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Elderly woman falls for scam, loses thousands of dollars

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BROWN DEER (WITI) -- An 87-year-old woman who thought her bank was contacting her ended up losing thousands of dollars in a scam.

The woman, who will only be identified as Betty, has been keeping a close eye on her finances since her husband died in February.

A phone call in April set the stage for a horrible scam.

"He said that he was security or something for the bank," said Betty.

The caller, who knew which bank Betty used, and the names of her family members, told her that her account had been compromised. After a couple conversations, he convinced Betty to visit the US Bank in Brown Deer.

"He says I want you to go to the bank and make out a check for $5,400," recalled Betty.

The man then persuaded Betty to meet him in a Menards parking lot and hand over her money.

"My mother is an honest person. She feels people are honest, and she learned a major lesson," said Betty's son, John.

John believes the scammer targeted his mother after seeing his father's obituary.

"She had a bad day that day. This guy was convincing," said John.

Brown Deer police say scammers who target the elderly usually aren't from the area, which makes it difficult to prosecute them.

"They travel around the whole country perpetrating their scams," said Brown Deer Police Officer Mark Rooney.

Rooney also said the scam artists usually target the elderly because they have a harder time giving a description.

"They don't have the best memories so it's hard for them to look at a picture and remember if that's the person they saw or not," said Rooney.

Betty chose to share her story as a warning to others.

"Don't fall for anything you don't really and truly understand," warns Betty.

Authorities say if you're ever questioning a situation to call the police, consumer protection, or your bank, if that's who the person claims to represent.

The suspect in Betty's case has not been caught.

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