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Fake US Treasury Agent Scams Hopatcong Man for More Than $1K

Police warn of several ongoing phone scams.

The Hopatcong Police Department issued a warning this week to watch out for ongoing phone scams.

A man posing as a U.S. Treasury agent coerced a 47-year-old Hopatcong man to purchase more than $1,000 worth of Green Dot Money cards at Walmart in one of the most recent scams, Lt. Thomas Kmetz said.

"No, you didn't win the lottery. No, you do not have a rich uncle in Nigeria. No, there is not some woman of your dreams that is attracted to you from China. No, your grandson is not in a jail in Mexico and needs money for bail," Kmetz warned.

"No, there is never going to be a federal agent asking you to go to Walmart. No, you must NEVER send money through Western Union unless you know the person who you are sending to. No, that check from H&R Block is not real because you didn't even use H&R Block. No, you will not cash a check for someone you do not know when they tell you they will pay you for it. No, you will not get packages delivered to your home and then ship them across seas. No, Paypal is not emailing you to sign in and give them your personal information. No, your credit card is not being updated even if the caller knows the last or any digits on your credit card. Just keep saying NO! and hang up."

One of the scams is a call from the number 707-508-4533. The caller identifies himself as Kevin Peterson, who claims to be a U.S. Treasury agent who has a warrant for the victim's arrest, Kmetz said.

The man last week called the Hopatcong man and told him to go to Walmart and purchase two Green Dot Money Pak cards, Kmetz said. The caller refused to end the call with the victim until the purchase was made and remained on the phone while the Hopatcong man drove to Walmart, Kmetz said.

"While the victim was driving to Walmart the male asked him which one he was going to purchase the money cards from. The victim told the male he would buy them from the Walmart in Roxbury. The male then told him not to go there, that there would not be money in the account and instructed the victim to buy the cards from the Walmart in Rockaway," Kmetz said.

"The male further advised the victim not to speak to any employees of Walmart about his reasoning for purchasing the money cards and to buy them with a debit card and not a credit card."

The victim purchased one Green Dot money card for $1,000 and a second one for $250, Kmetz said. The caller then advised the man to scratch off the security strip and read him the MoneyPak number, Kmetz said.

"Upon removing the money from the money cards, the male stated a new error was found with older taxes the victim had filed," Kmetz said.

The caller instructed the victim to return to Walmart to send more money, Kmetz said. The victim became suspicious and the caller hung up when the Hopatcong man attempted to contact the police, Kmetz said.

"Time is on your side," Kmetz advised. "Hang up and call the police if you think it is fishy. Hang up and phone a friend."
Paul Wolsko March 30, 2014 at 08:46 AM
Truth is, verily, stranger than fiction.
John Brinkerhoff March 31, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Not very bright !
Kate March 31, 2014 at 04:33 PM
I am going to start calling people and ordering that they buy me cheeseburgers from McDonalds. Fingers crossed that it works.

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