ROCHESTER — Another Rochester business has been hit by a scammer pretending to be law enforcement, according to Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen.
The scammer followed a similar tactic to a previous scam where an employee, in this case, an 18-year-old woman, is contacted and told the business owes money. The scammers named the employee’s boss along with her coworkers. The woman was directed to go to Walmart and purchase PayPal cards.
“We are assuming that the scammer got business information from social media,” Moilanen said. “If you go on there, there’s information about this business, there’s information about employee’s that work there. So it wasn’t very difficult for someone to come up with the names of people that work at this business.”
In this case, the scammer pretended to be a detective with the Rochester Police Department. The name, case and badge number the employee was given were all false, according to Moilanen.
The woman was told she would be arrested if she did not send the money or if she hung up the phone.
The employee bought two $500 PayPal cards and sent the information to the scammers, who had previously asked for her cell phone number. While this was going on, the employee was on the phone with a family member who had contacted the Rochester Police Department. The family member told the employee to hang up the phone, which she did.
The Rochester Police Department will never tell people that they need to send them gift cards for any particular reason, Moilanen said.
“The advice I would have is, don’t name your staff on your social media pages,” Moilanen said.