IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — The Ionia County Sheriff’s Office is warning people of a new scam that tells victims their employer is being investigated for taking counterfeit money.
The scam is similar to one where scammers pretend to be the police and tries to convince the victim they have a warrant for the victim’s arrest. Scammers will tell the victim to buy a MoneyPak or Green Dot card and give them the information, in order to pay for the victim’s ‘bond.’
“Once this happens, that money is gone and is very difficult for the real police to trace as most of these scams originate overseas,” the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office said in a Monday Facebook post.
In the new scheme, the scammer will call a business to try to convince an employee to use the business’ money to buy the cards. The scammer, pretending to be police, will tell the employee the businesses is being investigated for taking “an extraordinary amount of counterfeit money,” the sheriff’s office said.
The scammer will tell the employee to take the money to a store that sells GreenDot or MoneyPak cards to ‘test’ the cash.
“These scammers are quite sophisticated, oftentimes the target of a scam will hear what sounds like police radio traffic in the background, and the scammer will sometimes spoof a phone number of a store owner or manager to further convince the target employee it’s a real request,” the sheriff’s office said.
Victims will be threatened with arrest or getting fired.
If you receive a call, the sheriff’s office said to hang up. You can call your local police department after if you have concerns.
Police will never ask for money or take bond over the phone, the sheriff’s office reminded people.
“Remember, it’s easy to be taken for a ride by these scammers, and it’s easy to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars before you even know what’s happened,” the sheriff’s office said. “Stay informed, and keep your employees informed!”