Scam Targets Albert Lea Woman, Pretending to be Real Officer

Posted at: 11/27/2012 4:53 PM
Updated at: 11/27/2012 6:23 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- They come in all shapes and sizes and they're always changing.  A new scam has cost an Albert Lea woman more than a thousand dollars. And *this* con involves computers, the elderly -- and police.

"There's always a new twist on these scams, but this one's sort of hitting home, especially in my case," said Mower County Chief Deputy Mark May

It started innocently enough for an Albert Lea woman, who twice borrowed money from an on-line lender. But it was the follow-up calls that were unexpected -- the callers claimed to be law enforcement officers, and they had ultimatums.

“If she didn't pay it off within a certain time frame they would come to her house and she would have to pay more and it would be $3,000 and she would ultimately be going to jail," Chief Deputy Mark May told us. "Law enforcement doesn't operate that way.”

One of the callers claimed to be "Officer May".

"I don't want my reputation out there saying this Officer May is twisting this elderly individual's arm to get money," May explained.

When the real Officer May investigated, he learned that the con-men had apparently hacked into the on-line lender's website and learned of the Albert Lea woman and her loans.

"From what I'm getting from the FBI it sounds like they may have looked on-line and found out there was an officer by the name of may within this area," said Chief Deputy Mark May.

The Albert Lea woman sent two pre-paid credit cards to the con-men, and she’s out $1,400 dollars.

And it probably wasn't a coincidence the con-men targeted an elderly victim.

"This is a law enforcement officer, they've called me and I don't really want to get in trouble by saying no to them and just was under the impression I'd better do it," Mark May told us.

Anyone who has been approached with a similar con is asked to contact their local law enforcement center.