A successful scam, as told to our officer-in-charge

The officer-in-charge of our Consumer Protection Unit, Deputy Mike Imprevento, shared this account of a recent scam he was informed about:

no amazonI met with a father and daughter. The father is an elderly retired naval officer who was the subject of a phishing e-mail scam wherein the scammer persuaded the victim to fill out a form and ultimately initiate a wire transfer from his bank.

The elderly are very vulnerable to this. The way this scam worked is typical:

  • The crime started as a series of phone calls from someone posing as an Amazon rep named “Eric Morrison” from a number which showed as (206) 614-0739.
  • The caller stated that there was a charge on the victims Amazon account for $1000.00 for a “ IPhone” and when the victim denied the charge, the scammer stated that he would have to ask for a refund.
  • Shortly thereafter the “refund” was facilitated by the appearance of a form on the victims computer (which was actually accessed by the scammer) wherein the “refund” would be requested. 
  • This was a form which was doctored by the scammer to change the $1000.00 amount to $10,000.00 and the scammer stated that the excess $9000.00 refunded would cause him to be fired unless the victim wired the amount to another account. This allowed the conversion of the $9000.00 amount which was to a spoofed account, which the NSO is currently investigating.

The money was lost.

The common use of Amazon has allowed this scam to catch on. DO NOT EVER send money by wire under these circumstances and Amazon will never operate this way. NSO is notifying other federal and state agencies of this scam.

Deputy Michael F Imprevento
Staff Attorney
OIC Consumer Protection Unit
Norfolk Sheriff’s Office

Scammers may pose as a variety of persons who interact on social media and whenever you are asked for money by someone you do not know, ignore the request and report the interaction.

If you believe you have been a victim of a scheme to defraud you, please report it the NSO Consumer Protection Unit at this link, https://norfolk-sheriff.com/fraudwatch.

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Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 664-4700

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