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BEE CAVE, Texas (KXAN) — Police said a person has been charged, accused of stealing $5,000 from a victim in Bee Cave after the suspect pretended to be the victim’s grandson in jail seeking bond, according to an arrest affidavit issued Tuesday.
The Bee Cave Police Department issued the warrant for a suspect accused of financial abuse of an elderly individual. Court records show the suspect has not been arrested yet.
The victim told Bee Cave police in December that he received a phone call from someone who pretended to be his grandson. The caller said he was in jail and needed to be bonded out, the affidavit said.
The victim was told an attorney would soon call him, the affidavit said. He answered another phone call and was instructed to put $5,000 in a Wells Fargo account, which the they did Dec. 27.
The victim spoke to his grandson the next day and learned he was frauded, according to police.
The affidavit said police generated a subpoena and identified the receiving party of the bank account, which had an Ashley, Pennsylvania, address. Police confirmed the victim sent $5,000 to the account. Then, $3,000 was sent from the account owner to an external account and additional Zelle payments were made.
Bee Cave police and Pennsylvania police were able to contact the account owner, the suspect, who shared documents with police. The affidavit said papers included a form with the Bee Cave victim’s information. The suspect said they did not know the victim and believed a friend told them the $5,000 was from the purchase of Bitcoin.
The affidavit said police believe the suspect was directly involved in deceiving the victim and they volunteered his bank account to receive stolen funds. Police said they believe there are other people working with the suspect, but the suspect refuses to identify them.
According to the Better Business Bureau, con artists often target older adults, and there are warning signs for fraud:
- Frequent junk mail and spam calls
- Unfamiliar payments are being made
- Acting secretively about phone calls or messages
- Sudden problems paying bills or buying food and other necessities
Tips for preventing fraud include:
- Become familiar with common scams targeting older adults
- Emphasize the criminal nature of telemarketing and email fraud
- Encourage the person to ignore phone calls and messages that appear suspicious
- Have a calm discussion about securing accounts and monitoring finances
- Help the person change their phone number