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Theft By Deception

DATE & TIME: 2019-0388 @ 1500

LOCATION: Rural Hallam, Nebraska

OFFENSE: Theft By Deception     

CASE #: 2019-0388

A resident of rural Hallam called the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and spoke with an investigator regarding a fraud that had occurred the day before (January 24th). She states she had a maintenance program on her computer and was directed to call a Steven Wilson at 877-401-5493 to get a refund.  While talking with Mr. Wilson, who she described as foreign sounding and about 30 years old, she granted him access to her bank accounts to get her refund. He informed her he had accidentally placed $3,100.00 in her account rather than $310.00 and he would get in trouble if the situation was not rectified. He then told her to go to Wal-Mart and obtain $2,500.00 in Wal-Mart gift cards and provide the activation information on the back of the cards to him, which she did. He also told her not to tell anyone and if she was asked, to say they were gifts.

She was contacted by him on January 25th and was told the cards would not go through because they were international cards and she needed to repeat the process. She became suspicious and contacted her bank in Lincoln, who checked and informed her the suspect had moved money from her other accounts into one account, to make it look like $3,100.00 had been put into her account. The bank immediately froze her accounts and told her to contact law enforcement.

At this point, it appears she has lost $2,500.00, but the Gage County Sheriff’s Office investigator and banking officials in Lincoln are attempting to work with Wal-Mart officials about recovering any lost money from the gift cards.

The Gage County Sheriffs’ Office urges in the strongest possible way, to never provide banking or financial information to anyone over the phone, via e-mail, or through correspondence. Red flags/warning signs that a scam is occurring are when the suspect wants to be remunerated or reimbursed via gift cards. Do not proceed any further in the transaction and contact a family member, a trusted financial adviser, such as a banker or accountant, or contact law enforcement and speak with a deputy or officer.

Other warning signs or indicators of fraud are unsolicited calls, threats of being incarcerated or prosecuted unless payment is made, being told to keep the situation secret, or if the situation seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam. At any time, if the person indicates they are with law enforcement, will refer the situation to law enforcement, or alludes to prosecution, stop the conversation and contact your local police department or the Gage County Sheriff’s Office.

If you believe you are being scammed or defrauded, contact your local police department or call the Gage County Sheriff’s Office and ask to speak with an investigator, or if unavailable, ask to speak with a deputy.

Sheriff Millard “Gus” Gustafson #903

Investigator T. Hanson #90310