Last updated: October 23. 2013 10:47PM - 4628 Views
By - smocarsky@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — City police are warning residents not to fall for scams as some city residents did over the last several days.

Police said three residents lost a total of more than $1,400 between Oct. 19 and 23 to phone and mail scammers.

Police said one resident received a call from a woman who identified herself as Cassandra Lee from the Federal Grant Union. Lee told the victim that Federal Grant Union owes her $9,200 but she had to send $349 through MoneyPak before she could receive the money.

The victim sent the money and Cassandra Lee called back the following day looking for more money. Lee told the victim that she then had to pay $482 for state tax. The victim told police she did not send any more money because she felt like she was being scammed.

In another scam, a victim received a phone call from a female who stated that she was employed by PP&L. The female caller told the victim that her bill was delinquent and that she would have to pay on it or her electricity would be turned off.

The female caller then told the victim that she could pay using MoneyPak to keep the electricity from being turned off. The victim eventually paid $260 to the female caller using MoneyPak.

In a third scam, a victim received a check in the mail for $967.45 along with a letter from a contact person who identified himself as Ray Grant.

The letter was for an alleged mystery shopper operation in which the victim was to deposit the check she received from Grant into her bank account. The victim was instructed to shop for several items at predetermined locations and then send a Western Union money transfer.

The victim deposited the check at her bank and did some shopping. Later that date, the victim sent a money transfer via Western Union to John Matt in Paris, France, for $788.45. The total transfer cost was $840.45 with transfer fees. The victim was later notified by her bank that the check she deposited was fraudulent and that she may be responsible for the lost money.

“Residents are urged to stay alert and use caution with offers that seem too good to be true,” police said in a press release.

Police say residents should not provide any personal information when they receive unsolicited phone calls, emails and/or mail.

“We are asking residents to share this information with family and friends in an effort to reduce the likelihood that they will fall victim to one of these scams,” police said.

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