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New scam targets elderly, taxi companies

On April 4th, the Alexandria Police Department (APD) received a call from a taxi cab company advising of a suspicious telephone call involving an elderly resident and a possible scam.

The suspect contacted the taxi company asking for a taxi to be sent to the elderly victim’s residence.

Upon arrival, the taxi cab driver was instructed to hand the phone to the elderly resident. The victim was advised she had won money through Publisher’s Clearing House and was advised by the suspect to give money to the taxi driver.

The driver immediately contacted the police department. No money was taken from the elderly resident.

The scammers are targeting elderly residents, sending taxis to their locations in hopes of having the taxi bring them to a location where money may be wired to the scammer.

This is one of many known scams. The suspects are calling from overseas claiming to be in the U.S.

The APD reminds everyone that scammers are very convincing, persistent and seemingly nice.

“Please reach out in conversations with your elderly parents, grandparents, or neighbors in hopes of avoiding them from becoming scam victims,” noted APD Chief Rick Wyffels in a news release.

If you receive any suspicious requests through phone, email, or postal mail carrier, call the APD at (320) 763-6631.

Tara Bitzan

Tara Bitzan is editor of the Echo Press. She joined the company in 1991 as a news reporter. A lifelong resident of Douglas County, Tara graduated from Brandon High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and English with a minor in Scandinavian Studies from Moorhead State University. She and her husband, Dennis, and their children live near Alexandria.

(320) 763-1211