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Houston County Courier - Local News

Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company

Scam targets elderly women
Houston County Courier

By Lynda Jones
Managing Editor

A man, who may not even be in the United States, appears to be targeting elderly females who live alone, reported Crockett Police Officer/Investigator Dan McElhany. A man recently has called two Crockett women, identifying himself only as an attorney, McElhany said. The man told one woman her grandson was in jail in Mexico, and told another her grandson was in jail in Canada. McElhany said the man knew the names of the grandsons and where the women live. The women were instructed to go to their bank, withdraw cash funds and send money orders to designated addresses. One address was in Lima, Peru and the other was in Mexico City. The first woman went to her bank and sent $3,500. The man called back and said her grandson needed another $3,500, which the woman also sent, not realizing her grandson was fine and where he was supposed to be. The second woman was told to send $6,000. After her banker suspected this was a scam, the woman called her grandson and learned he also was fine and not to send anyone any money. McElhany expressed concern that the perpretrator(s) are preying on vulnerable citizens and playing on their sympathies. It is very difficult to solve a case like this, McElhany said, because it is next to impossible to trace the phone calls and because of jurisdictional issues with other countries. The best thing, he said, is for people receiving these calls not to send any money. There also a similar scam running on the Internet. A Grapeland woman reported to the Courier that she received an email that appeared to be from a business associate who lives in a nearby county. The email had the business associate’s email address and signatures. It stated the associate was in jail and needed $2,400 immediately. The Grapeland woman called her business associate, who confirmed he was just fine and not in jail. He had received several other phone calls from associates and friends who had received the same email.


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