A Hopatcong, NJ resident was recently conned out of more than $1,000, sparking the ire of a lieutenant in the Hopatcong Police Department.
The 47-year-old victim received a phone call from a man posing as a federal agent. The perpetrator went by the name Kevin Peterson and claimed to be a member of the U.S. Treasury.
According to authorities, the man persuaded the victim to go to a Walmart in Rockaway Township, NJ and purchase two Green Dot MoneyPak cards. This allowed the alleged thief to gain access to the money that was used to purchase the cards. The scammer told the victim that the money would go toward paying off a debt owed to the government.
After the scammer told the victim to return to Walmart to transfer more money, the victim became suspicious. He contacted police, prompting the caller to hang up.
In a press statement, the lieutenant wrote the he would “so like to arrest this guy.”
In New Jersey, theft by deception is addressed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. According to the statute, theft of more than $500 is a third degree felony. If the suspect in this case is apprehended and later convicted of third degree theft by deception, he could face as many as five years in NJ State Prison.
Police have asked the public to be vigilant when it comes to calls out-of-the-blue from strangers who ask for money.
For more information about this incident, see the NJ.com article entitled “Cop on Costly Phone Scam: ‘I Would So Like to Arrest This Guy.'”