The phone calls were ominous but believable and resulted in people conned out of huge amounts of money. Inspectors realized it was one woman who ran the more than decade-long scam that preyed on unsuspecting elderly victims when they caught her on camera.
Inspectors say they captured Teresa Moore on surveillance, entering a store to pick up cash from a wire transfer.
"We've kind of determined she has been scamming people for at least 10-15 years," said U.S. Postal Inspector Dan Taylor.
He says Moore scammed many people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. One victim was an elderly woman caring for here mentally-challenged daughter.
"Teresa Moore convinced her that her daughter had been arrested but that she had taken care of posting her bail and then asked our victim to reimburse her or else her daughter would be re-arrested," explained Taylor.
The mother was suspicious, but she was also frightened and concerned, and inspectors say Moore seized on that fear.
"This led to several more phone calls and some of her associates posing as a detectives, attorneys, other people, and ultimately convinced our victim to turn over $20,000," said Taylor.
The second victim was an elderly man Moore met on a dating website.
"She convinced him he had been a victim of ID Theft and that he had various legal settlements coming as a result of that," Taylor explained.
He lost $120,000.
"With each of these victims they are angry they have been scammed and also ashamed that they fell for this. But now they know better," added Taylor.
Investigators say one of Moore's own decisions led to her capture.
"She would have them wire transfer the money to her. That is actually part of how we caught her. We had surveillance video of Teresa Moore picking up several of these wired transfers and we used that evidence to help prove the case," Taylor explained.
Moore was sentenced to almost four years in prison as a result of her conviction in this case and she will owe $86,000 in restitution to the victims.
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