June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Police say scams target the elderly

BRUNSWICK — Police are warning commu­nity members about a string of scams targeting the elderly.

Officer Scott Stewart said two elderly people have been targeted this month by someone overseas calling them repeatedly and offering them prizes worth millions. The caller then requests a money order sent through Western Union of up to $2,000, Stewart said.

One woman reported she received 22 calls in three days.

He said another woman received a call from someone claiming to be from the U.S. govern­ment to confirm the authenticity of the prize.

“Generally they are from out of the country because it’s harder to prosecute,” Stewart said.

He added that aside from warning the eld­erly not to fall for scams like this, there wasn’t much the police could do because the phone numbers did not trace back to anyone.

While two people have reported the scam recently, Stewart said one only was reported only because the woman’s son noticed some­thing was wrong with the situation.

He said he believes there may be several other people in the community who have been targeted.

“A lot of times they won’t report it because it’s embarrassing,” Stewart said.

He said he advises family members to be on the lookout for people taking advantage of their elderly relatives.

“It’s becoming more and more prevalent, but I haven’t seen it like this in awhile,” Stewart said.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.