Menomonie woman loses life savings, scammed out of $17,000 | News

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MENOMONIA (WQOW)- With $17,000 lost and his savings depleted, a victim of the Menomonie scam is raising awareness by sharing his story.

“Life is good” and “Today I choose joy” are just some of the positive signs scattered around Marjorie’s home in Menomonie, but after having her savings cheated, the irony seems thick.

“It’s devastating to go back in time as you finally put your life in order,” she said.

It all started in early March.

Recently divorced and debt-free for two years, Marjorie thought she’d give online dating a try and received a notification on her laptop saying she was matched with 10 people.

“As soon as I clicked the button to see more, my screen froze,” she said. “There was a big ‘danger’, ‘your account has been compromised’ sort of thing and it wouldn’t let me do anything on my screen. It said ‘Call this number’, so I did.”

The scammer claimed he was working with the Royal Credit Union and used a scare tactic against it. They claimed there was a pending withdrawal from her savings account and urged her to withdraw all her money in cash.

After discovering that the RCU in Menomonie did not have enough money, she withdrew her money from an RCU in Eau Claire. She says the credit union employee asked her twice if she really wanted to withdraw that much money, and she was able to do so anyway. The scammer also told him to keep it all a secret for their own “investigation”.

“I run to this machine called Bitstop and put all my money in it,” she said. “He gave me the pin code. He gave me the QR code to access it. I just thought it was all legit because he needs it all because he’s going to hand it over.”

The scammer tricked her again the next day and asked her to send all the money from her checking account.

After trying to get her to send money through her credit card company, she finally saw the red flags, but it was $17,000 too late.

“I just feel so insecure and so inconsiderate and so humiliated and so vulnerable,” Marjorie said.

Menomonie Police Department Detective Lt. Chad Mroczenski said Marjorie wasn’t the only person to fall victim to these scams. So far this year, the department has received 23 reports of fraud or scam. On average, they receive around 118 to 132 complaints per year.

“If it’s something that’s too good to be true, it usually is,” Mroczenski said. “Suppose you receive a notification that you have won the lottery. If you didn’t participate, you probably didn’t win.

If you suspect a call or text is a scam, he said to pause and do your due diligence.

“If you feel there’s something wrong, that it might not be legit, hang up the phone, pull out your credit card, look on the back. There’s a 1-800 number that you can contact and just to check,” Mroczenski said. .

As for Marjorie, she couldn’t get her money back. She still has her pension but fears having to register for social security or find cheaper accommodation.

Marjorie says she’s not a charity case and doesn’t expect people to give her money. She just wants to find answers and warn others.

“Anything that appears on your screen, don’t open it. Don’t call the number.”

Menomonie police admit they have limited resources and said once the money is put into cryptocurrency or gift cards and leaves the country, it is virtually untraceable.

If you are scammed, report it to your local police or the FBI.

Editor’s note: Marjorie asked News 18 not to share her face or full name.


Menomonie woman loses life savings, scammed out of $17,000 | News

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