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A La Crosse woman was able to get $500 back after falling victim to a scammer who claimed to be a federal Drug Enforcement Agency officer who claimed she had to pay it or be jailed for trafficking in drugs.

The bogus DEA agent called the woman on Wednesday and told her that her rental car had been involved in drug trafficking in Texas, according to a police report. She had to pay the $500 with a Google Play Card to avoid jail, said the man, who identified himself as Robert Lynn and provide the woman with a federal employee number, the woman told police.

The man also gave her a phone number to call back.

The woman said she should have realized that incident was a scam but the man sounded so convincing that he terrorized her and she felt she had to obey.

When a reporter called the phone number the man had given her on Monday, a man answered by saying, “Drug Enforcement Administration.” The man was evasive when asked whether Robert Lynn was there and asked what the call concerned. Told the reason for the inquiry, the man put the call on hold for about 30 seconds before returning and saying it was the wrong number.

The victim also talked to another man who identified himself as Shaun, used a an employee number and also gave her a phone number. He also terrified her, she said. An attempt to call that number resulted in an operator’s message that it couldn’t be completed as dialed.

When the woman called Google Play to cancel the card, the card already had been drained, but her bank refunded her the full amount, according to the police report.

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Mike Tighe can be reached at<>, or follow him on Twitter at @necktye.



Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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