OSCODA – Officers from the Oscoda Township Police Department recently issued two fraud alerts after incidents reported in Oscoda Township.

The first was from a resident who called officers in reference to a computer tech support scam.

According to the report the perpetrators of the fraud contacted the Oscoda resident by telephone and claimed the manufacturer of the victim’s computer had gone out of business and they were entitled to a $500 refund because there was still a warranty and service guarantee on the computer. 

The victim was then instructed on how to authorize remote access to their computer and online banking to the perpetrators. The perpetrators then transfer funds within the victim’s account to give the appearance of a large deposit. 

In this case $4,000 was transferred from the victim’s savings account to the victim’s checking account. The perpetrators then tell the victim that they were refunded too much money, and that they must return the extra funds. The perpetrators then instruct victims to purchase gift cards to pay back the extra funds. 

The victim is instructed to provide the gift card numbers over the telephone. When the victim refused to purchase additional gift cards the perpetrators locked the victim out of the computer.

Computer manufacturers and computer tech support don’t make unsolicited telephone calls to customers, and any unsolicited telephone call purported to be from tech support should be viewed as suspicious.

Police received a second report of a maintenance worker receiving a telephone call from someone identifying themselves as DTE Energy. The worker was told that the facility was behind in their utility bills, and the utilities to the building were going to be shut off. The worker was provided a telephone number where arrangements to pay the outstanding bill could be made.

The Oscoda Township Police Department is asking people to be alert to possible fraudulent activity. Make every effort to independently verify the identity of anyone asking you to send them money for any reason. Perpetrators of fraud often convincingly portray themselves as family members, trusted service providers, or collection agencies. When in doubt call your local police agency using a publicly listed phone number before sending money.