Rochester police warn of package delivery scam

(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester restaurant worker lost $2,449 in a phone scam Saturday, according to RPD Capt. Casey Moilanen.

According to RPD, the 25-year-old man was working at a local restaurant when the hostess got a phone call from a Spanish-speaking person and asked him to translate.

The caller asked the restaurant worker for his cell phone number so they could speak somewhere quieter than the restaurant, and called him from a Mexico number.

The scammer on the phone claimed to be from “Federal Express International” and told the Rochester man one of the restaurant’s manager had ordered a surprise package for another, but that someone needed to pay a delivery fee or there would be a fine.

Moilanen said the threat of a fine if a delivery fee wasn’t met should have been the first red flag during the interaction.

The scammer said the manager’s cards weren’t covering the fee, and that the worker should download Remitly, a money transfer app, so “Federal Express Internation” could transfer money to his account to cover the fee.

The scammer also asked for a photo of the worker’s ID, a common action during a scam, Moilanen said.

The scammer told the restaurant worker to go to the nearest gas station and transfer money into BitCoin, according to RPD, which tipped the man off that he was being scammed.

After ending the call, the worker got a notification from Remitly that someone had transferred $2,449 out of his account.

The scammer tried to remove another $500, but was stopped due to insufficient funds, Moilanen said.