United States Attorney’s Office Gets $50,000 of Elderly Scam Money Returned

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that his Office recently facilitated the return of $50,000 to an elderly scam victim in Florida.  The scam was identified in conjunction with the United States Attorney’s Office Elder Justice Initiative.  The victim had wired $50,000 to a bank account in the Southern District of West Virginia.  Investigators with Stuart’s office reached out to the West Virginia citizen whose name was on the account and who was suspected of receiving fraudulent funds.  The West Virginia citizen, also a victim of other online scams, was being used by scammers as a middle person and received the $50,000, which was to be forwarded to the scammers.  The West Virginia individual agreed to allow the bank to return the funds to the Florida victim. 
“Those who scam, steal and defraud our seniors are the lowest form of humanity,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Preying on the vulnerable and the trusting is detestable, despicable and diabolical.  If you suspect you are the target of a scammer or fraudster, it is important you report the activity.  We will do all we can to find the perpetrators and hold them accountable.”
Every day, elderly individuals become victims of scams online, through the mail, and through cell phone calls and texts.  If you’re the victim of a scam, or suspect that a friend or relative has become the victim of a scam, don’t be embarrassed.  You are not alone.  Speak out and tell someone.  Notify area law enforcement.  Here are some tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from financial scams:


  • Know that wiring money is like sending cash
  • Don’t send money to someone you don’t know
  • Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information
  • Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back for anyone
  • Know that fraudsters will pose on the internet as interested romantic partners
  • Know the federal government will never call you on the phone and ask for personal information
  • After a disaster, give only to established charities
  • Talk to your doctor before you buy health products or treatments
  • Have a plan in place in case a medical emergency arises
  • Order a credit report from one of the three credit reporting agencies, and freeze your credit so no additional lines of credit can be opened in your name.
  • Discuss the situation with your adult children.
  • Do not send any money to the scammers, or agree to be a middle person receiving and forwarding on money to the scammers, even if they sound convincing.


Visit https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice for more information.


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