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Duluth Police Warn of Wire Transfer Scams

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You probably already have your guard up because of past scams that we’ve shared with you.  But in the last few weeks the Duluth Police Department has received several reports relating to money transfer scams. These scams have come in a couple of forms including job postings placed on employment websites and people being contacted regarding large lottery/prize awards that they have supposedly won. These scams bilk the victims out of thousands of dollars. By sharing some important information perhaps you can better protect yourself.


The perpetrators are sophisticated and network through multiple layers of concealment making their identity and location virtually impossible to find.

There isn’t a reason to panic, it’s not a problem that is specific to Duluth and there has been no particular uptick, but given the high dollar value of one of the incidents, and in the interest of protecting local citizens from being victimized, the Duluth Police Department would like raise awareness of this issue and provide some basic tips to prevent being scammed. The best method to combat this costly crime is prevention.

There are many different wire transfer scams and the victim may be approached by email, by US mail, by a phone call, by a text message, or through a newspaper or internet sales advertisement. The common thread in these scams is that the victims are directed to wire-transfer funds via Western Union or Moneygram. The following tips can help protect you from wire transfer fraud:

  • Always remember that wiring money is like sending cash.  When you send it, it’s gone and you can’t get it back.
  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know.
  • Never deposit a check from someone who tells you to wire some of the money back to them.
  • Never wire money to someone who says that money transfer is the only acceptable form of payment.
  • Never send money to receive money.

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