Elkhart Co. Deputies warn residents of fraud calls

Over the past two weeks, there have been two incidents of fraud reported to the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department.

In both cases, the suspect has targeted an elderly person and provided them with a fake story concerning a loved one being in trouble and needing a large amount of money.

In each case, the victim was told to obtain the money through purchasing gift cards at Target.

The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department is warning residents, if you are contacted by any official agency or legitimate company, they will not ask you to purchase any type of gift cards for payment.

If, for any reason, you are contacted by someone requesting some type of payment and they are requesting you obtain gift cards as the form of payment, there is a high probability that you are the victim of a fraud.

Elkhart County Deputies have offered suggestions on how to handle these situations if you come across one:

Attempt to contact that loved one separately from the initial phone call. If they are calling, saying they are in jail, call them to find out if they are actually in jail.

If they are calling, saying they are in trouble in another country, call to check if that is the case.

If you cannot reach them, call another family member who is close to them to see if they might know.

Second, most legitimate agencies or businesses that are requesting payment will require you to come in person to present the payment. On those rare occasions where payment can be sent to them, they will require a certified check or money order. Most government offices will not take cash, gift cards or other forms of alternate payment.

If you feel like you are the victim of a fraud of this type; you should always contact your local police department.

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