Scammers hit Greenwood senior for $4,000 in Best Buy gift cards


GREENWOOD, Ind. (WTHR) - The Johnson County sheriff is warning families about a scam targeting seniors.

The scam artists convinced the latest victim to go to Best Buy in Greenwood to purchase gift cards. The scammer even told her what to say if someone inside the store tried to stop her.

Seventy-six-year-old Faith, who lives in Johnson County, gets calls every day from scammers and marketing companies.

"I get scam calls so much," said Faith. "Sometimes I just hang up right away, especially when they don't say anything right away."

Now, Faith is praying that no one else falls prey to the scam that took her for thousands of dollars. This call was different from all the others.

Someone called pretending to be her granddaughter in a North Carolina jail who needed after a car crash. The caller told Faith in tears that she would have her license suspended for a year if she didn't come up with money to pay the other driver.

"I didn't question it for a moment. Because It sounded so much like her until we found out that it was all a scam and is was not her. She was not in an accident and she was not in jail," said Faith.

No red flags went off for Faith since she was convinced the lady on the phone was her granddaughter. So the scammers convinced her to purchase gift cards at Best Buy.

Faith bought $4,000 in gift cards after being told it would help pay for repairs to the other car. The scammers asked Faith to make the purchase in no less than 45 minutes and then give them the number on the back of the gift cards.

The scammers even told Faith to tell concerned employees the cards would be used as graduation gifts. The concerned grandmother says a detective with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department told her, in some cases, store supervisors are alerted when they have gift card purchases in large amounts. The detective reportedly told Faith that's when a supervisor will question the customer, just to make sure they are not falling for a scam and that the gift cards are for a legitimate reason.

Faith and her family didn't take getting ripped off without a fight. They tracked down the 76-year-old's card numbers being used at a Best Buy in Houston, Texas. A customer there purchased $2,000 in video and iTunes cards.

What's worse is that the scammers most likely considered ripping off Faith so easy that they called back a second time. They told the concerned grandmother that her granddaughter needed more money.

"They're greedy. They're greedy," said Faith.

After getting half of her money back, just like the Johnson County sheriff, Faith is warning others not to fall for the same trick.

Faith learned she is not the only victim. The scam artists have asked others according to authorities to visit the same Best Buy in Greenwood to purchase gift cards.

Filed under: