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BEE CAVE, Texas (KXAN) – Police said a person has been charged with stealing $5,000 from a victim at Bee Cave after the suspect pretended to be the victim’s grandson in jail seeking bail, according to an arrest affidavit released on Tuesday.
The Bee Cave Police Department has issued a warrant for a suspect accused of financially abusing an elderly individual. Court records show that the suspect has not yet been arrested.
The victim told Bee Cave police in December that she received a phone call from someone posing as her nephew. The caller said he was in jail and needed to be strapped down, the affidavit said.
The victim was told an attorney would be calling him soon, the affidavit said. He answered another phone call and was asked to put $5,000 into a Wells Fargo account, which they did on December 27.
The victim spoke to his nephew the next day and learned he had been scammed, according to police.
The affidavit says police generated a subpoena and identified the receiving party of the bank account, which had an Ashley, Pennsylvania address. Police confirmed the victim wired $5,000 into the account. Then, $3,000 was sent by the account owner to an external account and further Zelle payments were made.
Bee Cave Police and Pennsylvania Police managed to contact the owner of the account, the suspect, who shared the documents with the police. The affidavit said the documents included a form with information about the Bee Cave victim. The suspect claimed he did not know the victim and believed a friend had told him the $5,000 came from the Bitcoin purchase.
The affidavit states that police believe the suspect was directly involved in deceiving the victim and has volunteered his bank account to receive the stolen funds. Police said they believe there are other people working with the suspect, but the suspect refuses to identify them.
According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers often target senior citizens, and there are warning signs of fraud:
- Frequent junk mail and spam calls
- Unknown payments are made
- Act secretly on phone calls or messages
- Sudden problems paying bills or purchasing food and other necessities
Fraud prevention tips include:
- Familiarize yourself with common scams targeting seniors
- Emphasize the criminal nature of telemarketing and email fraud
- Encourage the person to ignore calls and texts that seem suspicious
- Have a quiet discussion about protecting accounts and monitoring finances
- Help the person change their phone number