LONGWOOD, Fla. — An elderly woman from Longwood is out nearly $40,000 after investigators said she was the victim of scammers in California.
The scammers were able to get into her computer and move money from one bank account to another to make her think there was more money in her account than there should be have been, the investigators said.
They said the woman began to return the money before realizing she had been duped.
According to an incident report from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, the 82-year-old woman went from bank to bank, withdrawing $10,000 three times and $9,000 once.
She sent packages of cash to an address in California via UPS and FedEx, and all but one of the packages made it to the destination.
“This is a lady who is obviously very bright, very intelligent and it just goes to show just how convincing these people on the other end of the line can be,” said Bob Kealing, a public information officer with the Sheriff’s Office.
The woman said the scammer made her believe they had put too much money into her checking account, not realizing it was her own money, so she tried to do the right thing by returning it.
“Don’t ever conduct financial transactions with strangers over the phone. There is no need to. There is no reason to. That should be a red flag immediately,” Kealing said.
The Sheriff’s Office said it has seen an increase in the number of phone scams lately.
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