Mankato Workers Empty Safes for Scammers, $4,000 Gone

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(Mankato, MN) – The Mankato Department of Public Safety is warning of a scam that’s hit two local businesses in the last couple of weeks.

Deputy Director Amy Vokal says the scammers called two separate businesses claiming to be from corporate headquarters, conducting an investigation. As part of that, they asked the employees at each company to take money out of the safe, buy Walmart gift cards and provide the card numbers.

The thieves netted nearly $4,000 in the two cases.

These are just one of many scams that have cost victims thousands of dollars in Mankato, which Vokal says is a “target rich environment.” Most at risk of becoming victims are the elderly, refugees and younger people who aren’t as savvy in the ways of the world.

Other common scams locally have to do with fake real estate listings, phony lottery winnings and people claiming to be from the IRS.

Another recurrent scheme in the Mankato area is where someone calls a senior citizen, claiming that their grandchild is in jail or at the hospital or in another country and needs money.

A listing of the most common scams can be found here.

Vokal says anyone with any doubts about the authenticity of a call, should hang up and call 911.

She also notes that no government agency or other official communication would ask  someone to provide money via Walmart gift cards.

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