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Scammers pretending to be police get $1,100 from employee in gift cards

"It's a pretty terrible scam if you ask me," Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen said. "They have all the owner's information and they make it appear to the employee that the owners are involved."

Scam graphic
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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ROCHESTER — An employee at a southeast Rochester business was scammed out of $1,100 by someone pretending to be law enforcement, according to Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen.

According to Moilanen:

The employee received a phone call Thursday, July 21, 2022, from someone who said they were with the "Olmsted County police department," but did not specify which department. The scammer told the employee that they have been accepting counterfeit money and needed to send them gift cards. Moilanen said the report doesn't explain what sending the gift cards would solve.

The scammers told the employee they were with the owners of the business and gave the employee the owner's names. The scammers told the employee that the owners were worried about the employees not getting their paycheck if the issue wasn't taken care of.

The employee was directed to another business to buy gift cards and the employee gave the gift card information to the scammers.

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"It's a pretty terrible scam if you ask me," Moilanen said. "They have all the owner's information and they make it appear to the employee that the owners are involved. They instill a fear in them that they won't get their paychecks unless they get this taken of. They claim to be involved in law enforcement, which isn't the case."

After the giving the scammers the gift card information, the person started to think that maybe this was a scam and contacted law enforcement. The owners told law enforcement they were not involved in the incident.

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 mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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