected several minutes later.

The officer also took a call to the woman’s phone from one of the scammers himself, at which time he identified himself and said that he’d be investigating the incident. To which the scammer replied “Good luck,” then hung up.

The incident has been forwarded to the Investigations Division.



Posted 6/26/2019




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