Two Grove City residents were victims of scams in which they were told to buy gift cards and relay the card numbers to take care of alleged issues they were facing.
A resident in the 3900 block of Richard Avenue reported she was the victim of a scam Aug. 8 that cost her $3,350.
The woman said she received a call that morning from a man who said he was a paralegal in El Paso, Texas. The man told her he had her Social Security number and there was a warrant for her arrest out of Texas, reports stated.
The victim told police she believed the man because she recently had been in Texas.
The man told her she needed to go to the bank and get $500 in cash to take care of the warrant. The woman went to her bank and withdrew the money while the man remained on the phone with her.
He then told her she needed to purchase gift cards. She went to a store and purchased three gift cards, each in the amount of $950, while the man was on the phone with her.
The man instructed the woman to use the $500 she had withdrawn to buy another gift card. He had her read the numbers from all four gift cards to him.
The woman said she feared this was a scam, and decided to call the police after finding all the gift cards had a zero balance.
The second incident involved a resident in the 5900 block of Pineville Drive.
The woman told police Aug. 10 that in February 2018, she was using her computer when an alert appeared stating there was an issue and she needed to pay $150 to have her computer unlocked. She said she paid for the service and began using her computer again.
Four months later, she received another alert indicating her computer drives were corrupted and she paid another $300, reports stated.
At that point, believing she was a victim of a scam, the woman changed all her personal and account information, except her phone number.
She said that on June 5, she received a phone call from the 515 area code. The caller said she was owed a $333 refund for the services she previously received. The woman told police she tried to electronically add the money to her account using her computer with the help of the caller, but she accidentally typed in a deposit of $10,000 into her bank account.
After the error occurred, the caller told her that in order to get the overage of the refund back, she had to withdraw money from her bank account and use it to buy gift cards. The woman withdrew $9,500 from her account and bought gift cards at several stores. The caller then phoned her again and had her read the numbers from the gift cards. She was told he would call again Aug. 10, but when she didn't receive the follow-up call, realized she was the victim of a scam.
She said representatives of her bank told her no accounts were compromised, but there was no record of the $10,000 she deposited Aug. 9.
In other recent Grove City police reports:
* Officers took reports of thefts of safes containing cash from a business and a residence.
Officers responded at 1:54 a.m. Aug. 8 to a burglar alarm at a business in the 3400 block of Broadway. They found a window had been broken on the south side of the building and the front door unlocked, according to reports.
After searching the business and making sure no one was inside, the manager was contacted and she came to the scene.
She discovered a safe containing $1,508 from the store's two cash registers was missing, reports stated.
A resident in the 3500 block of Demorest Road reported a safe containing $850 in cash was stolen from a bedroom closet at her house.
The woman said she went out at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9 and returned at 2 a.m. to find broken glass from the side door on her kitchen floor. She went to a neighbor's house and called police.
Officers searched the house, but found no one inside. The woman later discovered the safe had been stolen, according to reports.
* The owner of a Columbus vending company reported Aug. 8 two of his company's vending machines that had been in service at a business in the 3300 block of South Park Place are missing.
The man said he was notified June 7 by the South Park Place business that it no longer wanted the vending machines at its building. He said he was not able arrange to have the machines picked up for another month and when his employees went to get the machines July 12, they were gone. He said the building manager at the business was not able to tell him where the machines were.
A Grove City police officer attempted to contact the business manager, but at the time of the report had not been able to reach him.
The vending machines are valued at $4,000 total, reports stated.
* An Englewood woman reported a tablet, laptop computer and Wi-Fi booster were stolen Aug. 10 from her car while she was at work at a business in the 4000 block of Marlane Drive. The woman told police she had left her car unlocked.
* An employee of a Columbus company told police eight ladders, valued at $680 total, were stolen from an apartment under construction in the 3900 block of Parkmead Drive. The ladders were stolen between 4:30 p.m. Aug. 8 and 5:50 a.m. Aug. 12, reports stated.