RPD, 125 LIVE offering help as more scams impact Rochester residents

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Rochester Police Department (RPD) is warning the public of a scam alert.

A couple in their 60s was scammed out of more than $300,000 over the course of several weeks starting in early July.

RPD reports the couple wired the money after getting a call from someone pretending to be from the US Marshals office.

While it’s unclear as to whether or not this couple will ever see their money returned, it’s another hard reminder to stay vigilant as scammers become more creative.

“They are really skilled at preying on peoples emotions, and they elicit fear in people,” RPD Crime Prevention & Communications Coordinator Amanda Grayson said.

Info to avoid scams
Info to avoid scams(KTTC)

As another wave of scams impacts the Rochester area, the RPD and 125 LIVE are working to prevent additional victims.

“Our members often talk about the government scams,” 125 LIVE Program Coordinator Robin Hoelzle said. “The ones coming in phone calls from Social Security as well as the robo call scams.”

When it comes to possible scam calls, RPD says to never give out any personal information over the phone.

One red flag is if someone requests payments in the form of gift cards; RPD says it’s likely a scam.

“First thing we recommend is taking steps to block unwanted calls and text messages,” Grayson said. “Know that legitimate government organizations, like Social Security Administration or Medicare, aren’t going to call you on the phone and they’re not going to communicate with you via the phone.”

125 LIVE wants to make sure people, especially over the age of 65, don’t fall prey to the scams and is offering a class in early September which will give ideas and tips on how to protect yourself from scams.

“Those will go over the top 10 scams that are happening in our community,” Hoelzle said. “The statistics are showing that in 2021 there were $1.7 billion reported for fraudulent or scams that people were duped out of their money. It’s an increase of 74 percent, and it was happening to the older populations.”

If you think you may be dealing with a potential scammer, RPD suggests talking to another person about what’s happening.

“Just talking about the situation with someone else can help people realize that they’re dealing with a scammer,” Grayson said.

RPD wants you to report any potential scams or share if you are the victim of a scam.

The “Protecting Yourself From Scams” class at 125 LIVE will happen on September 7th from 12-1 p.m. and 8th from 6-7 p.m.

Anyone is welcome to attend, just call 125 LIVE at (507) 287-1404 to register.

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