The Bloomingtonian

9500-dollars stolen during phone scam

Scammers stole 9500-dollars from two women working at Southern Indiana Pediatrics Monday, according to BPD Capt. Ryan Pedigo. 

The first of the two woman received a phone call from a local number that appeared to be the “Civil Process Service” of Monroe County Sheriff’s Office but the number was actually spoofed. However the caller, according to police, told a 33-year-old woman working at Southern Indiana Pediatrics if she didn’t pay 5,000-dollars she’d be arrested on warrants.

The woman was then ordered to go to Kroger and buy 10 five hundred dollar Money Pak gift cards and give the caller the codes. The woman did what the scammers told her, and even placed the vouchers, and the receipts into a manila envelope to send them to the U.S. Treasury Department as instructed. Police said the scammers kept the woman on the phone the entire time, and that typically scammers are very aggressive and demanding until victims just do what they tell them. 

Police were called about the scam, but by then the woman had already dropped the envelope into the mail before police were able to retrieve it. 

Another woman, 35-years-old, was also a victim of the same scam, after receiving a phone call demanding she send money after being told she’d missed court dates on a failure to appear after receiving two citations.

When officers realized the second woman was also being scammed, they tried to call her phone, but there was no answer. The woman was at CVS where she’d purchased 9 five hundred dollar gift cards. Police soon located the woman, still dressed in scrubs, talking on the phone, and a police officer told her she was being scammed, and there were no warrants for her arrest, but the woman had already given the criminals the codes for the cards.

When the officer spoke on the phone to the criminals they hung up. 

Police Captain Pedigo said these types of scammers use intimidation against their victims, and often when the victims don’t have the money, they are ordered to call family members to get the money thereby scamming not only the original victims, but others.

Often the victims stay on the phone, and don’t tell anybody what’s happening. 

Sometimes, according to Pedigo, police have sometimes tracked down the scammers to a foreign country, but there is almost no chance of getting the money back once the scammers have it. And spoofed numbers are often difficult to trace.

Pedigo said these types of scams happen often. 

The number the scammers spoofed was 812-349-7375. 

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