City Police report scam costs woman $35,000
From Fredericksburg Police:
Scam Alert: Last week, a woman fell victim to a scam costing her $35,000. Please read the new twist on an old scam and share it with your social media followers and loved ones so more people do not fall victim.
A senior citizen received a phone call from an unknown male pretending to be her son. Her “son” told her he was just in a bad accident, and the other party involved was a pregnant woman critically injured in the hospital. Her “son” said he had sustained injuries from the accident and was in police custody. He stated that officers wanted him to take a breathalyzer even though he only took Robitussin.
Her “son” only had a few minutes to talk and said a “lawyer” would call her in a few minutes. The “lawyer” called after they got off the phone and provided lots of information about the accident, informing her he ordered a blood test for her son. He also said he would obtain video surveillance because the pregnant woman ran a red light. The “lawyer” said he could get her son out on bond for $35,000, and she would get her money back in a week once the case was settled.
The “lawyer” told her to go to the bank but not to tell the bank the reason for withdrawing money. The victim called the “lawyer” after withdrawing the money. He then told her to place the money in an envelope, wrap it in bubble wrap, and place it in a medium size shipping box. He asked her to put her son’s name and a fake case number on the box.
The “lawyer” told the victim a Lyft driver would be at her residence in three minutes to pick up the money. Once the Lyft driver arrived, the victim placed her phone on speakerphone, and the “lawyer” told the Lyft driver to bring the money to Colin Reed in Woodbridge. The victim said the Lyft driver typed the address into her GPS and left.
After receiving the money, the “lawyer” contacted the victim again, stating that the judge had signed off to release her son. But, the pregnant woman involved in the car crash had a miscarriage, and now her son was facing manslaughter. The “lawyer” then stated the judge would release her son, but he needed another $35,000.
This time, the “lawyer” told the victim to have her bank transfer the money over the phone. After the bank agreed to do the transfer, the victim stated the “lawyer” contacted her with the account information for the money transfer.
The victim then asked the “lawyer” for the bank’s name. The victim became suspicious when the “lawyer” said the bank was in Florida. She then called her son and realized all of this was a scam.
Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.” Financial scams also often go unreported or can be challenging to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them vulnerable with little time to recoup their losses. Please educate yourself and your loved ones about the top five senior citizen scams:
If you fall victim to a scam, please report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency. If you live in the City of Fredericksburg, call 540-373-3122 to file a report.