Elderly Jackson woman almost scammed out of nearly $2,000
JACKSON, Tenn. — An elderly woman was nearly scammed out of about $2,000 Wednesday afternoon. WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reporter Amber Hughes happened to be in the right place at the right time to stop the scam.
Scammer: “You driving? Are you driving to Wal-Mart?”
Blondell Davis: “Yes, I’m halfway there. It’s a pretty good ways across town.”
Scammer: “So you just keep on driving and I’ll call you back, OK?”
That was part of the conversation 92-year-old Blondell Davis had with a scam artist Wednesday afternoon outside a local tax office. She came inside thinking she needed a tax form to send money to a man who claimed he was with the Publishers Clearing House and she had just won $2.5 million in a contest.
“Well, I’ve heard of it happening to a lot of people before,” Davis said. “But I thought I just got this phone three days ago. How would he have gotten my phone number?”
The man on the phone told Davis she needed to first pay $1,900 in taxes before she could get her prize, something Jackson criminal investigators say is a scam.
“They’ll call these people and tell them that they’ve either won the Jamaican lottery or some other scam,” said Lt. Jeff Shepard, an investigator with the Jackson Police Department. “And the thing to remember is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
The number calling Davis’ phone did have a Jamaican area code. With it being tax season, Jackson police expect these scam calls to continue, so the community should be on alert — especially the elderly.
“Unfortunately, they seem to target elderly people,” Lt. Shepard said. “But to their credit, elderly people are usually honest, so these criminals know that and they prey on that aspect of their lives.”
Thankfully, Davis didn’t fall victim to the scam.
“He sounded so legitimate,” Davis said. “I was already suspicious. I think I just needed somebody to tell me that.”
If you think you may have been contacted by a scam artist, investigators say the best thing to do is call local police and report the incident to the IRS.