ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 78-year-old Orion Township woman was scammed out of more than $29,000, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said a scammer called the woman claiming to be an Amazon employee to verify that she purchased $8,000 worth of Apple products. Deputies said after the purchase was disputed, the caller transferred the woman to someone claiming to be a member of the Michigan State Police to make a report. The fake MSP trooper told the woman that she needed to provide all of her banking information to file the report.
The woman became suspicious and asked for a number of the investigator. Deputies said the caller provided a legitimate phone number but instructed the woman not to call it because, “whomever would answer may not be familiar with the case.” The woman was then transferred to a fake U.S. Treasury agent claiming that she was a victim of identity theft.
Deputies said in a span of three days, the woman was instructed to withdraw money and use a QR code provided by the scammers to make deposits at a Bitcoin ATM and in Independence Township.
Detectives at the Oxford Township substation were alerted of the case and identified other possible victims who made deposits at the same Bitcoin ATM.
“Scammers continue to evolve their tactics and try to find ways to outsmart citizens,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael J. Bouchard. “This year, the number of reports on scams has risen dramatically. As a reminder, law enforcement will never ask you to supply funds, use Bitcoin, or put money on gift cards to pay for services or fees over the phone. If something does not seem legitimate, trust your instinct, call your local law enforcement agency, and verify the claim with them first.”