People in Madison, Morgan counties lose life savings in phone scam

A recent phone scam in North Alabama is targeting the elderly.

Posted: Oct 10, 2021 4:06 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2021 12:27 PM

The elderly in Madison County are being targeted by a phone scam.

According to the Madison County Sheriff's Office, about $200,000 has been stolen in Madison and Morgan counties this past week. 

People are getting calls from someone who's supposedly an attorney, saying their loved one's been arrested and needs financial help. Brent Patterson, a spokesman for Madison County Sheriff's Office, said it's very convincing, because the scammers have done their homework.

"The criminals know who they’re talking to," he said. "They know names, they know families, they know relationships, they know employment — they know everything before they make that phone call."

The scammers are primarily targeting the elderly with the recent scam. It's causing some people in North Alabama to lose their entire life savings. 

Patterson said the scammers intentionally pull on their victims' heartstrings.

“They love their family with all they have," he said. "So, when you’ve got someone saying, ‘Hey, this is your grandson, and I’m in jail, and if I don’t have X amount of money, I’m not ever going to get out of jail again,’ it sends them into a panic."

Patterson said the scammers are very smart and well-spoken, making it more difficult to detect compared to other spam phone calls. He said it's sad to see someone lose their life savings to one of these scammers.

If you receive one of these calls and aren't sure if it's legitimate or not, Patterson advised calling the jail that the loved one is supposedly being held in, and calling a local law enforcement agency to get involved as well.

“They’re going to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he said. "We want them to feel the same way they’re treating our victims in our community."

Patterson also said to just trust your instincts and hang up if you believe you're being targeted. 

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