New Scams

$80K Stolen from Seniors

Emily Gill
November 07, 2019 - 11:36 am

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Released by the Greenville Police Department.

Detectives with the Financial Fraud Unit of the Greenville Police Department (GPD) are warning of telephone fraud activity that is targeting senior citizens in the area.

In two recent instances, elderly residents were conned out of nearly $80 thousand dollars from their life savings.

“Unfortunately, scams like this are nothing new,” GPD Detective Michael Dean said. “These individuals intentionally prey on seniors because they are some of the most vulnerable people in our community. In too many cases, the stolen money comes from retirement savings with little chance of the victims ever recovering what they’ve lost.”

Last August, a fraudster called a victim in her 80s claiming he needed access to her computer in order to “help” her process an unexpected refund.

The caller then convinced the victim she needed to purchase and provide him with thousands of dollars’ worth of gift cards in order to receive her alleged reimbursement.

In a variation of the con, a senior citizen received a call in September about unauthorized charges the scammer said were on her credit cards.

The caller convinced the victim to max out her accounts by purchasing over 40 gift cards- and give him the numbers- in an attempt to catch the people responsible for the “fraudulent” activity.

The con artist promised that all the victim’s money would be refunded after the “crooks” were apprehended by law enforcement.

Since 2014, two of the largest scams in our area include an elderly couple who lost about $1 million dollars over a two-year period. Another retiree was cheated out of nearly $500 thousand dollars.

Detective Dean says that as appalling as these crimes are, he believes more victims may be out there who are either too embarrassed to come forward or may not even know they are being deceived.

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