PUNXSUTAWNEY – State police in Punxsutawney reported an internet scam that reached reached Philadelphia and overseas.
According to the report a credit card number was stolen from a Punxsutawney resident and then used on the internet to purchase jewelry. The jewelry was then sent to a residence in Philadelphia.
A follow-up with state police in Philadelphia revealed the person in Philadelphia who received the jewelry posted her resume on Monster.com. She was contacted by an unknown person representing a company and was hired over the internet. She then began receiving packages by mail. She would be directed to repackage the items and send them overseas with prepaid shipping labels.
The jewelry investigated in this case we sent to the Ukraine.
The woman in Philadelphia was unaware that she was sending stolen property overseas and only became suspicious when she was not being paid for her services. She was not considered to have knowledge of the scam. Police state that she was unknowingly hired to work for a fictitious company and that she appeared to have been duped through the internet.
The investigation did not reveal how the stolen credit card number was obtained.
Police have investigated similar incidents in the area where a person is befriended on an internet chat room. A relationship then forms. The person will start receiving gifts of affection from their admirer as well as packages. The person is then asked to repackage the items and send them overseas with prepaid shipping labels. Police stated that the items are usually purchased with a stolen credit card and use the innocent third party to reship the items to avoid suspicion from the postal service.
State police remind citizens to be conscientious when using the internet to conduct business. Criminals are constantly changing and improving their ways to scam people through the anonymity of the internet.
People are urged to contact their local law enforcement agency for information or help with scams.