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Police say Mason City business helps older customer avoid scam

MASON CITY — Mason City police say employees of a local business came to the rescue of a customer who had been tricked into a scam.

The Police Department’s Mike McKelvey says the employees became suspicious when an 82-year-old customer came in and tried to purchase $500 gift cards, with an employee interrupting the scam and calling police. Police then went to the customer’s house, where they found a suspect had called numerous times, with the caller ID showing the number’s area code had originated from Jamaica. The officer spoke to the caller who was very adamant that they wanted to talk to the resident, with the caller continuously hanging up on the officer but continued to call back repeatedly requesting to talk to the resident.

McKelvey reminds people, especially older people who are mostly targeted for these types of scams, that: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is; scammers prefer you purchase gift cards and pre-loaded credit cards to complete requested transactions, since they’ll ask for the card number and pin number and then drain the card’s worth electronically.

McKelvey says if you aren’t sure about a situation, contact a trusted family member, a personal banker or local law enforcement before complying with the caller’s instructions.



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