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Bomb threat at Broken Bow store a hoax

July 11, 2014

Broken Bow Police officers Lawrence Stump and Steve Scott prepare to go into Dollar General to look for anything suspicious following a bomb threat Friday.

It was a scam and it was all about money.

A bomb threat was called into Dollar General in Broken Bow earlier today, July 11, closing the store and closing the streets leading into their parking lot.

This is not the first time the chain has been targeted. This was the fifth Nebraska store targeted today. Like threats were received in Ainsworth, O'Neill and two in Omaha in addition to the Broken Bow store.

According to Broken Bow Police Chief Steve Scott, the 911 call came in at 12:17 p.m. Someone had called into the Broken Bow store demanding five - $500 prepaid Green DOT cards. When the caller was told the store did not have any, the caller demanded the employee go to the office and get some, because if not, there was a bomb. Scott said the employee reported that the caller had a foreign accent and instead of looking for the cards, called 911.

Broken Bow Police Department, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, and Broken Bow Fire and Rescue responded to the scene, cleared the store and called the State Patrol.

When the specifics of the scam were revealed, it was decided not to send the bomb squad, and Police Chief Scott entered to store to look for anything unusual.

“It’s a scam and it’s all about the money,” said Scott, adding that similar scams have hit other Dollar General stores.

A version of the Green Dot Scam has been floating the country where the elderly are often targeted. A person will call and pretend to be a representative of Publisher’s Clearing House and inform the individual they have won. They then tell the person to go to their local Big Box store such as Dollar General or Wal Mart or wherever Green Dot Money Pak cards are sold. They are told to put the amount agreed upon on the card and then call back with the card identification number. This is so they can immediately transfer the money from the card to their accounts.

The Publishers’ Clearing House blog reminds people that “If you have won, we never ask for money to claim a prize award, and our ‘no purchase necessary message is displayed on all promotional materials.”

Scam artists often tell their victims to keep the reason they are purchasing the cards a secret, because as stores are being made aware of the scam their employees are on the lookout, and might question when someone asks for a large amount of money to be put on the cards.

Remember – if is sounds too good to be true – it probably is. And if our area law enforcement have blocked a street or driveway, please don’t try to drive through, they are their for your protection.

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