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from staff reports

LEWISTOWN– The Mifflin County Regional Police Department (MCRPD) would like to alert local businesses to a new manner of fraud. Actors will call local businesses and identify themselves as a police officer with a local police department. These actors advise business personnel that the business accepted counterfeit currency which must be “processed out.” The actors will convince store personnel to purchase some sort of prepaid gift or cash card. The actors will then ask for the numbers associated with said card or provide instructions to transfer the money from the card to the actors by some other means.

MCRPD is offering some simple tips to best protect yourself from these types of fraud.

First, be suspicious of anyone calling via telephone when said call is unsolicited by you and the caller requests money in any form. Such calls are almost entirely indicative of fraud regardless of the subject matter.

Second, Be suspicious of anyone requesting payment, or the transfer of money, via any gift or prepaid card. Again, such requests are almost entirely indicative of fraud regardless of the subject matter.

Third, While issues of counterfeit currency do occur locally, notification to a business will likely initially come from your trusted local financial institution. If police are involved, we will come to your place of business or approach you in person, so as to confirm our identity.

Police will not request or collect money from a business pursuant to a counterfeiting investigation.

Lastly, During a phone call, fraudsters commonly use pressure to rush victims into a decision. MCRPD urges that community members recognize this as a fraud technique and, “Push pause.” Potential victims of this fraud should immediately terminate the phone call before discussing the issue with a trusted friend, family member, or proceeding to your local police department. Decisions to transfer money do not need to, and should not be made immediately.

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