Over the course of two days, multiple people have been scammed out of a total of more than $10,000 combined, according to the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.
On Tuesday, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint in Vassalboro that a couple was scammed out of several thousand dollars, Lt. J. Chris Read said.
The couple told the sheriff’s office they received a call from a man posing as a “Customs and Border Patrol Agent” who convinced them to buy $2,300 worth of prepaid Visa debit cards and provide him with the numbers on May 25, according to Read.
The next day another person, also posing as an agent, called back and told the couple they had to send $7,000 in cash to avoid arrest as they were accused of smuggling illegal drugs and money laundering.
The couple sent the cash out of state via UPS, Read said.
On Wednesday in Litchfield, a woman told the sheriff’s office she was promised that she would be given $9,000 in federal grant money if she paid a one-time fee, through Google Play gift cards.
The woman told deputies the man indicated he was from the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and she purchased $950 worth of Google Play gift cards to pay the fee, Read said.
In both scamming incidents the targets reported to police the people who called them sounded “foreign,” according to Read.
Scams involving people disguising themselves as officials or law enforcement are on the rise, but the Kennebec County Sheriff’s office wants to remind people that no one from the federal government or law enforcement will call asking for money to avoid being arrested, Read said.