Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Lodi senior targeted by phone scam

Callers claim victims are eligible for a grant, ask for personal info

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:58 am, Wed Jan 30, 2013.

A new telephone scam has at least one Lodi resident warning senior citizens to be careful about the information they hand out over the phone.

Myrna Carter, a Realtor with Century 21 M&M and Associates, immediately knew she was the target of a scam when a man called last week and told her she was eligible for a $7,500 grant from the federal government.

The man claimed to be with the U.S. Department of Grants, and said he has been doing an analysis and there were 1,700 people eligible for the grants in the local area, including Carter.

"He said, 'The government is giving these grants out in different areas because they know people can use the money,'" Carter said.

The unidentified man started asking questions and gave her a confirmation number with two letters and three numbers, telling her to wait for a call the next day where they would discuss how she wanted to collect the grant.

The man offered three options. He could wire the money directly into Carter's bank account, he could add it on a credit card as a credit or Carter could wire $280 through Western Union. The man promised to immediately send back $7,780 once he received the wired money. He said the U.S. Department of Grants was a foundation.

Carter wanted to see how far the scam would go, so when the man didn't call back, she tried to contact him. He pretended to look up her profile and then ended up hanging up the phone, she said.

This past Wednesday, she got another call from a different number registered in Washington, D.C., but it was the same scam. She pretended that she would wire the money, and he asked if she could get to a Western Union right away.

When she said she would probably wait until the afternoon, the man said that was fine.

Both men called her cellphone, which she said is available on her website as a Realtor. She said they both sounded foreign and used odd phrasing.

Carter said she had read about this particular scam in the News-Sentinel years ago, and she worries senior citizens may fall for it because the callers identify themselves as someone from a federal foundation.

"I'm a senior citizen, and he did ask me my birthdate. I think senior citizens are more apt to fall for it," Carter said. "That's the bad thing."

Lodi Police Sgt. Mike Oden said the department frequently gets calls about scams, usually from foreign countries. Often they come through email, asking people to wire money, usually $1,000, to a foreign country to get $10,000 or $100,000 back.

"People continue to fall for it. The only way to combat it is to make people aware," Oden said.

While he has not heard of this particular scam, he said some scammers call and claim they are repossessing a car or getting information for the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service. He said scammers often try to find out birthdates, Social Security numbers and other information so that they can open up credit cards.

"If they are contacting you, I'd be very leery," Oden said.

If you receive one of these calls, Oden recommends taking down the information, hanging up and then using Google or another search engine to look up the telephone numbers and addresses of the agency that called. If you do not have a computer, he recommends asking a family member to help or going to the Lodi Public Library where staff can help look it up.

Then, Oden said, people can call the offices directly to make sure they are talking to an actual employee of the organization or government agency that called.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Ron Werner posted at 12:57 pm on Fri, Oct 26, 2012.

    Ron Werner Posts: 73

    "He said, 'The government is giving these grants out in different areas because they know people can use the money,'" Carter said.

    Of course this is a scam. Everyone knows you have to be a big 4 bank, a Wall Street financial company or General Motors in order have the government give you money.

     

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 92

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists