PULASKI, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Village of Pulaski Police Department is warning residents of scams that are circulating in the area after a couple from the community was scammed out of $36,000.

According to the department, an elderly woman from the Pulaski community was called by a number from El Paso, Texas. The woman answered it and said there was a foreign-sounding individual claiming that they were from the United States Marshalls and discovered that drugs were being shipped to the couple’s address in their name.

The individual on the phone then explained that the woman was under investigation by the FBI and that they needed to seize all of their assets because of the situation. The caller reportedly told the woman that the only way they could collect the payments was if she bought multiple gift cards from various stores in the area, scratched off the codes on the back, and provided them with the numbers.

The caller also threatened that they were going to have Pulaski PD come and search the couple’s house for any more assets. They also made it look like Pulaski PD was calling through caller ID by spoofing the call. The caller continued to threaten the couple, saying they would be arrested if they did not send over the codes to the gift cards.

The individual also sent over fraudulent documents that were “receipts” of sending the money and orders for their warrant if the money was not received. Pulaski Police shared examples of the documents in a post on their Facebook page.

Police stated that the couple had $40,000 in their bank account prior to the scammers convincing them to send over $36,000 worth of gift cards. According to police, the elderly couple only had a few thousand dollars of their savings left over and almost sent that over to the scammers as well.

Pulaski Police stated that this was not the first time a community member had been a victim of fraud. They warned residents to let numbers that they don’t recognize go to voicemail and to come to their office in person if the caller claims to be from the department and is asking for money.

The department also reminded residents that gift cards are non-refundable and that most of the time the suspects are not caught. Anyone with questions or think they themselves or someone they know is being scammed is encouraged to call the Pulaski Police at 315-298-7525. More information on how to prevent being a victim of a scam call can be found here.