December 22, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria police warn of phone scam

ELYRIA – If it’s too good to be true, it usually is, said Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino, who is warning residents to be aware of a phone scam that has been reported to police.

A caller, who has been telling residents he is from “U.S. Grants,” asks people to wire him money through Western Union in order to receive a large check. Costantino said the call is a scam, however, and the Elyria Police Department is warning others through its Facebook page to be wary of any calls involving wiring money.

In the recent scam, the calling number (202) 407-9059 is used. Police are trying to track the number and say a woman by the name of Cathy Patterson has answered when calling the suspect’s number.

Costantino said he didn’t know if the woman was a local resident, but police are contacting neighboring police departments to determine how widespread the scam is.

“Every once in awhile this comes up,” he said.

Costantino said police have received similar reports of calls claiming the person has won a sweepstakes but must send money in order to receive the prize. He said people should “do a great deal of research” before wiring any money.

“Call the Police Department first if you think something doesn’t look right. I would be more than happy to talk to anyone,” he said.

Costantino said the Police Department is working to use its Facebook page more to notify Elyria residents of crime trends. He said the page has been helpful in the past.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.