CHARLOTTE COUNTY- The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating two scams against elderly women in Port Charlotte, one was another “Granny Scam” and the other a lottery scam.
On Wednesday, Barbara Pleasants-Powers, 78, 1484 Hayworth Rd., called CCSO after she realized she was scammed out of $5,000 after thinking she was helping her grandson who was reportedly involved in a car crash in New York City. The victim asked if the caller was “Collin” and he said yes. She was told he crashed into a car driven by a woman from Madrid, Spain, and needed cash to pay for her damages. Powers went to Winn Dixie, 3280 Tamiami Trail and via Western Union wired $2,375; service charge was $125 for a total of $2,500.
Powers received another call from “Collin” who said he needed an additional $2,375 and was told to go to Publix this time at 24123 Peachland Blvd. The fake grandson gave the phone to an NYPD Sergeant who said Collin was I trouble because alcohol was involved in the crash and it would “go away” if the foreign woman is paid for her damages. Powers went to Publix and paid another $2,500; now totaling $5,000. Once done, she got another call from Collin and the Sergeant. This time Powers became suspicious asking Collin what her sisters name was and he couldn’t answer. The sergeant took the phone, cursed her and hung up.
The other call Wednesday was from Barbara Salminen, 77, 21052 Lawson Ave. who said she’s been getting calls from a woman for several months about winning the Global Lottery of $4 million. Salminen went to Walmart in Murdock to wire $100 to a woman in San Antonio, Texas; which she did. The woman called her back and said she needed another $150 and wired the money which has now cost her a total of $272. The woman called again and said she needed $2,500. Salminen went to her bank, got the cash and then to Walmart to wire the money again. She is now out $2,912.
The CCSO has issued numerous warnings to residents, to not fall for these types of scams. Criminals are targeting Charlotte County because of its large population of elderly residents and have been successful in scamming them out of thousands of dollars. The cases have been turned over the CCSO Economic Crimes unit.