State Police Issue Scam Reminder After Man Defrauded Out of More Than $10,000

April 23, 2023

MARIENVILLE, Pa. – Marienville-based Pennsylvania State Police issued a reminder about the dangers of sharing gift card information after a Washington Township man was scammed out of more than $10,000.

The fraud was reported to PSP-Marienville at approximately 11:10 a.m. on April 17. According to police, a 66-year-old Washington Township man reported that he bought $1,900 in gift cards, took pictures of them, and sent the pictures via text to someone impersonating a PayPal employee. Police said the man was also told to purchase $9,600 of Bitcoin from a Bitcoin machine. The man was scammed out of the Bitcoin, police said, and the money was transferred overseas.

“PSP would like to remind the public not to purchase gift cards and give the numbers to anyone but friends and family. Gift cards are not as protected as other forms of payment, and banks are not required to help you get money back on unauthorized gift card transactions,” police said. “Scammers favor gift cards because they are easy to find and buy, and they have fewer protections for buyers compared to some other payment options. Scammers can get quick cash, the transaction is largely irreversible, and they can remain anonymous.”

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