Telephone scammers steal thousands from county residents

Local News

INDIANA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two Indiana County residents reported to State Police on Tuesday of losing thousands of dollars in a telephone scam.

According to a police report, a 67-year-old Indiana man and a 48-year-old Blairsville man received a telephone call in which the caller(s) falsely claimed to be with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

In both cases, the caller(s) reportedly advised the victims that there was a warrant for their arrest and demanded payment in the form of gift cards from Apple iTunes, Nike, Target, and Walmart. The victims initially complied by purchasing gift cards and then provided the caller(s) with the gift card numbers resulting in a combined loss of $10,900.

One of the victims reported that the caller also requested his bank account information and the other victim reported that the caller also wished to discuss his retirement account. The victims then recognized the call as a scam and reported it to State Police.

Whether received by phone, mail, email, or text message, Troopers recommend that residents properly verify the legitimacy of any monetary solicitation prior to complying with the request or providing any personal information. When in doubt, always contact a trusted family member or friend to discuss suspicious phone calls.

Tips for protecting yourself against common scams can be found on the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General website at www.attorneygeneral.gov.

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