An 81-year-old Martinez man lost a ton of money to scammers.
Here is the report from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Report with the victim’s name changed to Smith to protect his identity.
“I responded to the listed address and met with Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith stated on November 22nd he opened an email that said the sender was Norton Antivirus stating it was time to renew his service.
Mr. Smith stated he called the number on the email and spoke with someone named Charlie. Mr. Smith stated he told Charlie that he wanted to cancel his subscription. Mr. Smith stated that Charlie told him that he needed to click on the link in the email to cancel it and that he would reimburse him $200.
Mr. Smith stated Charlie talked him through the process over the phone and then Charlie became upset stating that he accidently reimbursed Mr. Smith $20,000 instead of $200. Mr. Smith stated Charlie told him he would be fired if he didn`t get the money back. Mr. Smith stated he checked his Wells Fargo bank account and there was a $20,000 deposit pending.
Mr. Smith stated Charlie told him to go to several stores in the area and put $500 on each card. Mr. Smith stated Charlie stayed on the phone with him while he went to several stores and put $500 on 5 Visa cards and then gave Charlie the Visa card information. Mr. Smith stated Charlie told him to go to other stores and repeat the process, but Mr. Smith refused and hung up the phone.
Mr. Smith stated Charlie called him back and asked him to wire $15,000 to an international bank and Mr. Smith stated he refused. Mr. Smith stated he agreed to send $15,000 in cash instead. Mr. Smith stated he withdrew $15000 in cash and mailed it to an address in Texas that Charlie provided. Mr. Smith stated on November 23rd he and his son checked the delivery status of the cash and it showed it was delivered to the address.
Mr. Smith stated he received a call on the same day from an individual who stated he was with the Federal Government and that they intercepted the package of $15,000 and told him it was illegal to send funds like that through the mail and that they were keeping the cash and disconnected.
Mr. Smith stated he has contacted his bank and locked his accounts. Mr. Smith stated that he will prosecute and was advised of available services and remedies.”