Scam involving prepaid cards targets elderly - KCTV5

Scam involving prepaid cards targets elderly

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OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

There's another scam that's working its way across the United States and an elderly woman in the Kansas City metro was bilked out of thousands of dollars.

"Someone receives an email saying you've won the lottery and you have to do certain things like sending a certain amount of money," said Officer Gary Mason with the Overland Park Police Department.

It's a scam that's been around, but somehow continues to work. In most cases the bad guys are targeting the elderly, and in a recent Overland Park case, it cost an 86-year-old woman $15,000.

"A lot of them are losing their retirement money, which is sad that they put away their whole life and, in one final thing, it's gone," Mason said.

The victim in this case came to an Overland Park CVS pharmacy over a period of several days and bought 30 MoneyPak reloadable and prepaid cards and loaded each of them up with $500 apiece. Police said it's situations like this where they hope employees will stop, think and intervene.

"We'd like for businesses and employees, especially in this case, it screamed for attention, when they see someone elderly drawing out large amounts of money, you might ask more questions and bring it to our attention," Mason said.

Police said once the scammers get their hooks into someone they don't let up and continue to call, harass and even threaten the victims. In the last month, in Overland Park this is the second case where a victim has become so terrified by the continuing calls that their families have moved them out of their homes, at least temporarily.

"The fact that these people don't care and once they do get a little money from the victim, they are going after them and they don't care what it takes. We have even been at the house when they have called and they are not afraid of police either and that's our message is we need help and we need to stop it before it starts," Mason said.

AT the CVS, an employee said, after the last incident, management has been vigilant in trying to educate clerks on what to look for. While it's too late for the last victim, her cautionary tale could stop the next victim from losing their nest egg.

If you suspect you or a loved one have been the target of a scam, call your police department and file a report.

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