FPD warns of scams against elderly

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Local elderly residents should be on the lookout for a group of Publisher’s Clearinghouse impersonators – minus the balloons and looking to score some quick cash, Florala Police Chief Sonny Bedsole said Tuesday.

He said since Monday, the department has received “several reports” of the phone scam, which in two incidents were coupled with actual visits to the person’s home.

“The reports we got was that it started with phone calls informing the person of their ‘win,’” Bedsole said. “When they showed up at the home, they stated they needed $800 to process the winnings.

“The best description we got was of two males and two females of Indian descent in a small brown car presenting themselves as representatives from Publisher’s Clearinghouse,” he said. “Thankfully, none of our local residents gave them money. Unfortunately, when the residents became suspicious and told the men at the door they were going to call the police to check things out, the group fled, and no one was able to get a tag number.”

Bedsole said each of the targeted victims were elderly residents, and that he believes the group will probably attempt to scam their way through Covington County.

“The residents said they got telephone calls notifying them of their ‘win’ before the group arrived,” he said. “I’m not sure if they got a phonebook and just started calling, but we think they were checking to see if someone was home.

“Locals should be on the lookout and not fall prey to this scam,” he said.

He said he was thrilled residents have taken the “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is” motto to heart.

“I’m glad that folks didn’t fall into scam and lose their money,” he said. “If anyone with info or run into similar situation, we’d be real interested in getting the people’s ID.”

Those with similar experiences or who come into contact with the group is asked to contact one’s local law enforcement agency.