Accordingto Sr. Officer Aaron Moss of the Minot Crime Prevention Unit, the Police Department has received information regarding a possible scam targeting elderly victims.
An area merchant shared that they had three separate elderly customers seeking to purchase “iTunes” gift cards in varying high dollar amounts, after reportedly receiving a call from someone claiming to be a grandchild asking for the purchase then prompting the victim to provide the gift card information.
No one has reported being directly victimized by this scam to the Minot Police Department; however, these sudden and repeated purchase attempts caught the attention of the employees who reported it to police.
This appears to be a variation of another scam known as “The Grandparents Scam” where the scammer researches contact information for elderly victims and impersonates a young relative who claims to have been arrested and requests bail money be wired, or sent to them via gift cards numbers.
Once money is wired or gift card information is shared, it becomes very difficult to recover as the scammer is often out of state or in another country.
The Minot Police Department encourages the residents of our community, especially our older residents, to verify any requests for money to be wired or transferred via gift cards to relatives, by first calling trusted family members to verify the need or request.