Linton Woman Busts “Neighbor Spoofing” Scam


Bismarck – It’s called Neighbor Spoofing, and it’s all aimed at using your emotions to steal your money, but one woman KX News talked to was able to identify and beat the scam, before being scammed.

It was just another day for 62 year old Susan Horner. Earlier this month the Linton resident was out camping with her husband, but when she checked her phone, she saw an unusual text from who she thought was her priest, and he was asking some odd questions.

“I got a text saying I have a friend who has cancer, that I wanted to buy a gift card for, and I just don’t have time to do it, would you be willing to go get me a 500-dollar gift card, take a picture of the pin on the back and send it to me so I can forward it to them, and when I see you in church I’ll pay you back,” Said Horner.

Those questions immediately sent up several red flags.

“Then I thought, wait a minute, this isn’t right, he wouldn’t ask me to do this and secondly why would I take a picture of the pin on the back and send it to someone, via text”, said Horner

That’s when Susie decided to turn the tables on the scammer.

“I said well I’d be happy to do that for you but I would like you to take a selfie of yourself and send it to me and tell me which one of my daughters you married. And it took a little while, I got a message back saying well I didn’t marry any of your daughters, so I responded back., well I know YOU didn’t marry her but which one did you perform the ceremony for, then I never heard another word”, said Horner

KX News spoke with the Consumer Protection Branch of the Attorney General’s office and they told me, Susan’s connection to her church is exactly what the scammers were going after.

“They have researched the victim on facebook or through other social media and so now their kind of familiar with the background and if that account is hacked they can pretend to be that friend that’s in trouble someplace,” said Parrell Grossman with the Office of Consumer Protection.

Susan tells KX News her daughter, who works for a church in another town had a similar story a few months back that she was also able to stop.

She tells us don’t let your emotions lead to knee jerk reactions that could leave your bank account, drained.

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