Beware: Scammers are scheming everywhere!There’s no shortage of bad guys around the world trying to swindle you. River Falls Police Sergeant Jon Aubart warns: “If you are asked to send money to get anything, forget it!” That advice, however, wouldn’t help a River Falls family. Last month they had their $71,000 Home Equity loan stolen from a local credit union through a scheme that disconnected their AT&T land line phone and had those calls rerouted.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
There’s no shortage of bad guys around the world trying to swindle you. River Falls Police Sergeant Jon Aubart warns: “If you are asked to send money to get anything, forget it!” That advice, however, wouldn’t help a River Falls family. Last month they had their $71,000 Home Equity loan stolen from a local credit union through a scheme that disconnected their AT&T land line phone and had those calls rerouted.
The person was then able to call the credit union, pretend to be a family member, and have the loan amount rerouted to a bank in Greensburg, Indiana. A River Falls police investigator was told by the Indiana bank to get a documented subpoena to find where the $71,000 went after that.
Aubart says the case was turned over to the FBI. An FBI agent said these kinds of fraudulent transactions involving credit unions are becoming more common.
The River Falls family didn’t discover their loan was missing until they went online two weeks later to check their account.
Police were also dealing with two more recent scams:
- A 75-year-old local woman was scammed out of $2,500 last week. She got a call from a woman pretending to be her granddaughter who said she’d been busted for a traffic violation and marijuana possession in Canada.
The so-called “granddaughter” needed the money to get out of jail. The 75-year-old ended up wiring the money to an address in Peru.
- A 21-year-old UWRF female student lost more than $2,200 while trying to find a roommate to live with her at 1063 East Cascade Avenue. The student went through Craig’s List. A woman responded who said she was working in Switzerland.
There was an exchange of emails. A check was sent for the student to deposit in her account. But then the Swiss woman gave a hardship story and said she needed part of the money returned temporarily to cover her flight into the United States and other expenses. The student did this but it turns out she was using her own money because the check from the Swiss woman was a bad one.
River Falls police over the weekend also:
-Arrested and jailed a 41-year-old River Falls man for domestic battery and bail jumping at the Riverview Hotel and Suites, 100 Spring St. A desk clerk took a complaint that the man slapped the woman in their room. Another couple, witnesses, reported the incident.
The alleged victim later told police the couple had come back to her room from a bar with an invitation to engage in a “threesome” They were all partly undressed when the 41-year-old man walked in. He became upset and allegedly attacked the woman, his girlfriend, for what was going on.
However, this story was denied by the other woman. She said that she and the man she was with just came back to the motel room for a drink.
Police were still sorting through the various stories before sending the case to the Pierce County district attorney.
-Arrested a 17-year-old River Falls boy for driving while impaired just after midnight last week Wednesday on East Division Street. The boy was stopped for driving erratically.
He told an officer he was headed to the hospital because of a bad reaction after smoking pot laced with molasses at home. He was escorted to the hospital, treated in the emergency room, given field sobriety tests and arrested.
The boy was given fines totaling $845 and driven back home to be released to the sober care of his mother.
For more details on the scams and other Police Beat news, please check the March 14 print edition of the River Falls Journal.