Michigan woman scammed out of $15K using bitcoin machine
FOSTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State Police are investigating a fraud complaint after a 68-year-old woman from West Branch was scammed out of thousands of dollars.
According to authorities, the woman was contacted over the phone by someone posing as a representative of the Federal Trade Commision, who told her she was under investigation for laundering more than half a million dollars.
The woman was told police would be summoned to her house to arrest her immediately if she didn’t comply with their demands.
Police said she was told to withdraw $15,000 from her bank account and to tell the clerk it was for medical bills. He instructed the woman to take the money to a bitcoin for cash machine in West Branch, where he directed her to deposit the money into his account.
Once the $15,000 was deposited, the scammer allowed the woman to disconnect the call. She was kept on the phone for more than five hours.
Michigan State Police are urging residents to contact law enforcement before sending money if something seems off.
The department released the following signs that may indicate a scam:
- Scammers pretend to be from an organization you know, such as the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service or FTC.
- Scammers say there’s a problem or prize. Often, they will claim you are in trouble with the government or need to verify accounts to claim a prize.
- Scammers will pressure you to act immediately.
- Scammers will tell you to pay in a specific way, such as gift cards, bitcoin, or by cashing a check they send you then instruct you to return a portion of the money.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has released multiple warnings about scam attempts that use similar patterns. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website, or if you have questions call 877-765-8388.
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