Scams that rob the elderly

Marie Lowe By Marie Lowe, 23rd Mar 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/588x7a0w/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>True Stories

A Canadian Lottery Scam robbed an elderly Kansas man of thousands of dollars. His daughter tried unsuccessfully for months to stop the scammers.

Man loses over $300,000 to scam

Journalist write many stories about many things.
In October of 2006 I focused on an elderly man in Arkansas City, Kansas who fell victim to a foreign lottery scam. The man, Walter Blevins, lost over $300,000 to people across the world.
Blevins, who is now deceased, was the father of a friend of mine.
His daughter Cynthia, spent a lot of time and effort trying to stop the scammers and retrieve some of her father’s lost funds.
She contacted the local police and spoke with banks and merchants in Arkansas City, begging them not to sell her father any more money orders.

The phone calls start

Blevins was contacted via telephone repeatedly by scammers claiming he had won thousands of dollars.
He would obtain money orders and send them to the address given to him, with the false hope of receiving his money and more back.
"He was told that he only needs to pay taxes on the money and that it will be delivered to him," said Cynthia.
A man claiming his name was Dean Stockwell with the Canadian Postal Service would call Mr. Blevins.
One day he claimed he was being held in Wichita by immigration at the Mid-Continent Airport until the rest of the taxes on the prize money had been paid.
He requested that Blevins go to the airport and pick him up. From there Stockwell claimed the pair would go to the bank and deposit the checks that immigration was supposedly holding.
Stockwell also indicated that Blevins had previously paid in too much money and that all employees who were trying to scam him out of his money had been fired."

The man's daughter seeks a solution

Cynthia contacted the local police and shared her father's story. They in turn contacted the Kansas Attorney General's office and told her they would take it from there. As time passed her father continued to send money and she continued to run into brick walls trying to get something done, all while Stockwell was keeping in touch with her dad, and taking his money.
Frustrated and fed up with the lack of help from authorities, she turned to the Internet seeking a solution.
She ended up contacting the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a Canadian non-profit group called Phone Busters.
"They responded immediately,” she said. They contacted us from time to time to see if scammers had contacted us again.”
Cynthia also took preventive measures to keep the problem from growing by listing her father's phone number on the National Do Not Call list, installed Caller ID, and blocked all calls unless they were identified.
But the calls kept coming. This time a man calling himself Mr. P called the residence. She was able to look up the number on the Internet and send the information to Phone Busters.
After stealing thousands of dollars from her father, the scammers then attempted another type of scam called "reloading."
This is when a scam is presented as a way to help the victim retrieve their lost money for a fee.
In the end, Cynthia's father lost his life savings, mortgaged his house which he paid cash for, and was forced to take out numerous loans. "He was barely able to make all of his payments on what little pension and social security he received,” said Cynthia.

The pain lingers on

The Kansas City Star did an article on the story on Sept. 2, 2006 in an attempt to educate people about phone scams.
It has been nearly 10 years since this happened and today Cynthia is still shocked that her father fell for the scams.
“He was a penny pincher all of his life,” she said.
For more information on Phonebusters, log onto www.phonebusters.com.
For more information on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police log onto www.rcmpgrc.gc.ca/
Also log onto www.consumeraffairs.com for more information on scams and links to other sites concerning scams.

Tags

Canadian Lottery Scam, Phone Scams

Meet the author

author avatar Marie Lowe
I earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma.
My motto- Life is like a marathon, the closer you get to the end, the more it hurts.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

Much needed information! Thanks!

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author avatar Deepizzaguy
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

It is a shame that con artists steal from senior citizens from their hard earned money they worked for all of their lives.

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author avatar Carol Roach
23rd Mar 2015 (#)

very good article, the elderly are the most vulnerable to these kinds of scams

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author avatar WOGIAM
24th Mar 2015 (#)

What a sad thing to happen, this scam to the elderly and vulnerable is becoming very common these days, people need to be careful.

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