New scam promises cars, cash

Published 2:10 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crooks and thieves may have come up with yet another way to take money from unsuspecting citizens in the Brewton area.

Vida Fernandez, a clerk at a local retailer, said three customers were in the store Wednesday looking to buy Green Dot-style money cards.

“These were elderly people and they didn’t really even know what the money card was,” Fernandez said.

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Fernandez said after speaking to the three customers who were in the store a various times Wednesday, she discovered each of them were looking to purchase money cards in large amounts in response to a phone call they had received earlier.

“The first couple that came in said they had gotten a call saying they had won a new, red Jaguar,” Fernandez said. “They were told they would need to purchase a money card to cover the processing fee for delivery on a transit of some sort.”
Fernandez said her gut instinct was that the call was not legitimate.

“A little while later, I had a little lady looking for a money card,” Fernandez said. “She never told me exactly why she needed a money card, but when I told her what I had heard, I think it may have been the same situation for her.”

Fernandez said a third customer — a 91-year-old woman — had said a call to her home had indicated a $280 money card purchase would be required to process a “combo” prize she had won.

The clerk alerted Brewton police about the possible scam following contact with the third person relating nearly identical stories.

“These people could be targeting our elderly people,” Fernandez said. “I just hope that people will be alert and not be taken in by this scam.”

Fernandez said thieves don’t have to receive the actual card in order to secure the funds purchased. The cards contain of numbers that would allow access to the funds without physically being in possession of the cards.

Anyone contacted by unknown sources asking for money card information in exchange for prizes, is asked to contact law enforcement before following through on the request.