CLINTON, Iowa– Using a Camanche, Iowa woman’s case as a prime learning opportunity, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office is warning people on what to look out for in seemingly convincing scams, frauds and schemes.
Scammers led the woman to believe her grandson was arrested and being held in a Dewitt jail, convincing her to send a total of $32,000 to Brooklyn, New York, according to Randy Meier, director of the Seniors vs Crime program with the sheriff’s office in a Facebook post from Thursday, June 26.
The woman reported withdrawing $28,000 in cash and sending the money in two packages over the course of two days. The scammers then called her a third time demanding $4,000 in Home Depot gift cards. The Camanche woman bought the cards and revealed the PIN, allowing the scammers to make purchases.
“This sad story shows me we need to keep up the education about frauds,” Meier wrote in the post. “Besides educating yourself about scams, go to others you might consider vulnerable, and ask them a couple of questions. The answers to these questions should give us an idea how closely we need to watch over our relatives and friends.
“Do you know what a scam looks like?
What would you do if a stranger contacted you for money?”
Further, in May, a Clinton man was deceived at a Chicago Park and Fly, a hotel service near airports providing extended free parking, according to Meier’s Facebook post.
The man was asked to surrender his car keys, but as a precaution, took a picture of the odometer when he parked. A week later, the odometer had gained 349 miles. An I-PASS, an electronic prepaid toll collection device for Illinois, was in the car as well and showed the car went through three tolls in the Chicago area on two separate days.
Meier said it’s not just his job to inform people on scams and that everyone can help.
“And yet… we are still falling for it,” he wrote.
If you or someone you know has experienced scams or fraud, Meier with Seniors vs. Crime can be contacted at 563-242-9211 extension 4433 or via email at email@example.com.