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3 reports of scammers targeting elderly residents in Port St. Lucie

Residents deceived into thinking family member arrested
Port St. Lucie police patrol car
Posted at 1:44 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 17:33:39-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — 'Tis the season for scammers.

The Port St. Lucie Police Department said Friday they have recently received three reports where residents were asked to give a large amount of money to help a family member who had been arrested.

Sgt. Keith Boham said one of the victims gave away $18,000 after thinking they were helping a family member held by the Port St. Lucie Police Department.

A second victim deposited $3,000 into an unknown account, thinking they were helping a family member arrested in Long Island.

A third victim became suspicious and called police before sending $18,000 to a scammer, believing that her grandson had been arrested.

"If anyone calls you asking for a large amount of money. Please verify as best as you can that this person is actually who you think it is. And if you have any caution whatsoever, please call the Port St. Lucie place department so we can help you vet that out. We would rather be safe than sorry," said Boham.

Boham said it appears thieves are targeting residents over the age of 80 years old.

On two occasions, victims were asked to provide the money in an envelope to an Uber driver.

The third unsuspecting victim directly deposited money into a Wells Fargo account.

Police said detectives are working on the case, but no arrests have been made.