Blue Earth County Sheriff: Minnesotan lost $200K in recent scam

A Minnesotan is out more than $200,000 after falling victim to an internet popup scam in the past week.

The Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office is now warning others of the scam in an effort to prevent more people from falling victim to it.

According to the sheriff’s office, the scam starts with a fake Microsoft popup claiming there is a security issue and urging the victim to call a number because someone with their bank is stealing their money.

If the victim calls, the scammer tries to convince the victim to transfer large amounts of money into a cryptocurrency account like Bitcoin, then share the new account information so the scammer can steal it.

The sheriff’s office said it hasn’t gotten many reports of the scam but one victim reported losing more than $200,000. Additionally, the scammers are now coaching victims on excuses to provide if financial institutions detect fraud and try to stop it.

Authorities noted they have limited options to pursue scammers because they’re often able to conceal their identities and many times operate across international borders.

That’s why the sheriff’s office is warning Minnesotans to be aware of potential scams and be cautious of any request, either online or by phone, for personal or bank information.

The Federal Trade Commission has more information about scams here and the FBI’s Internet Complaint Center can be found here.