LANCASTER (CBSLA) — People were urged to look out for their older loved ones Friday after authorities say they investigated a fraud case that bilked an elderly woman of more than $25,000 this week.
The woman, who was not identified, had been contacted by someone who claimed to be a computer repairman, according to Lancaster Sheriff’s Station spokeswoman Ali Villalobos. The scammer conned the woman into giving him personal information, allowing him to concoct a story and convince her to draw $10,000 out of her account.
Authorities say the conman contacted the woman again a few days later, convincing her to send him another $10,000. With the information he gleaned from his conversations with the woman, Villalobos said he frightened her again into giving him another $5,000.
Villalobos said watching out for older loved ones is all the more important as the holiday season approaches.
“As we sit and read this of course we think our parents/grandparents/older neighbors/family members would never fall for this,” Villalobos said in a statement. “But it’s important to remember, these con artists are professionals.”
The con could take the form of a computer issue, a lottery win, or a grandchild that claims to be in jail and needs bail money, she said. But they are all still scams.
“…all of these calls are meant to scare, confuse, panic and force the older person to make a rushed, rash decision,” Villalobos said.
This holiday season, people should advise their older loved ones to never give out any personal information or send money, gift cards, or checks.
“Let them know it’s OK to hang up, take a breath and think the information through,” she said.
Anyone who suspects they are the target of a possible scam can call the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station at (661) 948-8466.