Indiana County residents lose thousands to scams

Regional News

INDIANA COUNTY, Pa. — State police have investigated several scams over the past week where at least six residents of Indiana County sustained a loss ranging from several hundred dollars to approximately $7,000. The victims, whose ages range from about age 60 to age 80, all reside in various towns throughout the county.

In a majority of these scams, the victims were advised to purchase gift cards for products such as Google Play. After purchasing the gift card(s), the victims were then asked to provide the scammer with the gift card number and PIN.

One incident occurred when the victim received a fictitious email stating that they had recently wired Bitcoin to an unknown person. The email included a phone number to call with questions concerning the alleged transaction. When the victim called the phone number, the scammer requested the Internet Protocol (IP) address for the victim’s computer. The scammer was then able to remotely access the victim’s computer and bank account(s) and transfer money.

Troopers strongly advise residents to discuss common scams with your family members and verify the legitimacy of suspicious phone calls, emails, and text messages. When in doubt, ignore the suspicious phone call, email, or text message and contact a family member or your local law enforcement agency.

Tips for reporting and protecting yourself against common scams can be found on the United States Federal Trade Commission website.

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