“Hello?” Catherine asked when she answered the phone. Scammer cheats senior out of her cash
“Hi. My name is Kevin Merchant. Who am I speaking to?” Scammer cheats senior out of her cash
“Catherine. Can I help you?” Scammer cheats senior out of her cash
“Hello, Catherine. You probably don’t remember me, but I loaned you some money a few years ago. I’m not sure why you needed it, but I trusted you and gave you a check for $6,000. I haven’t heard from you since then, and it’s taken me all this time to finally find your phone number. I’m calling to ask if you could pay me back. I really need the money now. My newborn daughter, Kim, has a heart defect, and it’s taken all my savings to keep her alive. I need the money you owe me now to pay her medical bills. How soon do you think it would take you to get the money?” Scammer cheats senior out of her cash
Catherine paused. “I…don’t remember that. Are you sure you have the right person?”
“Yes, I’m sure, Catherine. You and someone else told me you’d pay me back with interest, but then you disappeared. I need you to pay me what you owe me. Can you get to the Post Office today and send half of what you owe?” Scammer cheats senior out of her cash
“Luke? Was he with me?”
“You were with a man at the time. Was Luke your husband?”
“Yes. He died last year.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Catherine,” Kevin said, “but it doesn’t wipe away your debt to me. I’m sure Luke would want to you to be an honest person and pay your debts. Don’t you think that’s what he would want?”
“Well, yes, I guess so, but—” Catherine started to say.
“It’s settled then. I need you to go to the Post Office, buy $3,000 in money orders, and express mail them to me. Get a pen and take down my address. Let me know when you’re ready.”
“I’m not sure,” Catherine said hesitantly.
“Catherine, you owe me $6,000. I have a legal right to my money. If you don’t pay it back, I’ll have no choice but to report you to the police. You’ll be arrested and go to jail. I don’t think you’d want that. I don’t think Luke would want that. Do the right thing and pay your debt to me today. You’ll feel better when you do. Do you have a pen to take down my address?”
“Okay, I’ll get one.”
“Good,” Kevin said. “You’re doing the right thing.”
Kevin is a serial scammer who targets senior citizens, preying on individuals in their golden years for his income. In the scenario above, Kevin coerced Catherine into paying a debt she didn’t owe. He used a variety of tactics to build intense emotional pressure including sympathy for his daughter, shame for not paying a debt she owed, and terror at the prospect of going to jail. Catherine eventually gave in to Kevin’s demands to relieve that pressure. Scammer cheats senior out of her cash
Scammers use unscrupulous tactics to steal money from others. This type of scam occurs every day, and if a scammer finds your telephone number, you could find yourself the target of his next attack.
If an unknown person calls and threatens to have you arrested unless you repay a debt you’re unfamiliar with, hang up immediately. Don’t engage in conversation with that individual. Don’t ask that person questions or listen to the person’s explanation of why you owe the debt. That person is trying to steal your money. Your most effective tool to make that person go away is to hang up the phone.
Only you have the power to end a scammer’s pressure against you. Exercise that power by hanging up, and put an end to the pressure before it begins.
Scammer cheats senior out of her cash Scammer cheats senior out of her cash Scammer cheats senior out of her cash Scammer cheats senior out of her cash Scammer cheats senior out of her cash Scammer cheats senior out of her cash