Carrollton, KY (March 16, 2018) — The Kentucky State Police are investigating an electronic fraud scheme that resulted in a Carroll County victim losing $8,500.00.
The victim contacted Post 5 of the Kentucky State Police on Friday, March 16th, 2018. The victim reported they received a phone call from an individual who identified himself as a representative of their computer software service provider. The individual stated he was calling in order to facilitate a refund directly to the victim’s bank account as part of a warranty affiliated with the software purchased by the victim. The victim was then asked to verify their bank account by logging into their online banking system in order to facilitate the refund.
While the victim was performing the requested task, the individual stated he had accidentally deposited excess funds into the victim’s account by mistake. The individual requested the caller keep $500.00 as part of the refund but then requested the remaining amount be mailed to a given address provided. The victim withdrew cash and mailed it to the address provided by the individual. The following day the victim received a follow up call from the same individual to verify that the refund and the agreed upon withdrawal had been completed. The individual stated he would zero out the entirety of all the victim’s bank accounts if they did not send an additional $8,000.00 in cash to the same physical address previously provided. At this time the victim contacted the Kentucky State Police.
Detective Roberts was able to make contact with the person who resided at the physical mailing address provided to the victim. The address provided was located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It was discovered the person at the address was the recipient of numerous packages containing large amounts of cash from around the United States. The person advised she met the male subject online and had never actually met him in person.
The Holyoke Police Department traveled to the residence and located the package containing $8,000.00 from Kentucky. The person further advised she had several other additional packages from different locations throughout the United States. After voluntarily turning the packages over to the detectives it was discovered the person had over $100,000.00 in cash yielded from numerous packages. An additional $97,000.00 was wired to Saudi Arabia. The Kentucky victim will receive their $8,000.00 in cash after it is processed as part of the investigation.
At this time the identity of the male suspect is unknown. If the identity of the suspect is discovered he will face charges of Unlawful Access to a Computer in the First Degree, a Class C Felony charge as well as other related charges to the fraud. At this time the person at the residence in Massachusetts is under investigation by the Holyoke Police Department for their involvement in the fraud scheme. Charges could arise against the person as a result of their investigation. Both investigations are ongoing.
The Kentucky State Police wants to encourage citizens of the Commonwealth to be vigilant when receiving suspicious phone calls or other electronic communications requesting funds in any form. It is not common practice for any legitimate business whether private or public to request funds through avenues such as mailing cash or purchasing gift cards. Fraudulent schemes are ever increasing in today’s world as avenues to target victims becomes easier through information technology and electronic information sharing.