JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police in Jacksonville are trying to identify a man who exploited an 82-year-old woman.
Police said the woman was at her home when two people came to her door. They knew her name and address.
One of them presented a badge and requested that she assist them in an effort to combat identity theft by taking them to a bank and withdrawing a certain amount of money, police said. They told her that in appreciation for her efforts, she would receive a $1,000 reward.
The two people drove her in their car to a VyStar Credit Union on Beach Boulevard. The man in a surveillance photo provided by police walked into the bank with the victim for the withdrawals from a checking and savings account.
The victim said that the money was put into two envelopes and somehow the exploiters gained control of the envelopes, swapped the money for paper clippings, and returned the envelopes to the victim. The victim was told that they would return later that night to give her the reward, police said. They said she did not notice the money was gone until later in the day.
The victim's total loss was $8,500.
Channel 4's Crime Analyst, Ken Jefferson said there were a few things that happened to this victim that can act as lessons to other potential victims.
"The thing to remember is, if you're not expecting anyone at your house, don't answer the door. That' the first rule of thumb, but most elderly people will get up and answer the door," said Jefferson. "A badge in the hand being presented to you at the door is very compelling. However, you can always call the bank to verify if there's an investigation with your account or if there's a rep from the bank at your house. There's always ways you can find out if these persons are legitimate."
Anyone with any information in regards to the man's identity is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
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