Rochester couple out $303K in monthlong scam

(ABC 6 News) – A married couple in southeast Rochester transferred $303,000 to scammers between July and August of this year.

Rochester police captain Casey Moilanen said the 65-year-old woman and 69-year-old man’s trouble began when their computer "locked up" on July 10, prompting the woman to call what she thought was a number for Microsoft.

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A little later, the couple received a call from a scammer pretending to be from the U.S. Marshal’s office, who "spoofed" a legitimate number on caller ID and told the couple their savings account was breached along with an Amazon breach, and that $21,000 was at risk "due to child porn."

The scammer also told the couple that their phone had been wiretapped and someone was listening to their conversations.

"I’m guessing they just put a whole lot of fear into these people," Moilanen said, "which caused them to wire the suspect money on four different occasions, totaling over $300,000."

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According to Moilanen, the couple was told the money would be used to purchase a house in Hong Kong, which would ostensibly keep the cash from being stolen by the scammer’s alleged threats.

Moilanen said Rochester police do not know whether the couple will see any of their money returned.