Two recent PayPal email scams involving elderly residents were thwarted by the exemplary work of some of our Patrol Officers and Investigators this week. The first incident occurred on Monday night when a concerned son advised us that he believed his mother was falling victim to a scam.
At first, our officers were unable to locate the possible victim at her home, but followed up throughout the evening until they were able to speak with her. She explained that she had received an email from PayPal urging her to call a provided number to speak with a representative about possible fraudulent activity. When she called the number, she spoke with someone who claimed to be an agent for the Federal Trade Commission. The caller stated that she was being investigated for laundering money and that if she did not comply with his demands she could potentially face charges for crimes. The caller also advised her that she was not allowed to speak with her family members or contact the police in regards to the “investigation” to which she complied.
The caller then gave her numerous instructions which included emptying her checking account and purchasing GO2 Visa, Target, and Sephora gift cards. She had been compiling these gift cards throughout the day in the amount of $7,948. Because of the concern and follow up of Patrol Officer Nicholas Cotham, the elderly resident was spared being another victim.
In a second incident, which is now an open investigation, we are happy to report that an arrest was made due to the relentless follow up of our Investigators. Although we cannot go into details at this time, the nature of the scam was also generated by a bogus PayPal email notification.
Please know that these scammers are out there and preying on the elderly. Help us by sharing this information with loved ones.