DA: Armstrong County rife with senior citizen scams
Senior citizens need to be on the alert.
According to Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi, con artists have been targeting elderly victims in the county.
“Every year, we see a problem,” said Andreassi. “But they (scammers) are increasing in number and in the way they're attacking.”
One of the most common methods being used by criminals is done off-shore by telephone.
“They tell you you've won something and ask you to buy a cash card at a place like Wal-Mart,” said Andreassi.
He said victims are told to call and give the card number to the person on the other end of the phone.
“By the time people realize they've been ripped off — days, weeks and even months may have gone by,” said Andreassi.
And by then, it's often too late to trace, since many of these types of scams originate in countries such as India, Russia and China. Often the operation is only up for a few days before moving on.
“Once they identify you as a target, you become a rich target for other scammers,” said Andreassi.
He said he believes that's what happened in the case of an elderly couple in Armstrong County who were scammed out of $80,000 over a period of a year.
“It's so disheartening to have to tell people who have worked their whole lives to make this money, that there is nothing you can do,” said Andreassi.
An Allegheny County cab driver was recently in the news for thwarting a scam attempt against an 82-year-old man who was taking the cab to purchase a cash card.
“It was very fortunate for that man that the cab driver was so astute,” said Andreassi.
Another common scam claims that a family member is being held in jail in another state and needs money to post bail.
A lot of these scammers take advantage of victims by playing on people's sympathy, he said.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank adds chief financial officer Lutovsky
- Apollo-Ridge Education Foundation donates $12,000 to revamping middle school library
- Soldier from Pottstown died Sunday in fiery crash near Martinsburg, W.Va.
- Protesters won’t be thanking Wal-Mart
- Newsmaker: Daniel Eichinger
- ‘Memory Tree’ tradition to return to Mt. Pleasant hospital
- Mt. Pleasant authority approves 2015 spending plan
- Mt. Pleasant center celebrates 40th anniversary
- Mt. Pleasant Township boy, horse place 1st at PA 4-H states
- Fatal crash closes Flight 93 chapel in Somerset County
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby