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Gift Card Scams

Release date: 8/26/2013

Contact: Sgt. Greg Cheaure
Contact Phone: 630-353-8358

The Darien Police are receiving additional reports of victims scammed out of money using gift cards.

On August 7, 2013, a resident received a call from a male identifying himself as Damien Barbosa. The caller ID showed the call (509-414-6368) as Washington D.C. , U.S. Attorney General's Office. The caller was aware the resident had a Payday loan and mentioned that the resident owed the IRS back taxes. The resident was instructed to go to Walgreens or Walmart and purchase Green Dot gift cards in the amount of $2,700. The resident complied with the request then called back and provided the card and PIN numbers. The $2,700 was immediately transferred off of the cards.

On August 22, 2013, a resident was searching the Internet for a money loan and located a web site www.instantmoney.com. After contacting the company, the resident was instructed to go to Walgreen's and purchase $200 in Vanilla Network Reload gift cards for fees to process the loan. The resident then contacted the company and provided the card and PIN number. A short time later the resident checked the card balance and found the $200 was transferred off of the card. Attempts to call the company were met with hang up calls.

The Darien Police are working with store management to address the recent scams and how to notify customers of the possible scam.

We strongly encourage residents to be cautious and skeptical about phone calls or e-mails received, or any time you are asked to obtain a gift card, then asked to provide the card and PIN numbers. More than likely this is a scam. Once the money is transferred off of the card it is untraceable.

You can conduct a quick Internet search using the phone number provided if you suspect a scam. If other victims have been scammed, there may be reports in the Internet. Additionally, there are a number of web sites devoted to reporting scams. ScamGuard can be accessed at www.scamguard.com