Police Report Rash of Scams Targeting Watertown Residents

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Watertown Police warn that residents have been targeted by scammers, each one slightly different. 

This week, police investigated four scams, and last week they saw another case. Some are by phone, one by email, and one from someone selling tickets online.

Police warn residents to be wary of anyone asking for payment in the form of gift cards, adding that no credible organization would ask to be paid in gift cards.

On Oct. 8, a Whitney Street resident reported being a victim of a scam. The elderly man got a phone call on the afternoon of Oct. 7 from a man claiming to be his grandson and said he had been in a car accident. Then he asked the man to talk to another man saying he was the grandson’s lawyer. The man said the grandson needed to pay money or else he would be in serious trouble. The resident was asked to go to Home Depot and purchase $9,000 in gift cards and send the numbers to the grandson. The man suspected something and asked to talk to his grandson, but lawyer said he was not available because he was in trouble. The man reported the incident to police. They contacted Home Depot to try to get a reimbursement for the gift cards.

A person came into the Police Station on Oct. 8 to report that he was a victim of a scam. The senior said he got an email from someone who he believed was the owner of the company he worked for. The email said that the owner wanted to give gift cards to some employees, and the man was one of them. He was told to go buy $3,000 of Home Depot gift cards online, which he did. When the man told the owner that he had purchased the cards, the owner did not know what he was talking about. The owner realized the company’s internal email had been hacked and the man was out $3,000.

A Waverley Avenue resident reported a phone scam on Oct. 9. The woman spoke to someone who she thought was from GeekSource about issues with her laptop. The person said he could fix it if he was sent $240 from a bank account. She gave them her checking account number, but then realized it could be a scam. She tried to cancel the payment, but could not. The bank credit her the money.

On Oct. 10, an elderly woman reported she had been the victim of a scam. She responded to a Craigslist ad for Hamilton tickets, and the seller said she should send $700 using the Zelle app and he would transfer the tickets electronically. The woman did not receive the tickets, and the seller would not respond to texts. When she tried to call, the number had been taken out of service.

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