Newton police played a major role in the investigation that led to the arrest of an Arkansas man who scammed more than $100,000 from at least seven victims nationwide — including one woman in Sussex County.
Police in Newton received a report that a local woman had been contacted by a man who said that he was in possession of all of her personal and financial information on Thursday, August 6, authorities said in a release.
The victim stated that the man threatened to exploit her information unless she sent $9,000 in cash to an address in Wisconsin, police said.
Newton Patrolman Steven Shawger worked alongside the Detective Bureau, the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Kenosha Police Department Detective Bureau in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the Department of Homeland Security to expedite and intercept the package containing the cash, authorities said.
The package was traced to a location in Kenosha where police found false federal IDs and $75,000 believed to have been scammed from seven other victims located around the country, authorities said.
Two of the victims later reported being scammed out of more than $100,000 over an extended period of time, authorities said.
Moin Pinjara, 26, of Arkansas was arrested and charged with five counts of money laundering.
Police urge residents to be aware of common scam tactics, which include asking for funds in the form of gift cards, asking for remote access to a victim’s computer, sending a letter with a check for winning a contest that the victim didn’t enter, asking victims to confirm their Social Security Numbers and more.
“If you receive a call from a debt collector that you are suspicious of, contact the company directly,” police said. “These are only a few of the current scams that have encountered, intended on exploiting the elderly or financially desperate.”
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