Seniors are being warned about a new scam that took place in southern Louisiana and led to an elderly man losing a large sum of money.
On March 6, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office was called to hear how two unknown males had taken money from an elderly man, deputies said on the sheriff’s office website.
The senior citizen was approached by the two males, who said they were foreigners working with local charities.
The victim was talked into the males driving him to the bank, where he withdrew what deputies said was a large amount of cash.
The suspects returned the man to his vehicle, then took off with the cash, deputies said.
Video cameras captured the suspects, but they have eluded authorities, who have posted a reward of up to $1,000 for help capturing them.
— Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office (@Terrebonne_SO) March 10, 2023
First Lt. Blake Tabor of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office called the crime “bizarre for our community,” according to Fox News.
“Without having the information to say what other jurisdictions have seen, I know this one is unique to us,” he said.
“This could certainly be an indication of how suspects in this type of crime are changing their tactics and are more emboldened. I think you could certainly argue that.”
Tabor called the scam “a crime of opportunity. I think all indications are that they just saw the male and just contacted him at that point.”
Scammers try to play on the emotions of their victims, Tabor said.
“What we’ve seen with our elderly is the suspects tend to target social issues that may be held near and dear to the elderly’s heart,” he said.
“I think it’s kind of business as usual for the scammers that they try to use information that really taps into the heart and soul of the victim.”
The best defense against scammers is “common sense” when dealing with strangers while looking for “red flags” that might be a tipoff that a request for help is not all it seems to be, Tabor said.
“The suspects claimed to be from out of the country. They claimed to be working with local charities. They claim to be wanting you to make large cash withdrawals. They wanted to personally take him to a financial institution. A lot of these decisions are not decisions that we want anybody to make,” Tabor said.
A post on the website NOLO.com notes that “financial fraud is the fastest-growing form of elder abuse.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.