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Police warn residents about swindlers

Bloomfield Township police are reminding residents to be cautious when dealing with potential phone or email fraudsters following a pair of scams that recently cost residents money.

Police said one victim, who lives in the 3900 block of Oakhills Drive, told police on Wednesday, February 3, that she received an email from what she thought was Amazon about her account. The email advised her to contact a customer representative at a number provided. The victim then allowed the impersonator on the phone to have access to her computer.

Police said the caller told the victim she would need to purchase $14,000 in Sephora and Target gift cards in order correct the issue. The victim went on to purchase $8,500 in gift cards and called the impersonator back with the purchase codes. The victim later learned the email was fraudulent and was told to file a police report.

Police said another victim, who lives in the 1500 block of Trailwood Path, was tricked by a similar scam on Friday, February 12, by a person impersonating a DTE employee. In that case, the caller told the victim her power would be turned off unless she paid $600 in back charges, which had to be paid by using a Bitcoin machine at a gas station in Southfield.

The victim told officers she deposited $160 into the machine before she realized she was being “scammed.”

“The Bloomfield Township Police Department would like to remind the public that no legitimate business or service would ever ask you to settle a debt using Bitcoin or gift cards,” said lieutenant Paul Schwab, of the Bloomfield Township Police Department’s Investigations Division. “If you suspect you are being 'scammed,' you can call the business direct for confirmation or your local police department for advice.”


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