Home News Man Arrested in Wisconsin Implicated in Fraud Against York County Man

Man Arrested in Wisconsin Implicated in Fraud Against York County Man

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York County Press Release

YORK COUNTY – York County Sheriff Paul Vrbka has long said it’s very, very difficult to solve scam/fraud crimes because the perpetrators are extremely elusive, often being from another state or country, typically part of a criminal network, using fake names and phone numbers. But he was excited this week when his office heard from an investigator in Wisconsin who said a man has been arrested and implicated in a crime against a York County man who lost $9,000 last summer.

​“Last August, we had a man come in to report fraud,” Sheriff Vrbka explained. “He lost about $9,000. In that situation, the perpetrator worked out a scheme in which he created a transfer of money from the victim’s bank in York County to a bank in Omaha. I filed the report and we followed up with an investigation. But as most scam/fraud investigations go, we couldn’t find who was responsible.

“Well, yesterday, I got a call from an investigator in Wisconsin who said they had been investigating the same type of fraud,” the sheriff continued. “And I’m pleased to say they have made an arrest. During the investigation, they went through the perpetrator’s phone and found the name of our York County victim, along with his personal information. I’m thrilled this one might be solved. When it comes to scams and fraudulent activity, we don’t have a great success rate in making arrests, but this is one of those times when someone involved in this type of activity was caught.”

York County Sheriff Investigator Matt McHale has been working with Wisconsin investigators since they contacted the York County Sheriff’s Department.

He said the investigators with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department in Oshkosh, Wisconsin said the information and name of the York County victim were found on the perpetrators phone while they were conducting a search warrant.

He explained the crime against the York County man involving the perpetrator somehow obtaining the victim’s personal information and then calling the victim’s bank to arrange for the transfer. He said it is unknown how the criminal got the information as the victim hadn’t accidentally provided any information to anyone.

“He did say he had been out of state for a short period of time, during which he used his credit card, but that was it,” Sheriff Vrbka added. “But Investigator McHale is correct in saying the victim doesn’t know how the perpetrator obtained his information.”

Investigator McHale said the suspect in this case is being investigated for fraudulent banking acts against multiple victims (possibly as many as 50) in multiple states.

“I’m working with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department to complete the investigation,” Investigator McHale said.

“I’m just excited this guy is sitting in jail and he can’t do this to anyone else,” Sheriff Vrbka said. “It’s so rare these types of crimes are solved.”

Meanwhile, both continue to warn York County residents to never, ever give out their personal information when simply asked for it – on the phone, computer, etc. They especially caution people who might be asked by perpetrators to purchase and send gift cards, wire money – do not do it. If an alarm goes off on one of your electronic devices claiming you have been hacked and you need to send gift cards or personal information to fix the problem – do not do it. If you get a suspicious text saying you have a package waiting in a warehouse somewhere and the postal service can only deliver it by you clicking on a strange link – don’t do it.

“Just be careful,” Sheriff Vrbka said. “These people are really good at what they do, unfortunately. Over the past few years, we have had so many situations in which people were scammed out of money, quite a bit of money. We have had calls after the fact when people gave out their social security numbers before realizing they were being scammed. Remember to never, ever give out your personal information, and do not fall for the gift card/transfer scheme.

“Yes, the victim in the particular case we were talking about today has no idea how they accessed his information, but the good news in this situation is that someone is finally sitting in jail and will hopefully have consequences for this crime and the dozens of others he is accused of,” Sheriff Vrbka said. “Unfortunately, this is the world we live in today, and we will keep trying to help fight this type of fraud.”

Sheriff Vrbka said if someone has any questions about a possible fraud/scam situation or wants to report such a crime, they should call Investigator McHale as he specialized in these types of crimes at the York County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff’s department can be reached by calling 402-362-4927.