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HomeNewsElderly Grovetown Woman Falls Victim to $22,000 Gift Card Scam

Elderly Grovetown Woman Falls Victim to $22,000 Gift Card Scam

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An 81-year-old Grovetown woman became the victim of a sophisticated scam that drained her of approximately $22,000 over a span of several days.

The incident, reported to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, unfolded between June 27 and June 29, leaving the victim deeply shaken and financially devastated.

The scam began when she encountered a pop-up message on her computer claiming it had been hacked. The message instructed her to call a toll-free number supposedly linked to Microsoft for assistance. Desperate to regain control of her computer, the woman complied.

Upon calling the number, she spoke with a man identifying himself as Daniel Bryan. Bryan convinced the victim that her computer had been hacked multiple times and assured her that he could resolve the issue. He also mentioned that the banking department would contact her once the problem was fixed.

Soon after her initial call, the victim received a follow-up call from a woman identifying herself as Paige Smith. Smith informed the elderly woman that in order to receive a refund for the supposed security breach, she would need to purchase gift cards totaling approximately $22,000 from retailers such as Apple, eBay, and Walmart. Smith instructed the victim to provide the account numbers from the purchased gift cards as proof of purchase for the refund process.

Unaware of the scam unfolding, the woman complied and used her Capital One and Chase credit cards, as well as her Truist Bank debit card, to purchase the gift cards. She recounted that each time she bought the gift cards, Smith would promptly request the card numbers, further solidifying the victim’s belief that she was on track to recover her lost funds.

It wasn’t until several transactions later that the victim began to realize she had been deceived. By then, the scammers had vanished, leaving the woman to grapple with the devastating financial repercussions of their deceit.

The victim’s ordeal serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by sophisticated scams that prey on trust and exploit vulnerabilities within our community.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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