Before President-elect Barack Obama had time to catch up on sleep, he was trying to distribute leftover campaign funds to a couple of random Minnesotans -- except they didn't fall for the scam, according to Jim Arlt, special agent at the state's Anti-Fraud Unit in St. Paul.
With impressive speed, scammers called at least two Minnesotans on Thursday. The voice on the other end claimed to be a U.S. Marshal contacting Obama supporters because there was money left over from his campaign and he wanted to share it with them. All they had to do was give him their banking information, so he could send the money to their accounts. Arlt said the promised figure to a woman in Pine County was $5,000.
Schemes always follow fast behind big events, said Arlt, who's bracing himself for the possibility that Congress will approve another round of economic stimulus checks. "Last time, people got e-mails purporting to be from the IRS, telling them to click on one site and enter their bank account numbers," he said.
Arlt urged anyone who suspects a fraud to contact the unit at 1-866-347-0911.