SIERRA MADRE (CBSLA.com) — A 69-year-old woman who was reported missing Thursday has been found and is safe, police said.
Police said scammers called Enayat Bargen claiming to be from the IRS and demanded she purchase prepaid debit cards in the amount of $4,000, which she then told them how to access by phone.
Bargen had reportedly gone to several stores to purchase the cards and her family grew concerned as she was gone for a longer duration and called police.
Bargen eventually drove to a police station and informed them.
Police believe the scammers contacted roughly 50 senior citizens in the San Gabriel Valley trying to steal from them.
One other person, described only as a man, gave the individuals $2,000, police said.
“For them to target our community like this is very unusual,” Chief Larry Giannone of the Sierra Madre Police Department said.
The origin of the calls was not known. Police said no arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, the IRS says the government agency does not place calls unexpectedly and urged people to not make payments over the phone.