An elderly man from Louisiana was recently scammed into getting into a car with two strangers who claimed to be from overseas and working with local charities.
The victim was then taken to a local bank where he withdrew a large sum of money under false pretenses. After swiping the money, the two suspects then returned the man to his car and fled the scene.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office has described the incident as “bizarre,” adding that it could be the latest scam targeting well-intentioned older men and women.
Face-to-face scamming rare but not unprecedented
Face-to-face scamming is a rare occurrence, but not unprecedented. In 2021, a man and woman in Bossier City, Louisiana, scammed elderly people into withdrawing money from an ATM.
Scams targeting the elderly usually play out online or through phone calls from criminals. Last year, a couple lost $350,000 when they received an alert on their computer to call a phone number.
When they called, a suspect pretended to be Apple support and they were compelled to make multiple withdrawals from different banks and transfer the money to a Bitcoin ATM.
Victims should stay alert to potential scammers
According to 1st Lt. Blake Tabor of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office, the amount of scams his office has seen in recent years correlates with the rise in crime across the US in recent years.
However, Tabor stressed that a face-to-face scam is rare. He advised people, especially senior citizens, to stay alert to potential scammers who often try to pull on victims’ heartstrings before stealing funds.
Tabor called on Americans to use “common sense” when interacting with strangers and to watch out for “red flags,” and especially stressed that members of the public should never get into a vehicle with a person they do not know.