MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO ) — Thieves have taken more than $400,000 from 26 people in Eagan who have fallen victim to scammers in the last nine months of the year.
The amount scammers have stolen from individuals ranges from $100 – $160,000.
One of those victims was the son of an Eagan mom who spoke to WCCO, but wanted to keep her identity private after this scam occurred earlier this month.
“I feel like I failed in protecting him even though it wasn’t really my fault, but when something happens to your own child, it’s a little different than when it happens to you,” she said.
Her son got a phone call from someone who said they were with the IRS. They told him his bank account had been compromised and he needed to move his money onto Target gift cards until further notice.
“He called me at work a few days ago and you could tell he was crying he told me that the gift cards were completely depleted. it was in the amount of almost $3,000 total,” she said.
Sadly, $3,000 is a small amount compared to the other victims. An online dating scam cost someone more than $85,000 and another $126,000.
“We’ve seen over $400,000 in scams and less than $3,000 in robberies, and that includes bank robberies, so these scams are having an enormous impact in our community,” said Aaron Machtemes, with Eagan Police, “Always be skeptical if you weren’t expecting the phone call.”
Machtemes says many of the scammers call victims disguised as a Minnesota area code.
“Unfortunately, it’s very rare for people to get their money back,” said Machtemes, “A lot of these scammers are overseas.”
However, in this Eagan mother’s case, her son was one of those rare exceptions.
“[Our credit union] still reimbursed him, and I know that’s not most people’s story,” she said.
Eagan police say the IRS will never call you. They contact people through the mail.