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Scammers bilk resident for nearly $60,000

A Bloomfield Township resident was cheated out of $57,000 on Monday, September 16, after falling victim to a wire transfer scam perpetrated by a man claiming to be with a federal authority agency.

Bloomfield Township police said the victim told police that he received a phone call from a person claiming to be from the "Office of Social Security," who said the victim's identity was used in a crime in Texas. The caller told the victim he had to wire $40,000 in order to avoid being arrested.

The victim wired the money to an individual claiming to be a bank representative for the DEA.

Shortly after the victim wired the initial $40,000, the victim received a second call requesting an additional $17,000. The victim wired the money again, then realized he was the victim of a scam, police said.

Police said a second resident fell for a similar scam two days later. The victim contacted Bloomfield Township police on Wednesday, September 18, at about 8 p.m. to say she received a call from a man with a foreign accent claiming to be an officer with the "Office of Social Security." Again, the victim was told her identity was used in a crime in Texas and that she needed to transfer $4,000 over the phone to avoid being arrested.

The victim was unsuccessful at paying the caller with a credit card so she was instructed to purchase gift cards from several stores and provide the information to the caller.

The victim purchased $2,500 in gift cards and then asked to purchase an additional $2,000 in Apple iTune cards. Before purchasing the cards, the victim realized she was victim of a scam and called police.

Both cases are under investigation.

"The Bloomfield Township Police Department would strongly advise that these types of scams are becoming increasingly popular and warn against ever depositing money into someone's account or providing personal information over the phone unless you are certain it is legitimate," said Lt. Paul Schwab, of the Bloomfield Township Police Department's Investigations Division.

Police advise residents with questions or concerns to contact the police department at 248.433.7755.

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