Local Senior Warns Others Against Scam - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/12/2007-Smith County

Local Senior Warns Others Against Scam

Attention seniors. There are criminals out to get your money. Many east Texans have been the victim of these individuals who are using their knifing means to get you.

We spoke to one East Texan who out-smarted the criminals and has something to teach you.

"I received this phone call that was obviously a computer generated voice," said Willie Blevins of Lindale.

Willie is like many seniors, today. He was the target of a scam.

"It was a woman's voice saying my name is Michelle and I need to talk to you about your credit account," Willie said the woman went on to offer a lower interest rate on his credit card, "I'm on the no call list so my first question was how did they get my number?" She needed me to get the number of my credit card."

And this wasn't the first time Willie had received this call, "I've received calls of this nature three times in the last month."

Because scams like this, the Tyler Police, the FBI, the Sheriff's Department and the attorney general's office came together to inform seniors that they need to be aware.

"Their are people at their door, there are people calling, people stopping by. I just want them today to be aware," warns Kay Odom with the Tyler Senior Center.

"There is a lot of different scams; some over the Internet, some through the mail. We have home improvement scams driveway scams..." said James McCraw Tyler Police Community Response Officer, "We have what we call the pigeon drop. Basically has somebody found something that wants to share something with you but you have to put up some money."

Officials say, don't trust anyone who ask for money up front.

"I think what they need to know is that they need to think first. If it's too good to be true it always is too good to be true," said Odom, "We have to be leery of people now. They think that sounds really good. And before they know it they are writing the check out."

But the scammers didn't get Willie Because he asked questions.

"I said I don't know who you are. What is the name of your company? Do you have an address? What is the phone number of your company? and then she disconnected me."

"When you are retired you have time to take these calls," said Willie.  "Once you hit 65 not only do you need to up your level of security but you need to up your paranoia. Sad but true," said Willie, "They want easy prey and unfortunately they find it. Just don't let it be you."

Another tip from authorities: shred all personal financial documents. Also minimize the number of credit cards you carry in case of theft.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com


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