Facebook Post Generates Concern about Holiday Scammers

December 05, 2017 09:48 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- We are now 20 days away from Christmas and those shoppers are definitely out buying, but a recent Facebook post addressing a possible scam incident in Rochester brought up a lot of concern about safety while shopping.

"We usually see a spike in all types of frauds and scams that are going on," said Darrel Hildebrant, Crime Prevention Specialist with the Rochester Police Department.


Hildebrant said shopping mall and other stores are big targets for scamming. He said often times people are “casing.”

"If you're well-dressed they may follow you. If they think that you have some money, or they will follow you if you come out with high-end shopping bags," said Hildebrant.

One holiday shopper said him and his wife are out shopping all the time, but have never had a problem with anybody bothering them.

One woman has. A Facebook post has generated a lot of engagement in three days. It states that this woman was shopping at Apache Mall in Rochester on December 2nd.  She said, "I got out of my car and was immediately approached by a young girl, probably 16 or 17-years-old," Kayla Brekke said in her post.

It goes on to say the girl came out of nowhere and walked right up to her vehicle. The girl was claiming she was fundraising for her church and wanted to know if the woman would buy a 3D print.

The woman stated she kept walking and the girl followed her all the way up to doors of JCPenney.

"My gut feeling is that this is a scam," said Hildebrant.

Hundreds of comments were posted, many saying they've encountered similar scenarios. One person posting, "I had a male do this to me today at Walmart north. I was in my car and drove away. He then went to the car next to me."

"When somebody approaches you ask for their peddlers permit because, in order to do that to go door-to-door or to be selling like this, they need to have a permit from the city to say that they can be selling,” said Hildebrant.

Hildebrant also recommends contacting security or call law enforcement if you’re ever in a situation like this.



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