Michigan Couple Loses Life Savings Through Elaborate Licensing Scam
A Michigan couple has been scammed out of their entire life savings by three men posing as government officials. The scam targeted a physical therapist and her husband who were targeted by the men claiming to be with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
How did the couple get scammed?
The therapist, whose name has been kept anonymous, received a call from a man who claimed her license was in danger of "immediate temporary suspension." She was told to go to a UPS store in order to receive documentation. At the store, she received legitimate-looking paperwork that included her license number on LARA letterhead.
The woman was told by the man posing as the chief investigator that her name and licensing information was associated with 15 banks that had been laundering money -- to the tune of $2.4 million. According to WZZM, she was then given the option of spending six months in jail or entering into a federal bond agreement with the Department of Justice.
The therapist then submitted her application to reinstate her license along with a wire transfer.
Unfortunately, the couple poured their entire life savings into this scam. The therapist's husband contacted the police but they were not able to recover any of the stolen money.
Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel weighed in, saying that it's important to be skeptical, regardless of how legitimate the scam seems.
“This kind of scheme shows the depth and breadth bad actors will go to while robbing well-intentioned people who are fearful of the results should they not comply,” she said. “Do NOT fall for anyone who calls and threatens you unless you provide them with some form of cash – in this case, a hefty wife transfer. Be alert, be skeptical and hang up, no matter how often they reach out to you."
LARA Director Orlene Hawks issued additional warnings for licensees who are governed by the state of Michigan. Those warnings can be obtained here.