An 84-year-old Skokie woman was almost scammed out of $4,800 after she received a call from a man posing to be an agent with Bank of America.
According to police reports, the woman received a call on Aug. 5 from a man who said $400 was illegally withdrawn from her account. He then instructed the woman to withdraw $4,800 from her account and personally give it to him so he can “protect the money for her so that no further funds are stolen.”
The alleged con artist went on to say that he was investigating the incident and suspected a Bank of America employee was behind the scheme. He advised the woman not to speak to anyone at the bank about the theft to avoid comprising his investigation.
Around 6 p.m. on Aug. 5, the 84-year-old went to meet the caller at the so she could give him the $4,800 in cash. The report indicated that she was waiting, but the man did not show up.
The woman ultimately left the library after she waited more than 30 minutes for him to call. No cash was exchanged and police are currently investigating.
According to the FBI's website, senior citizens are more susceptible to scams because they most likely have a "nest egg" of available cash from retirement funds. They also were raised during an era when they were taught to be polite and trusting, it noted.
The FBI also indicates that seniors sometimes have poor memory of the incident, making them less credible witnesses.
Fox News reported that scammers typically find their victims through AARP retirement planning seminars "that usually include a free lunch or dinner." The story noted that almost 6 million senior citizens nationwide attend such events in 2009.