Flint, MICHIGAN (WJRT) - (05/13/2019) - A suspected scammer targeting an elderly resident living in Pinconning met his match on Monday.
The intended target, a senior citizen, who had withdrawn $10,000 from her bank account, went to the Pinconning Police Department to verify the phone call before proceeding.
Thankfully the scam was averted, but the story doesn't end there.
Sgt. Terry Spencer talked with the scammer, posing as the woman's concerned son in order to illustrate just how convincing these callers can be when it comes to trying to get their hands on your money.
"There is no one whose going to come and arrest her, we know that's she's innocent in this case and she's the one whose been a victim," the caller stated to Sgt. Spencer.
The caller, claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, convinced the woman she owed money and could avoid arrest by the Pinconning Police by paying up.
"So she's going to send this $10,000 in gift cards," Sgt. Spencer said, frustrating the man on the other end of the line who had repeatedly told Spencer that the woman did not need to send the gift cards anywhere.
The caller then instructs Spencer to have his mother drive to Target to purchase the gift cards.
"We ain't got much time so she needs to start driving to Target," the caller can be heard saying.
He then says that a police officer will photograph the gift cards and her receipt the following day.
He also instructs her to open up a new bank account.
"Transfer this $10,000 to her new bank account and whatever is her remaining balance which is about $3,300 in her savings account," the caller stated,"and $1,500 in her checking account will also be transferred to a new bank account."
Thankfully--after withdrawing the $10,000, the woman went to police to verify the call before proceeding.
We reached out to the President of the Better Business Bureau in Western Michigan for his advice on how to handle questionable calls:
"The most important thing is to always double check with a credible source before you ever give up any confidential information," Catlett said.
"No government would ever ask you to go buy a gift card to send them the money and read the numbers off the back of the card," he added.
His advice when it comes to how to respond when the call first comes in is to never answer a call from an unknown number, instead let it go to voicemail.
Pinconning police say they have received information from others in the area that they have received the same scammer call.