Scam costs Versailles woman $40,000
A Versailles woman has been bilked out of $40,000 by complying with demands from a scammer.
According to court documents, the woman (who we are not identifying due to her being a victim), fell prey to a telephone scheme. She received a call saying she had purchased a Mac Book from her Amazon Account and was asked to call a number that was left on her cell phone.
When she returned the call, the ball was rolling. During a nearly 50-minute phone conversation, she was transferred multiple times, finally speaking with another woman who said she was Jennifer Hayes with the Federal Trade Commission and gave an ID number. Hayes told the victim she was suspected of multiple criminal charges and would need to pay one of their agents $40,000 cash immediately. The caller had information on the victim’s bank accounts and told her exactly how much to withdraw from each account – two were her and her husband’s personal accounts and two were accounts from an organization she worked for.
The victim later would tell police that she went to the banks as commanded and made the withdraws. She was provided with a place she should meet the “federal agent” and pay the money. She placed the cash in a bag as requested and took it to the designated meeting place, where the cash was handed over. There was a man who flashed a badge (supposedly FTC), who stated he was an agent but could not talk to her. She was to just put the money in the back seat of the vehicle he was driving.
That man was later identified as Hiren J. Patel, 32, of Columbus, OH, who has been charged with Impersonation of a Public Servant and Fraud. He was arrested and as of Monday, December 18 federal agents came to transport him from the Ripley County Jail to another facility. Through Indiana State Police investigation, Patel was connected with the crime and driving the car that came for the money. Also noted in the Affidavit for Probable Cause, Patel has a criminal history that includes Grand Larceny in Nassau County, New York, among other crimes.
When the victim, who is 66 years of age, returned home she confessed to her husband and children what had just taken place. They felt it was a scam and police were notified. The original incident took place in September, but the charges have just been filed in Ripley County after a lengthy investigation.
Editor’s Note: Scams like these are ongoing and everyone is susceptible. Those perpetrating the scams are smooth and know exactly what to say to cause panic and make someone who would never do something like this a perfect target.