A Hanna man is out $5,000 after falling for a gift card scam, the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office reports.
The 83-year-old man told police he received a call April 11, 2017, from a man claiming to be his grandson. The number the man was calling from was an unknown Texas number. The “grandson” said he had been in an accident and was taken to jail for leaving the scene. He asked the victim to call a bail bondsman in Texas at 1-888-936-7633 to bond him out. The victim called the number and spoke with a man who identified himself as Steve Bradford, who told the victim his “grandson’s” bond was $5,000. He told the victim to buy Target gift cards adding up to that amount, then call back once he had the cards. The victim did so, then called “Steve” back and gave him the information on the cards. “Steve” then told the victim his grandson’s bond would be posted.
“Steve” called the victim again April 12 and said the “grandson” went to court and everything was cleared up, but that the victim needed to send an additional $5,000 to clear his “grandson’s” criminal history record. At that point the victim’s daughter-in-law learned of the incident and told him to call police. He also contacted Target and they provided him with a case number for an investigation they had opened.
The scammers never called his grandson by name or named the jail where he was.
A sheriff’s deputy investigated and learned that the gift cards the victim had purchased were used to their capacity April 11 in Toledo, OH, and Flint, MI.