Victim loses thousands in gift card scam, Madison police say

Police: a crook pretends to be a federal agent
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MADISON, Wis. – A person lost thousands of dollars in a gift card scam in which the scammer posed as a federal agent, the Madison Police Department announced Monday.

In a press release, police said the victim reported the scam on Monday afternoon. The victim told police the scammer impersonated a federal agent — including sending photos of a fake badge and fake IDs — and told them their bank account had been compromised. The scammer then told the victim to buy several thousand dollars worth of gift cards and share the card information via text message, police said.

After the scammer emptied the gift card balance, the victim allegedly received a call from someone claiming to be a Madison police officer from a phone number that appeared to belong to the dispatch center. Police did not say whether they had any suspects in the case.

Police said gift cards would never be a legitimate way to cover government-related costs and urged people to confirm information through third-party sources before sending money. If a person is unsure whether they are dealing with a real officer, police said they can call the non-emergency dispatch phone number.

Anyone with information about the case should call police at 608-255-2345 or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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