The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Elderly Stafford County woman nearly scammed out of $3,000
By KEITH EPPS
Area police are once again reminding residents to be cautious following an incident Monday in which a Stafford woman was nearly conned out of $3,000.
Stafford Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said Deputy Kevin Kortman went to a home on Smithfield Way after a resident in her mid-70s got a call from a woman pretending to be a friend of hers.
The caller told the woman that she was in jail in Fairfax County after running a red light while talking on her phone and crashing into another vehicle. The caller claimed to be returning from a doctor’s appointment in Washington.
The caller didn’t immediately give a name, but answered “yes” when the resident asked her if she was the friend who she sounded like.
The con artist then gave the resident the name of a “public defender” who would be calling her shortly. Moments later, a man called saying that the two women in the vehicle that was struck would drop all claims against the resident’s friend if they were paid $1,500 each. He then provided two different addresses in Peru to which the resident was to send the money.
The resident was told that she had only a few hours to make the transactions or her friend would spend 60 days in jail. The resident went to the bank and withdrew the money, but called her daughter before sending it anywhere.
The daughter called the Sheriff’s Office and also contacted the friend, who was at home and fine. Kortman was talking to the would-be victim and her daughter about the various scams being used especially against older people when the so-called public defender called again.
Kortman answered the phone and after he identified himself as a deputy, the man hung up.
Kennedy said it wasn’t clear if the initial caller was an older woman or a young person pretending to sound older.