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Police: Scammers targeting seniors

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By The Staff

Law enforcement officials are warning senior citizens in Oldham County to watch out for telemarketing fraud.

La Grange Police Department said in the past few months, it has investigated several crimes involving seniors who have lost money through telephone scams.

In most cases, scammers tell residents they have won the lottery, new cars or have received an inheritance from a deceased loved one.

The scammer then requests a money order to cover insurance, shipping or legal fees in order to receive the gift.
Other scams going around involve home repairs and health care.

Police say most fraudulent callers are from outside of the United States.

In one case, an 80-year-old woman was defrauded out of more than $29,000 by a caller claiming to be from the Canadian lottery.

The scammer told the woman she had won millions of dollars in an automated drawing. To collect the money, she was to send $5,000 to insure the transfer.

The phone calls continued, with the scammer claiming each payment brought the victim closer to her winnings.

A 76-year-old woman said a man with a “strange dialect” called to tell her she won a new car. To get it, she would need to pay the taxes on it, he said.

Police said the woman paid a few thousand dollars before realizing she had been scammed.

Law enforcement officials say there is little that can be done in these cases because of jurisdiction limitations or inability to track the suspect to a specific location.

La Grange Police is urging seniors to be vigilant and ask questions when receiving a suspicious call.

If a caller is offering a prize in exchange for money, do not give out any personal information and call a family member or the police.

The La Grange Police Department has brochures on how residents can protect themselves from telephone scams.

The office is located at 410 W. Jefferson St. in La Grange.

Email us about this story at: news@oldhamera.com.