Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:55 am
Brian Todd, Post-Bulletin, Rochester, Minn.
Mon, December 6, 2021, 1:16 PM
Dec. 6—A Rochester woman fell victim to a scam that has her out $20,000.
The scam happened on Nov. 24 and began with an email asking if the woman, 74, had purchased an Apple computer for $400. The woman replied she had not, and the suspects asked her to download software so they could refund her $400. However, when she'd downloaded the software, the $400 for the refund changed to $40,000, said Capt. James Schueller of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office.
The scammers then asked the woman to check her bank account, which she did, and saw a deposit for $40,000 in her bank. She was then instructed to send $20,000 in cash separately to an address in Marysville, Wash. Schueller said the woman sent the $20,000 via FedEx, but when she checked her bank account later, the $40,000 was gone.
The woman called law enforcement, and was advised to put a hold on the package with FedEx, which she did. However, the package was already delivered to an address that was being rented as an AirBnB.
"She's out $20,000," Schueller said.
Individuals should be wary of downloading software on their computers, especially under unknown circumstances.
Schueller said he's unsure how the scammers made it appear that $40,000 had been deposited to her bank account, but the software download is likely to blame.