James M. Spinney, Chief of Police
2 Olde North Road
Chelmsford, MA 01824
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 4, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Chelmsford Police Partner with Businesses in Town to Deter Fraudulent Wire Transfers
CHELMSFORD — Chief James Spinney reports that the Chelmsford Police Department has partnered with businesses in town to deter fraudulent wire transfers.
Police have received multiple reports of phone and email scams in the community. Residents who fall victim to these fraudulent offers and calls often wire money through Western Union, MoneyGram, Green Dot and more. In the majority of cases, their money is lost and gone forever.
To prevent these situations from occurring, Chelmsford Police have posted signs at CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Stop and Shop, Hannaford, both post offices, the senior center and the Chelmsford Housing Authority. The posters urge customers to consider their transaction and contact police before sending any money to confirm they are not being scammed. Residents can also scan a code at the bottom of the sign with their cell phone that will bring them to an anti-fraud website with more information.
“Our goal is to prevent residents from falling victim to these crimes. Hopefully, by partnering with businesses in town, we can deter this illegal activity,” Chief Spinney said. “We ask that anyone who is wiring money to please take a moment to ensure their transaction is valid by calling police for verification.”
Some of the scenarios the department has seen include:
On October, 17, 2015 a Chelmsford resident was attempting to sell his Schwinn bicycle on Craig’s List when he received an email from a woman expressing interest in purchasing the bike for $115. She stated she would send him a check for $1,400 and that he should deposit the check into his account and deduct the $115 for the bike and another $100 for his troubles. The woman then told the resident to wire the rest of the money via MoneyGram and to send the reference number to the shipper. He went to CVS and used a MoneyGram machine to send $1,209.80 to the shipper in Oakland, Ca. The resident, before sending the reference number to the shipper, told his daughter about the incident and she alerted him that he was involved in a scam and to go to the police. The resident was able to get his money back through MoneyGram.
On Jan. 28, a Chelmsford resident received a check in the amount of $9,450 from Philadelphia. She went to the bank and deposited it. The next day, she was told to withdraw the money and deposit it into another account with Bank of America. Even though she did not recognize the name or account number, she completed the transaction. A few days later, another check came for $13,840 from Houston, Texas, which she deposited into her account. At this point, the woman’s account was at $9,111.26. She then realized she was involved in a scam.