Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 13, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Melrose Police Partner with Local Businesses to Prevent Fraudulent Wire Transfers
MELROSE — Chief Michael L. Lyle announces that the Melrose Police Department is partnering with businesses throughout the community to prevent fraudulent wire transfers.
Police have received multiple reports of phone and email scams in the city. Residents who fall victim to these fraudulent offers and calls often wire money through Western Union, MoneyGram, Green Dot and more.
To prevent these situations from occurring, Melrose Police are working with CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Shaw’s, the Post Office, Bank of America, Eastern Bank and other local businesses to post signs alerting residents to potential scams. The flyers urge customers to take a moment to consider their transaction and to confirm they are not being scammed by contacting police. Residents can also scan a code at the bottom of the sign with their cell phone that will bring them to an anti-fraud website for further information.
The initiative was first mentioned during the Police Department’s May community meeting, which was aimed at notifying residents, especially seniors, about prevalent scams in the city. As part of the monthly meeting initiative, police and other city and state officials gather to discuss a topic with residents and advise them on the best safety procedures. The next meeting is scheduled for September.
“Never wire money or give out your personal information to someone you do not know,” Chief Lyle said. “Unfortunately, once the money is sent, it is gone forever. We are hopeful that collaborating with businesses will help inform residents and deter future fraudulent wire transfers.”
Some of the scenarios the department has seen recently include:
- This spring, Chief Lyle was in a store when he came in contact with a resident about to make a wire transfer. The resident received a phone call that his nephew was in an accident and needed $2,500 for medical expenses. Fortunately, the Chief alerted the customer to the scam and prevented him from wiring the money.
- Two weeks later, another resident received a phone call that a relative was arrested in Las Vegas, Nev. and needed $3,000 in bail to get out of jail. Thankfully, the resident called the Melrose Police Department, where a detective confirmed that the call was a scam, before the resident lost any money.
The Melrose Police Department has also received numerous reports of IRS scams. Often times an “agent” claims to be from the IRS and reports that there is a lawsuit against the victim, who is told to call a number and settle the claim by wiring money.
“If someone calls you to report that a relative is in trouble and needs money, or claims to be from the IRS, always contact family members or the police department to verify the authenticity of the phone call before wiring any money,” Chief Lyle said.
Anyone who believes they may be involved in a scam should contact the Melrose Police at 781-665-1212.