BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Scammers are hard at work and appear to be targeting Northeast Wisconsin in big ways this year, fooling hundreds of people and convincing them to give up tens of thousands of dollars or more to people they’ve never met.
“The scams are vast, and it’s ever changing,” says Sgt. Zak Holschbach, who investigates many of the reports the Brown County Sheriff’s Office receives. “You’re chasing ghosts.”
In one case he showed us, one of the so-called ghosts appeared in crystal clear surveillance video at an ATM in Chicago, but you can only see the man from the back, and so far, investigators in Northeast Wisconsin have come up empty trying to identify him.
Holschbach says the surveillance video shows a a man cashing a check stolen from a local woman, depositing it into an untraceable account, bilking her out of thousands of dollars.
It’s one of more than 230 fraud cases the Brown County Sheriff’s Office has worked this year, and the number is only growing, with 11 last week alone.
“I’ve seen cases just personally that I’ve worked that have been six-figure cases. I’ve seen lots of tens of thousands of dollar cases,” says Holschbach.
He investigates all kinds of crimes, but recently he’s been working case after case involving fraud.
“This particular scam was an IRS grant/US grant that they believed they were getting a money grant from the government,” he explains.
This is part of a new scam Holschbach hadn’t seen until now.