Woman has $35,000 stolen through phone fraud

A woman from Williamson County lost $35,000 in a phone scam.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 8:42 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:22 PM CDT
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MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - A Williamson County woman had $35,000 stolen through phone fraud.

The arrested, Samir Mehta, posted bond and is not in jail currently.

Marion Police Department Chief David Fitts described the scam:

“He gave her all these instructions, he would not let her get off the phone. Said you will stay on the phone the entire time. You’re to go to your bank...withdraw this money...then return home then when you get home, I want you to send me a picture of your house, picture of your front porch, and a picture of the money in an envelope,” said Fitts.

The chief said that he also feels a bit emotional about it as well.

He said, “I thought about my mother and it, we all got pretty mad. We all made a plan and went into action.”

That action included having two detectives go undercover at the woman’s bank and house after the caller reached out for a second time demanding $55,000. The police arrested Mehta at the victim’s house.

Whitney Quick, with the Better Business Bureau gave tips on how to avoid a situation like this.

“Some tips to prevent this...never answer the phone if you don’t know the phone number, if it’s important they will leave you a message,” she said. “Always be weary of unsolicited calls, unsolicited emails, things like that. Never click a link, because that could download information, malware on you computer and open you up for scammers, identity theft.”

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