January 18, 2010
On January 18, 2010 a local Gardner resident contacted police concerning a Craigslist posting. The resident had listed furniture for sale and had received an email from an interested buyer. Sale terms were agreed upon and the resident provided an address to send the check for payment. The buyer then contacted the seller. The buyer indicated the check he sent was incorrect and the seller should deposit the check, keep the money for the furniture and fifty dollars for her trouble. The local resident was then asked to return the balance of the money. The local resident feared a scam as the amount of money sent greatly exceeded the sale price of the furniture. The matter remains under investigation.
July 17, 2009
In July of this year a local craftsperson contacted the Gardner Police concerning suspicious order for merchandise. A telephone caller requested a custom made item for a negotiated purchase prize of $10,000. The item would be paid for by a charge card and when complete the item would be picked up at the place of business. There was initial difficulty in processing the credit charge and a second credit card number was provided. The second card differed from the first by a few digits. Shortly before the item was to be picked up at the store, the buyer again telephoned and requested the item be sent out of state to Ohio.
The Gardner Police working with Chase Bank Fraud Section (credit cards) learned that one of the credit cards attempted to be used had been cancelled and a block was placed on the second card. The personal contact information provided by the “purchaser” was found to be false. The Bank Fraud department indicated that the similarity in the account numbers used in the transaction is a form of scam. The change in the last few digits is done randomly in the hope a valid card number will occur to be used for the transaction.
The matter remains under investigation.
May 11, 2009
Gardner Police were contacted by a local bank on May 11, 2009 concerning a “scam” phone call. An elderly local resident received a phone call from an unknown person who claimed to be an investigator checking on bank personnel. The phone caller indicated he needed the resident’s help to set up a sting and check on the bank tellers. The caller repeatedly tried to get personal financial information which the resident declined to give out. Eventually, the caller requested the resident withdraw several thousand dollars and meet the caller with the money. Again, the resident declined.
The local resident reported these incidents to bank personnel at the local branch.
The bank referred the matter to the police for investigation.
May 5, 2009
On May 5, 2009 a local woman went to the Gardner Police Department to report a suspicious email. The email claimed to be from the F.B.I. in Washington D.C. and indicated the woman was the beneficiary of a large amount of money. The e-mail indicated the money was from Nigeria. The women believed the email to be a “scam” and reported the incident to the police. The matter was referred for further investigation.
April 3, 2009
On April 3, 2009 a member of the Gardner Police Department took a report of suspicious activity from a local resident. The resident stated that she received a UPS package in the mail today addressed to her at her residence. She stated that in the package was a check from a company made out to her for $2,530.70. She stated she has never dealt with the company and that there is no reason she should have been sent this check. She is now worried that someone is trying to scam her. She stated that she looked up a number for the company and spoke with an individual (Darren?). According to the woman, Darren stated that this has happened to him before and that he has not idea why she was sent a check. The company is from Petersburg, Arkansas.
In the response to this incident the officer informed the woman he would complete a report on this incident at the station and that he would forward a copy of this report to the detective bureau. It should be noted that the woman never gave any of her personal information to the company. The woman was advised by the officer that she should periodically check her credit rating through one of the 3 major credit bureaus.
April 3, 2009
On April 3, 2009, members of the Gardner Police Department took a report of fraudulent activity. In speaking with the reporting party, it was learned that she received two letters informing her she had won two large sums of money from two different “Mega” companies. The woman was notified by a “Broker” and a “Financial Trust” about her winnings. One company informed her she won $250,000.00 and another informed her she won $750,000.00. Also with the notifications were 2 checks one for $4,500.00 and one for $4,735.00 respectively. The woman notified her bank about the checks and they have referred her to the police department. Along with the letters and checks was a notification on the bottom that the woman should call her claims agent to learn how to obtain the money. The woman used common sense and never called or gave anyone her personal information. This report was forwarded to the detective unit.
March 23, 2009
On March 23, 2009 a local resident and her husband reported to the Gardner Police suspicious documents received for their income tax filing. The couple indicated they received two W-2 listings including the wife’s social security number indicating the wife had worked at two different health care companies in the past year. In reality the wife worked at neither of the two companies. The wife was referred to the I.R.S.
March 19, 2009
An officer was dispatched to a local business concerning a possible telephone scam. The business person reported that he has received several phone calls over the last two months inquiring about work to be done. The caller asked to place deposits down for the requested work and is asked the business person for information regarding credit cards. The calls ended when the business person refused to provide any information. The business person went on to say that the calls originated from an operator and he will try to get any phone numbers the next time he receives one of these calls. The caller has been using different first names each time. The call terminated when the business person declined to give credit and financial information to a stranger over the phone. The matter remains open as further information is developed.
March 18, 2009
On March 18, 2009 a local woman came to the Gardner Police station to report a suspicious package. The woman stated that she received a package in the mail today addressed to her at her residence. The woman stated that in the package was a check from a company made out to her for $2,530.70. The woman stated that she has never dealt with this company and that there is no reason she should have been sent this check. The woman is now worried that someone is trying to scam her. The woman did state that she looked up a number for the company and spoke with an individual who stated this has happened before but could provide no explanation for the check.
The local woman never provided any of her personal information to the company. She was advised to check her credit reports for unusual activity.