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Police: New Oxford woman scammed out of $600 while applying for phony loan

NEW OXFORD — Eastern Adams County Police are investigating a case of fraud involving a New Oxford woman who says she was scammed out of $600 while trying to apply for an online loan.

According to police, the victim, who resides on the 300 block of West High Street, said she was searching for an online finance company to get a loan. She was contacted by email by someone claiming to be a representative from First Financial. The person told the victim she was approved for a $7,000 loan, but in order to release the funds, the victim would need to send the company $500 for insurance purposes, police say.

The victim was told to go to a convenience store, purchase a Google Play card loaded with $500, then contact the caller with the gift card number. Police say the victim went to a 7-Eleven store on the 400 block of Lincolnway West, purchased the card, and contacted the caller.

The victim was then told she needed to provide an additional $100. The victim purchased another Google Play card at the same 7-Eleven store and provided the card number as instructed, police say.

After a third request for additional money, the victim became suspicious and contacted police.

Police say while the victim was talking to officers to report the potential scam, the suspect called her again. Police say an officer answered the call and asked who they were speaking to, and the suspect hung up — only to call back again a few minutes later.

When police took the call and identified themselves as a police officer, the suspect disconnected the call again.

According to police, the victim was contacted by two different numbers — one with a 218 area code that was found to be false, and a second from an 818 area code from the Los Angeles area. Police attempted to return calls to the numbers and got voice mail.

The victim told police she provided the caller with bank account information and other personal information, including her social security number. Police told the victim to contact her bank and put a hold on her personal account, and then to file a complaint with the PA Attorney General and the FBI.