85-year-old Thomas County man scammed out of $31K, deputies warn public

The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office is now warning people to educate their elderly family members in an effort to prevent them from also being victimized.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 3:34 PM EDT
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THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) - An 85-year-old man in Thomas County is out $31,000 after falling victim to an online scam.

The sheriff’s office is now warning people to educate their elderly family members in an effort to prevent them from also being victimized.

Captain Steve Jones with TCSO says scams happen all too often in the community, and although the scammers have different approaches, they seem to prey on the same group of people.

“Talk to your parents,” he said. “Talk to them about people calling them on the phone, mail. Be cautious of what comes in the mail and what they’re asking you for. If they’re asking you for any banking information, any routing information, any account numbers — red flag, red flag.”

Captain Jones said having these conversations with your senior parents or grandparents could save them a lot of time and money. He also said there are a number of things to keep in mind that could help save you from being scammed.

Emails claiming you’ve been charged should be followed up with a phone call to your bank. Capt. Jones said to make sure to use the regular number that you’d normally use to call your bank, or otherwise go in person. Officials shared that law enforcement would never call you over the phone and ask for any form of payment to cancel a warrant or avoid jail time.

Grammatical errors in emails and strange callers with broken English are also red flags. Scammers may also ask you to purchase gift cards for them.

If you find yourself on the phone with a scammer, you are advised not to share any personal information, like your bank account number. Instead, officials say hang up and contact the police.

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