EAGAN, Minn. (FOX 9) – Authorities in Eagan, Minnesota are warning the public after several people were scammed out of significant amounts of money – some more than $80,000.
Over the past nine months, the Eagan Police Department said it has taken reports from 26 people who have fallen victim to scams resulting in a total loss of $441,397. The scams varied from supposed utility companies requesting payment, to online dating scams, to U.S. Marshals claiming the victim’s identity is being used to smuggle drugs.
On July 23, a 63-year-old vulnerable adult was scammed multiple times and lost a total of $160,000.
On Jan. 24, a 60-year-old woman lost $85,400 in an online dating scam. Another woman, 61, lost $126,700 on Feb. 13 in a similar scam.
On Feb. 18, a 58-year-old woman lost $26,700 in a scam involving “fees” on an international package.
On Feb. 11, a 33-year-old woman lost $1,497 in the form of Google gift cards in a scam involving threats of deportation.
On July 27, a 67-year-old woman lost $9,000 in the form a Target gift cards through a scam claiming to be malward/security software virus repair.
“Scams succeed because they look like the real thing and catch people off guard when they’re not expecting it. The best way to prevent a scam is to be alert to the fact that scams exist, and then learn what warning signs look like. Most scams work to incite panic and require a person to take immediate action. When the victim panics from a supposed missed bill or threat of arrest, their critical thinking shuts down,” police said in a release.