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MPD detective talks to seniors about potential financial threats

April 26, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - One scam targeting seniors really hits them in the heart, said Marquette Police Department Detective Capt. Gordon Warchock.

"The senior will get a phone call from someone claiming to be a loved one who, say, was in a car crash in Mexico with lots of money needed to pay damages. They say they need $3,000 to get their passport back and pay for these damages.

"The caller will know enough about the person's family to convince them they are really that person," he said. "We recently had the people at the wire transfer office call us about a senior couple who was going to send money like this. We told them not to send but they really truly believed it was their grandson.

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"And now they are out $3,000. There's no way to get it back. The couple wanted to know how the caller could have known so much information. We told them it's out there."

That's why Warchock recommends that on social networking sites like Facebook, people be careful about how much personal detail they post, even if their page is set to private.

"This doesn't happen daily. It's not something to keep you up nights worrying about," he said. "But we always recommend talking to law enforcement about something like this kind of call. We will research for you as these appeals change all the time."

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.



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