DUNCANNON, Pa. — A 86-year-old woman in Perry County was scammed out of about $25,000 earlier this year. Two people are now facing charges for that crime. It's prompting Pennsylvania State Police to hold seminars to make sure no one else falls for a similar type of fraud.
"It's very scary how easily they can scam people," said Trooper Angela Laviena, who is the community service office for Troop H. She is trying to bring down the number of scam victims in Pennsylvania.
She says right now, people are reporting a lot of law enforcement scams. That's when people impersonate the FBI, State or local police. They'll typically threaten you with an arrest if you don't pay them.
Trooper Laviena said, "They're constantly changing. Scam artists know what they're doing, so we're trying to play catch up essentially."
While that scam is done typically with gift cards, that's not always the case.
Some people in Perry County say they've been getting knocks on their doors lately and they don't know if it's someone legitimate or not.
Lorraine Wallett of Wheatfield Township said, "I've had a couple of people at my door and I'm very polite and I simply say I'm not interested and I always take a picture of their car and them and it sort of gives me a little bit of comfort."
Trooper Laviena said the only way law enforcement can stop these scammers is for you to report them, "The more people that can report, they more we can build up cases, the more we can get more details are try to get ahead of it before more people become scammed."
A big problem for law enforcement right now is artificial intelligence scams.
Someone can spoof your family member's phone number - and even use a-i to have it sound like them over the phone. They'll pretend they were in a crash or something happened and they need money or information. It sounds so real.
The best way around this scam right now is to come up with a sort of family password. So if you get that kind of call, ask for the family the password. If the called can't provide your password, you will know it's a scam.