Victim lost more than $200,000 in internet scam, says sheriff’s office

The victim of an internet scam lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and another person also reported internet-related fraud this week.

The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office says the scam begins with a fake Microsoft popup claiming a security issue.  When the victim calls the number in the popup they are told that someone with their bank is stealing their money. According to the sheriff’s office, the scammer convinces the victim to transfer large amounts of money into a cryptocurrency account like Bitcoin, asks for the new account information, then steals the money.

There have been few reports of the scam, but the losses have been significant.  One victim reported being conned out of more than $200,000, according to a press release. Police say the scammers are also coaching the victims on excuses to provide if the financial institutions detect fraud and try to intervene.

The sheriff’s office is asking the public to be cautious of online and telephone scammers who request personal or account information.  Investigative options in such fraud cases are limited because scammers conceal their identities online and often operate across international borders.



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