Phone scam targets elderly residents in Pinellas County

Posted at 4:49 PM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 17:05:28-04

Pinellas County sheriff's detectives are encouraging the public to be on alert to a financial scam targeting elderly residents.

At least three people in Pinellas County have been hoodwinked in the past week by a scammer pretending to be a representative of their financial institution.

They were told their debit cards needed to be changed to new chip cards, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office news release states. The caller offered to send a bank representative to the victims' homes to resolve the issue.

On at least one occasion, the would-be financial institution representative showed up to exchange the debit card and the card's PIN number. The woman who showed up promised the victim would receive a new chip card in the mail.

Instead, the victim's debit card was used immediately. Money was withdrawn from the victim's account and gift cards were purchased from local retail stores.

The person who went to the victim's home was described as a black woman, approximately 30 years old, and 5-foot-7 with a thin build. 

Deputies advise residents to never give personal or account information over the phone unless they initiate the phone call. If someone visits your home claiming to be from your bank, do not provide them with any personal information or property such as debit or credit cards.