Murfreesboro woman scammed out of life savings - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Murfreesboro woman scammed out of life savings

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MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

An elderly Murfreesboro woman was recently scammed out of her $62,000 life savings.

For the victim, the phone calls started about four months ago with the promise that she would win a sweepstakes prize that would make her rich. The Better Business Bureau said this happens all too often.

According to the BBB, the off-shore scammers are patient, and they do their homework. In this case, the woman's husband had died and she lived alone.

The scammers check obituaries published online and in newspapers to find their perfect target. It then quickly turns into a psychological con that can go on for months.

"They strike up intimate relationships of trust and confidence," said Kathleen Calligan with the Better Business Bureau.

For a senior alone with no one to talk to, the scammers fill a void, often hours of loneliness, that can develop into a psychological dependence for the victim of the scam.

"I had someone confide that the most lonely time of the day for them was between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.," Calligan said. "Guess when the scammers called."

But the person on the other end of the line knows the right time to spring the scam.

"They will ask the victim to transfer money for taxes or prepayment of fees," Calligan said.

They will ask the victim for an untraceable form of cash, often a Green Dot reloadable prepaid card. In this case, the victim went to a check cashing location and had the Green Dot card loaded.

The Green Dot card is as good as cash. When victims give someone else the number on the back of the card, they have released the money loaded on that card.

The BBB advised to be aware of elderly parents and neighbors, particularly women, who are targeted the most. Late summer appears to be the most active time for the scam.

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