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Ypsilanti man warning others of warrant scam after being duped out of $8,000

Posted at 5:36 AM, Aug 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 13:22:22-04
(WXYZ) —

An Ypsilanti man is warning others after he says he was scammed out of $8,000.

He says it started with a phone call and a threat for his arrest.

Ralph Miner says he was targeted by thieves over the phone not once but twice. Learning the hard way, he says they cleaned him out.

"That was the last of the money I had in my account. And we just trying to move because this house is not safe to live in and we trying to get out," Miner said.

Ralph Miner tells 7 Action News a call came in Friday from someone saying he was wanted for money laundering in Texas.

According to Miner, the caller claimed to be from the Ypsilanti Police Department and threatened to arrest him.

The 59-year-old didn't want any trouble and didn't want them to tell his wife. So he followed their instructions and bought $4,000 dollars worth of gift cards.

The thieves called again and convinced him to send another $4,000.

"If I would've known to call the police department and see if I had any warrants on me, this would've never happened," said Miner. "So I don't know if I messed up or what. Cause I was scared. Cause I don't want to go to prison."

He said he then called the actual police department, made a report and called the bank.

By the time he realized he was duped, it was too late.

His stepdaughter is upset someone would stoop this low for a quick buck.

"That was his money that he worked for for years," said Tonya Whitfield, Miner's stepdaughter. "He got sick working and had to retire early and they took it all from them and it's terrible."

To avoid these pitfalls, the Better Business Bureau says never send gift cards or transfer money to someone you never met face to face.

Resist the pressure to act immediately, and it's also suggested you keep an eye on loved ones who may be susceptible to falling for something like this.