Gift card scam targets CSRA seniors, losing thousands

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MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — Fraudsters are tricking local residents out of tens of thousands of dollars — and seniors are often the victims.

In the past few days, two Columbia County seniors have been victims of targeted gift card scams.

On Monday, a Martinez man told Columbia County deputies that he was downloading Amazon Prime to his Roku device, but the download froze and he received a message asking him to call a phone number to get help. ugly.

He called the number and spoke with a male subject identifying himself as Grant.

Grant’s subject told the victim that he froze his account due to suspicious purchases on the account. He said there were several purchases in Chicago totaling $6,000.

Grant told the victim he could decline purchases and unlock his account, but he had to buy two $500 Target gift cards.

The victim went to a pharmacy and bought the gift cards and went home, then texted the access codes to the given number.

Grant then unlocked the Amazon account but told the victim that another $500 gift card was needed to reverse the $6,000 purchases.

Last week, a 65-year-old Grovetown woman also fell prey to a Target gift card scam.

This happened after checking his bank statement and noticing charges of $3.99 and $4.99 from what was listed as Apple with a phone number also attached.

She called this number and was told to buy two Target gift cards for $500 each and send the access codes.

She did as asked but was only able to get two gift cards totaling $750 and handed over the access codes.

By the time she realized she had been cheated, the cards had been cleared, the deputies reported.

No match

A 67-year-old woman, Martinez, told deputies on Friday that she had been cheated on by a man she had met on Match.com.

The man claimed to be a Michael Williams of 323 Path Way in Pittsburgh and sent him a picture of his alleged driver’s license, which ultimately turned out to be a fake, according to deputies.

He earned her trust by paying her credit card bills, one MP wrote.

She then gave him her bank details.

After that, she discovered that the checks the man was using to pay his bills were fake.

She then discovered that all her money had been withdrawn from her account.

crossed wires

A 57-year-old homebuyer told Columbia County deputies on Friday that she was defrauded of $59,449.13.

She said she was buying a house and using an Evans law firm for representation.

On August 16, one of the paralegals emailed her telling her that she could send her money by cashier’s check or wire transfer. She received an email the next day from someone she thought was the paralegal that she couldn’t accept a cashier’s check and that the money needed to be wired.

The buyer sent the money to the account listed in the new email, then contacted the law firm representative and was told that the second email was fake.

The law firm is also investigating with its information technology company to determine if the firm was hacked.

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