Scam Alert! Hit and Run Scam can Snare Elderly Drivers
Elderly drivers have long been a target of scammers who prey on the confusion and worries that some older drivers might have about their degrading skills.
Here is an example of such a scam that took place in Leesburg, Florida, late last year. A 21-year-old woman named Alexis Deshai Carter was arrested for defrauding elderly drivers by demanding money to pay for damage to her car caused by the victims who she claimed hit her car and then drove off.
In one incident, Leesburg police say that Carter followed an elderly driver home and confronted her in the victim’s driveway, saying that the older driver hit Carter’s car while leaving the parking lot of a nearby shopping mall. When the victim denied the charge, Carter threatened the driver, saying her husband was a police officer and she would be charged with hit-an-run.
Carter said she wanted to be paid for the damage, but her mechanic wouldn’t take checks. Carter offered that the woman could pay in Wal-Mart gift cards and that she needed about $200 to repair the damage. The victim paid Carter $200.
Police say Carter had pulled the same scam on a number of other elderly drivers. They have come forward with similar stories of a demand for money because of an alleged hit-and-run.
If you think that a relative of yours may have been scammed in a similar manner, call the local police immediately and explain to them what is happening. Here are some tips to avoid being scammed that you can share with your loved ones:
- Never allow elderly loved ones to give money to anyone who is accusing them of being involved of an accident or of breaking the law. Make sure they speak to a relative, friend, neighbor or a caregiver before making any decisions;
- If an accident has taken place, always make sure that you contact an insurance company, get a quote and the appropriate independent advice for your loved one.
Published February 7, 2011