DODGE CO., Minn. – It seems like every month there’s a new consumer warning about different tactics being used to cheat people out of money. You might think it could never happen to you, but the truth is it could. Not even law enforcement officers are immune to becoming targets.
No one knows this better than Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose who says recently he’s received suspicious Facebook messages and emails that appear to come from people he knows and trusts. It started with a Facebook message.
"They had an actual picture of a relative of mine with her name it made it look like it came from her Facebook page,” Rose explains. “She just started small talk with me started asking me kind of weird questions about buying or purchasing cards.”
He quickly realized he wasn’t actually talking to his relative and was able to confirm his suspicions.
“I called her up and said, “hey are you on Facebook right now?” [she said] “No.””
Then Rose received an email, which was sent to his official county email address from what appeared to be a colleague.
“The email ones were kind of interesting because my replies to them indicates that I'm the Sheriff here and they still continued," he explains.
In the correspondence, Sheriff Rose is asked to purchase five $100 gift cards then send the codes. Again, he was able to confirm that whoever he was emailing with was not his actual colleague.
These are two examples of what Rose says is all too common.
“The Phishing scams are big right now they're trying to get credit card information so they may ask about gift cards, they may ask about like the scam where the grandson needs help,” he adds.
Sheriff Rose posted both conversations to the Dodge County Sheriff Facebook page to give people an idea of possible red flags.
“The main thing is to show, to expose the fact that they're super manipulative especially with seniors."
He hopes by posting the messages, people think twice before giving out personal information to someone they think they know and trust who could end up being someone trying to take advantage of them. Another thing he wants people to know is if something like this happens to them, the Sheriff’s Office wants to know about it. He says while people can feel embarrassed about falling victim to these crimes, it’s important they’re documented with law enforcement so they can hopefully prevent others from financial loss.
The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office offers a “Frauds & Scams” crime prevention seminar. For more information on scheduling a seminar for your organization or group contact Deputy Jeff Brion at 507-635-6215 or email email@example.com.