Elderly being scammed out of thousands (Press Release)

by Public Information Officer, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 08:26 (1396 days ago)

ABILENE TX- The Abilene Police Department Fraud Unit is concerned over the number of cases involving our seniors being systematically targeted by criminals. The Police Department wants to educate our citizens on how these scams work in hopes of keeping our seniors from becoming victims. We need the entire communities help by learning the tactics used by criminals and watching out for our seniors. This year alone, these scams have resulted in a loss of well over $200,000.

Some of the methods used locally include, but are not limited to:

Home Repair – including, squirrel removal, painting, roofing, curb address painting and other types of repair. The criminal will either ask for money upfront and never complete any work, or provide some work and dramatically overcharge what they originally quoted.

Romance Scam – Criminals will target persons over the internet via dating sites or other social media sites and build up an internet relationship/trust. The criminal will eventually ask for money. This will only continue to escalate until the victim gets suspicious, runs out of money or contacts police.

Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam – Mail that looks official or phone calls claiming you have won a large amount of money but requires you to pay a processing fee and tax in order to claim your winnings.

Grandparent Scam – Victims will receive a random phone call from someone claiming to be a relative who is in trouble and in need of money.

Phony Government Scam – Victim will receive a random phone call from someone claiming to be from Internal Revenue Service or from some type of Police Agency claiming you owe money, or have a warrant which quickly needs to be taken care to avoid being arrested.

Education is the key to combating these crimes and keeping your hard earned money. Learning how these scams work will help our citizens identify them before it is too late. If you feel you are a victim, contact Abilene Police at (325) 673-8331.

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