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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : regional May 25, 2016


3/25/2014 2:08:00 PM
90-year-old couple victims of fraud of nearly $14,000

YAVAPAI COUNTY -- On March 15, The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to a married couple in Congress, on a report they were involved in a fraud. The husband and wife, both in their 90s, were in good health but readily admitted to deputies they had been "taken advantage of" resulting in loss of several thousand dollars.

About March 6, the couple received a call from a man who said his name was "Tony" and told the couple they had won a Mercedes-Benz but they needed to pay a $1,200 processing fee. The husband went to a local business and obtained pre-paid "Green Dot" cards in the necessary amount and shared those card numbers with "Tony." Over the next few days, additional monies were requested by "Tony," and the victim complied by purchasing more pre-paid cards and supplying the numbers to "Tony." Over $11,000 was accessed by this suspect using the pre-paid card numbers.

Within days of this incident, the victim received a call from a man named "John" who explained the couple just won several "gold bricks." The victim demanded to meet "John" in person to obtain his prize. "John" requested money from the victim for airplane fare to Congress. The victim sent $1,000 and arranged to meet "John" at a local market in Congress, but he never showed. "John" later called and demanding additional funds for the trip. The victim complied and sent another $1,000. He eventually called YCSO believing now he had been scammed.

The victim admitted he never entered any contest to win a car or gold. Deputies noted the victim had a difficult time with details as to whom the suspects were representing during the calls and seemed thoroughly confused by the whole ordeal.

Deputies listened to voicemails left by the suspects on the victim's phone system and determined that the calls originated from Jamaica. It also appeared "Tony" and "John" were the same person. The victim provided deputies with receipts for each pre-paid card purchase documenting a total loss at $13,600. Deputies referred the couple to Adult Protective Services for follow-up counseling. Deputies also took time to notify the couple's son who lives in Arizona, providing him with resource contacts and a suggestion to monitor his parent's financial situation in light of this incident.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov.

-- Contact the reporter at jhutchinson@verdenews.com

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