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Facebook scammer sends people to random East Grand Forks home to pick up items

Katheryn Gunderson said at one point she felt scared when a couple showed up at 9:30 p.m. to learn they had been scammed.

Address Scam
Kathryn Gunderson stands at the front door of her East Grand Forks home. A Facebook scammer randomly selected her address to send people to pickup furniture after taking their money.
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EAST GRAND FORKS — There's a new scam going around for online shoppers that police have never heard of or dealt with.

Kathryn Gunderson was caught off guard around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15 , when she caught a man and a woman peeking into her home at the front door.

"And I said through the door, hello? She said is your name Gwen? I said no," recalled Gunderson.

The woman's demeanor quickly changed, and said a person is using Gunderson's address to scam people.

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That's when the light went off in Gunderson's head. It explained another strange encounter at the door earlier in the day around noon. Two men were there with a truck.

She said they were at her house to pick up furniture, but that she didn't have any furniture.

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A close family friend says the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, couple had confided in her about a suicide pact due to their declining health. Both had been diagnosed with cancer.

The night time visit put some fear into Gunderson.

"They looked a little angry, because they were out some money. So I felt uncomfortable because I had these people who were scammed standing on my porch, and I am worried they think I may be part of it," she said.

"Unfortunately, we do take a variety of these reports," said Andy Stein, Grand Forks police lieutenant.

However, Grand Forks and East Grand Forks police say they've never dealt with a scam like this. They say if this happens to you, worry about the money first, then call the police.

"If it's a wire transfer, whether that's Cashapp, Paypal, Venmo, all those organizations have a link you can go to and report fraud and that really should be your first step," Stein said.

Gunderson says she never saw the post, and the victims never gave her any details.

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"Very scary, I had trouble sleeping last night thinking people were going to keep showing up at my house," she said.

Gunderson says she's done it before, transferred money to someone once knowing their address feeling she could trust them. Never again she says.

"It's a warning to everyone, don't pay for something over Facebook until you physically see it and have it in your hands," she warned.

East Grand Forks police say nobody has filed a report with them about the scam, and would like to hear from the people who showed up at Gunderson's house.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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