Elderly Hanna man loses $5,000 in gift card scam

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.

6 Responses to “Elderly Hanna man loses $5,000 in gift card scam”

  1. Mel

    Apr 18. 2017

    I am sorry for the victim but needing Target cards for bond. I see the Target bullseye clearly telling me something is not right. And shame on Target for not getting involved in that huge giftcard sale to an older gentleman.

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  2. lawman

    Apr 18. 2017

    guess the old gentleman did not know his grandson well enough to ask a few questions or recognize his voice. a lot of ”ifs” in these stories. agree with Mel on Target not questioning 5k worth of cards.

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  3. Name (required)

    Apr 18. 2017

    I work retail and we can only sale 2000 to a person In a day or that federal money laundering

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  4. From Laporte

    Apr 18. 2017

    The same thing happened 2 years ago to an elderly Laporte friend but after he purchased the cards, he decided to stop at his sons house to see if he knew about the grandson’s “arrest” and found his grandson at home – safe & sound. He was lucky. This is a very common scam.

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  5. FRED

    Apr 18. 2017

    MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW’S PARENTS HAD THE IDENTICAL TYPE OF SCAN LAST WEEK BUT CALLED THE POLICE AND DID NOT GET SCAMMED.

    Reply to this comment
  6. john

    Apr 24. 2017

    This article was of GREAT help, as the same thing was attempted on my mom today, and almost successfully executed… Similar scenario, her nephew was in jail on a DUI… Same phone # and attorney name Steve Bradford, regarding bond and to clear her “grandson’s” criminal history record . My poor mom was a nervous wreck from the call… She was instructed to go to the bank a withdraw $5,000, and that someone would make contact. Just fortunate she requested an informed neighbor to drive her, and she thought to call before acting… Police were contacted after, but based on what they deal with, really had little interest other than to confirm it was a scam… Let’s continue to get the word out

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