The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be aware of scammers targeting elderly residents.
It’s a scam that’s been reported before. They say scammers are calling elderly residents pretending to be a niece, nephew or grandchild. The scammers say that they were either in an accident or in jail and need help posting bond. The scammers then have a “lawyer”, “public defender” or “bondsman” come on the phone and tell the victim to withdraw cash from the bank and then wait for further instructions. Scammers are having the victim place the cash on the front step of their home or telling them to hand it directly to a “courier” or “bondsman” that physically shows up at the victim’s home. Typically, scammers have had the victim wire, mail or pay via gift cards, but with this new scam, the scammers are showing up at the home, possibly to add some legitimacy when speaking with the victim.
When someone receives a call like this, it is best to hang up and try to verify with family members that another family member is actually in legal trouble and/or needing a “bond” posted.
This scam has reportedly occurred in Dubuque County, Hardin County, Jasper County and now Buchanan County. The Sheriff’s Office says one Buchanan County resident lost a significantly large amount of money in a scam like this after being told a nephew was in a car accident in another state and was arrested.
Authorities have identified a possible suspect vehicle – a white or lighter-colored car or small SUV – and the driver was described as a white male with a thin/average build.
If anyone has any information regarding these types of occurrences, please contact the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 334-2568 or your local law enforcement agency.