Media contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213
BISMARCK, ND – The consumer protection division recently was able to recover $47,000 that a scam victim had wired to a fraudster, according to Attorney General Drew Wrigley.
“Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated consumer fraud investigator and some good timing, we got lucky,” said Attorney General Wrigley.
The 62-year-old Fargo man fell victim to the “Amazon order” scam, after receiving a call in March supposedly from Amazon wanting to verify a $1500 order. As soon as the victim said he had not placed the order, the scam artists pretended to transfer him to a federal agency, claiming the federal employee would assist him. Instead, the phony federal employee told the victim that his identity had been used to create several fraudulent accounts and threatened to have him arrested unless he cooperated with the “investigation.” The victim was instructed to wire the money in his bank account to a bank in California to protect it while the investigation was ongoing, which he did.
Fortunately, the man had misgivings almost immediately after wiring the money and called the consumer protection division. A consumer fraud investigator quickly contacted the receiving bank and got a “fraud hold” placed on the account before the scam artists could remove any money. The consumer protection division worked with the bank for several months, until they were able to get all the money back for the victim.
“Never send money in response to a phone call. I cannot say this enough: if you get a phone call and are instructed to send money - for any reason - hang up immediately. It doesn’t matter what you are told, or who you think you are talking to, it is always a scam,” said Wrigley.
Information about common scams, including “imposter” scams such as the one this victim fell for, is on the Consumer Resources page of the Attorney General’s website.
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