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Fargo police warn about money scam

FARGO - The Fargo Police Department cautions residents against a wide-spread scam involving a phone request to bail out a relative in Canadian custody.

An 89-year-old Fargo woman lost $2,900 last week after she got a call from someone masquerading as her grandson. The man told the woman he was in prison after getting caught fishing at a restricted lake. She also spoke with a man posing as a Winnipeg law enforcement official who instructed her to wire money for her grandson's bail.

She contacted police the next day when she heard from the men again with instructions to wire more money.

Fargo Police Sgt. Jeff Skuza said the department has gotten a call about this type of scam every couple of weeks in recent months, most often from people wondering if they should wire the money. He said local law enforcement can't investigate these offenses, whose perpetrators operate from overseas.

"Folks need to slow down and really evaluate if the request is legitimate," he said. "Folks really need to be suspicious when they get solicitations over the phone or e-mail."