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Police Warning Of An E-Mail Scam Involving Overseas Properties

Posted October 10th, 2017

An email scam that targeted a Winter Haven woman involves rental property in Barcelona, however it is obviously a ploy to force victims to hand over cash.

On Oct. 9 an email was received by Winter Haven resident Morgan Cardinal in her Gmail account. The email, which came from another Gmail address unknown to Morgan, acknowledged her first name and proceeded to accuse her of cancelling a rental agreement for an apartment overseas. The email goes on to say that Morgan received 1400€ (which equals approximately $1,651 in U.S. currency), but cancelled the contract after receiving the money. The writer goes on to say that they understand that Morgan cancelled the agreement since someone else rented the property for more money, but a prompt refund is in order.

The accuser goes on to say that they will contact police and then interjects an additional name into the email in another obvious attempt to further confuse Morgan. Well, Morgan could smell this scam a mile away, so she confronted the writer and a continued email string threated more police action if she did not pay the money. Morgan contacted the Winter Haven Police Department to get the word out and hopefully save an unsuspecting person who could fall prey to the scam. Morgan did not lose any money.

“We applaud Morgan for coming forward to warn us of this obvious attempt to defraud an unsuspecting citizen,” said Chief Charlie Bird. “There are some who may not be as savvy and fall victim thinking there is a real threat of police action.”

Scams are continuing to surface in many different ways. Citizens must be alert and diligent when it comes to emails, phone calls, solicitations through the U.S. Postal Service and even scammers in person. This case is obviously an attempt to confuse the recipient of the email and convince her to either reveal banking information or wire money to an account. These types of scams are difficult to solve. It is imperative that we continue to spread the word and enlighten those who are more vulnerable to fall for such scams.