HOLLAND, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - With tax season already underway, the Holland Police Department are warning residents to be aware of financial scams that aim to exploit residents of their finances.
This warning comes after an elderly couple was scammed out of close to $3,000.
Tolland Police officials tell us that a couple in their eighties told police they were contacted by someone pretending to be a representative of Publishers Clearing House, saying that they had won a large amount of money, however.
In order to receive the money, the couple was asked to mail them cash in installments to addresses located in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania in order to cover alleged interstate tax fees.
It was not until after the couple had mailed the money that they realized that this may possibly have been a scam.
The day after they had mailed the scammers a second installment of $400 to an address in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the couple contacted the Holland Police Department, informing them of their situation.
An investigation was then opened, and officials managed to intercept the parcel with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service.
The parcel containing the $400 was immediately returned to the elderly couple.
The Holland Police Department is urging the public to be mindful when making a financial transaction with any organization, and to make sure that that organization is legitimate.
Officials also state that residents should be leery of sending cash through the mail, and add that, due to the $3,000 that was lost, the elderly couple might not be able to pay their taxes by the February 1 deadline.
Holland officials reached out to the town's Outreach coordinator, Jennifer Mott, for assistance.
According to state law, financial exploitation is not only considered illegal, but if the victim or victims is/are over the age of sixty-five, it is considered elderly abuse.
Mott is also the treasurer of a local non-profit, Stop Abuse Today, which provides insight into and support for elderly abuse.
Holland Police officials report that the organization took swift action, and covered the remaining balance on the couples' tax bill.
This incident remains under investigation by the Holland Police Department, and officials are urging the public to contact the Holland Police Department if they believe they have been contacted by or have sent funds to a scammer.