Rochester woman scammed out of $7k by Bitcoin fraudsters

The woman was told by a caller that her identity was stolen and she could be charged with money laundering.

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ROCHESTER — A 62-year-old Rochester woman sent $7,000 to a Bitcoin account after a caller told her she may be arrested for money laundering, according to Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen.

According to Moilanen, the woman received a call around 10:30 a.m. June 16, 2022, that there had been fraudulent charges on her bank account from Amazon. The woman told them she had not made any purchases on Amazon and the caller offered to speak to her bank on her behalf.

The woman later received a call from someone representing themselves as a commissioner with the Federal Trade Commission who told her her identity was stolen. The caller told her he could assist her but that she would have to move her money to prevent it from being stolen. The caller also told her she could be charged with money laundering and sent her a "warrant" for her arrest.

The woman was instructed to withdrawn $7,000 from her bank and deposit it into an account in a Bitcoin machine at a gas station in Rochester. After doing so, the woman became suspicious and called law enforcement.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at
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