Troy police issue warning after man loses $100,000 to scammers

Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers

GF Default - Help Me Hank: Gift card scams on the rise in Metro Detroit
GF Default - Help Me Hank: Gift card scams on the rise in Metro Detroit

TROY, Mich. – Several victims have lost thousands of dollars after being targeted by scammers, according to police.

Those victims received threatening phone calls or messages that motivated them to send money or gift cards. Police in Troy are now putting out a warning, hoping to keep people safe from those types of scams.

One victim lost $100,000 in a scam. The victim purchased gift cards and sent them to what he believed was a grant program that could make him a lot of money. It was an elaborate scam.

The thieves are targeting the elderly and sadly the scammers have been making off with lots of money. While there are victims in Troy, the scammers are likely out of state.

The Better Business Bureau and police are tracking scams where people believe they are getting something great for little investment. Troy police are concerned about the huge amounts of money that have been lost and the deceptive practices of the thieves.

Most of the victims were asked to send gift cards or wire money. One victim lost $30,000 and another lost around $10,000. The victim who lost six figures thought he would be receiving big checks in the mail that never came.

Tips to avoid scams:

  • Don’t answer calls from unfamiliar numbers.
  • If someone makes a threat over the phone or in an email telling you to wire money in order to deal with a bill or legal issue it’s likely a scam.
  • Never wire money or gift cards to strangers.
  • If you get a call that is suspicious, contact the police.

About the Authors: