The Times News tells a cautionary tale to seniors, who are often targeted by scammers, and their adult children, who need to protect their aging parents in the article “Elderly Hawkins man loses $4K in phony $89.5 million inheritance scam.”
The story begins with the Hawkins County Sherriff’s Office being notified by a Deputy from Mineral County, Nevada, that he was working on a case where an elderly Hawkins County man was scammed.
An 80-year-old victim had received phone calls from a man claiming to be an attorney from the African nation of Ghana named Abu Jones. He told the elderly man that he’d inherited $9.5 million, which could only be collected after paying fees to the U.S. Treasury Department. He was instructed to send money order payments to a person in Hawthorne, Nevada.
The person from Hawthorne was being scammed as well.
The elderly man sent several payments to the Hawthorne resident, who in turn sent those payments on somewhere else. He told police that he wasn’t sure how much money he had sent to the person in Hawthorne, but believed it was in excess of $4,000.
A bank in Hawthorne was working with the Hawkins County Sherriff’s Office to try to return a portion of the money to the victim.
Scams centered in outsized inheritances and fraudulent lottery prizes are very common. They all require payment of some kind of fees in order to receive the inheritance or the prize. Needless to say, there is no inheritance, nor is there a prize.
The public is reminded to never send money orders, gift cards or give anyone credit card numbers or gift card numbers, if they are requested by someone making a promise of a big pay day.
The first thing to do if you are targeted is to hang up. The second is to call the local authorities, especially if the caller is persistent and seems to have obtained personal financial information about you or has dire news about a family member.
Reference: Times News (March 4, 2019) “Elderly Hawkins man loses $4K in phony $89.5 million inheritance scam.”