Elderly woman warns against scammers using scare tactics

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Scam artists using scare tactics to get their victims to empty their bank account. But one La Porte Woman knew exactly what to do (KTRK)

At age 73, a League City grandmother has done a lot in her life. Outwitting a scammer is her most recent accomplishment.

One ground rule for the story: She asked she be called "Trish," rather than her full name. The scammers already had her phone number, and she doesn't want anymore calls.

Trish received a voice mail telling her to call a League City police officer. The caller left a number.

Trish did as asked.

"He was mean and hateful," she says.

She was told she had missed a court date for a traffic ticket and a warrant had been issued for her arrest.

"He said it was for a red light camera ticket. I told him we don't have red light cameras. He said I was wrong," Trish said.

She was right. League City removed its red light cameras two years ago. He wanted an "assurance for a $2,000 bond."

"Something didnt' seem right," Trish says.

This is where it gets interesting. With the scammer on one phone, she Googled information for the police department. The phone number on her caller ID was local, but it wasn't the same as the police department.

Then she called the real police department and let an officer listen to the scammer.

"He(scammer) said are you talking to me? I said I'm talking to a real police officer. Then he hung up," Trish said.

It's a scam now making the rounds in League City. A police spokesperson says at least three complaints have been filed, most of them asking the intended victim to load a Green Dot cash card with money and to call back with the card number.

ABC-13 called the number Trish gave us. A man answered "warrant division." When we identified ourselves, informing him the number may be connected to scam, he said it was a bakery. The call didn't last long.

Trish is considered to be a good example of how to deal with a scammer. Question them, and don't be bullied into turning over money you don't owe.

She has training in dealing with problem cases. Her last job was working in Texas prisons as a librarian.

"A lot of them were in there for credit card theft. It makes you never want to use a credit card again," she said.
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