FBI: Scam targeting seniors drove Texas grandfather to suicide

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The FBI says scammers are going after senior citizens, and their scheme is being blamed for the suicide of a 77-year-old grandfather in North Texas.

"I got a phone call from my sister Kathy, and said that Daddy had died, and she said that he had shot himself in the backyard," Margie Limmer told KLBK-TV in Lubbock.

The death of her father, Ed Faust, was shocking, but so was the reason behind his suicide.

"The Dominican Republic had called him from his home phone, and said they had his grandson, and they told him that he had 40 minutes to go to CVS to get four $500 gift cards," Limmer said.

Faust followed the scammers' order.

"Then he called my nephew and said, 'Are you OK?' and Justin goes yea and daddy goes, 'I've just been scammed, I've been made a fool of.' And my nephew said that he was very upset, and then after that, he went in the backyard and killed himself."

Limmer says her father scribbled down information about the scammers' demands and contact information, and that's how they figured out what happened.

The FBI says seniors are easy targets because they aren't aware of how much information about them could found on the Internet.

"Real estate sites, they are able to look at credit sites, they are making contact from countries that we don't have an extradition treaty with and so if we don't have an extradition treaty, even if we identify them, there's no way that we can bring them back to the United States for justice," FBI Special Agent Phillip Partin said.

The FBI says anyone suspicious of a scam should contact local authorities.
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