Portsmouth police warn of elderly phone scam

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by Eric Kane, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on February 11, 2014 at 12:31 AM

PORTSMOUTH -- Police are investigating a series of scams targeting the elderly, two of them in the same neighborhood.
 
A 73-year-old woman living in the 600 block of Chandler Harper Drive had $81,000 stolen from her through one of the schemes, according to Det. Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department.
 
Holley says back in Nov. 2013 someone called the victim claiming to be a public defender in Chesapeake.
 
The alleged scammer told the woman her grandson had been arrested following a DUI and would need $81,000 to secure her bond. Unable to reach her grandson, the woman paid the money through pre-paid Green Dot Visa Cards over the course of several weeks.
 
She’s not the only victim on Chandler Harper.
 
On Friday, an 88-year old woman on Chandler Harper canceled her credit card after giving her information to someone asking for money for a fallen police officer. 
 
And recently a senior citizen living in Churchland lost $5,000 in another scheme.
 
"Trying to find the person that do these kinds of scams over the telephone is becoming increasingly difficult,” said Holley.
 
Portsmouth police say tracking the scammers over the phone is difficult given that many of the schemers use online phone numbers.
 
The FBI and the Secret Service is assisting Portsmouth police in their investigation.
 
Authorities remind citizens never to give out personal information, especially credit card and social security numbers over the phone.
 

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