Scam Hits St. Marys

ST. MARYS — A local resident was recently the target of a scam that involved a person claiming to be from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Lisa Miller told The Evening Leader one of her friends received a phone call from a person who claimed to be from the attorney general’s office. The caller indicated there was an outstanding balanced owed — approximately $500 — and if he did not receive payment, an arrest warrant would be activated.

“They told me if I was able to take care of it, the warrant would be canceled,” Miller said. “He named off all these stores where I could get a Green Dot Money Pak — and it had to be a Green Dot. He told me to call back in 30 minutes.”

Miller said she first grew suspicious when the caller indicated several different time frames to make good on the payment. She also noticed he provided her with several different phone numbers.

“He gave me another number, with a different area code, to call back,” Miller said. “The man had a really strong accent.”

Miller hung up the phone and contacted an attorney and the St. Marys Police Department. She noted it didn’t take long to realize the call was a scam.

“As soon as I told him that they were claiming to be from the attorney general’s office and said they would activate a warrant, he laughed and said it was a scam,” Miller said of the attorney. “I contacted the police and they said anyone who called them they would tell them it was a scam, but that there wasn’t much else they could do.”

St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven said his department handles several calls a week regarding scam. He gave one piece of advise to those approached by scammers.

“Hang up on them immediately,” Foxhoven said. “Some will try to keep them online to see if they can track the number, but usually it’s from overseas and it’s next to impossible.”

Telephone and mail scams come in all shapes and sizes. Foxhoven said officers also periodically run across local victims who have been scammed out of their money.

“They are very clever in nature in concocting their stories,” Foxhoven said. “There aren’t too many days that go by that we don’t get a call about one. There also aren’t too many weeks that go by that we unfortunately get someone who has fallen victim and their money is usually long gone.”