If someone calls you and says you’re in trouble for a bounced check, don’t believe it.
Lancaster police have issued a warning on their Facebook page about a telephone scam reported recently by several residents.
Someone identifying himself as a federal law enforcement officer has been calling people and telling them they’re in legal trouble because of a bounced check. Potential victims are being told they face arrest and jail time if the matter isn’t resolved immediately, police said.
The caller often has information about which bank the victim uses, police said, lending an air of apparent authenticity to the call.
Victims are directed to go to a local drugstore and buy a MoneyPak Green Dot card – a reloadable debit card – for the amount of money in question and call back.
Once the scammer has the number off the card, it can be cashed immediately, police explained.
Capt. William J. Karn Jr. of the Lancaster police said that there have been two victims of the scam so far and that both of them were senior citizens. Both incidents occurred Friday.
“A lot of these scams are directed at elderly people,” Karn said.
One of the victims reported losing more than $200 to the scam, and the other lost $164.
There are no suspects yet, but the same phone number was used in both cases.
Karn said a federal agency is assisting in the investigation. Karn said that his department has dealt with scams before but that he has never seen one like this.
“This is kind of a new one,” he said.
People who have received similar phone calls are asked to call Lancaster police at 683-2800.