Daughter: Fake attorney scams Jacksonville grandmother out of $4K

86-year-old woman told her grandson was in jail

By Corley Peel - Reporter, Nick Jones - Digital producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An elderly woman in Jacksonville was scammed out of thousands of dollars, after receiving a call from a fake attorney saying her grandson was in jail, the woman's daughter told News4Jax.

Carlene Platt told News4Jax the scammer demanded her 86-year-old mother pay $4,000 using Walmart gift cards to bail her grandson out.

"I feel like these people -- these scammers are preying on the elderly," Platt said. "They preyed on my mother, and it's not right and something needs to be done."

Platt said her mother gave the numbers on the back of the gift cards to pay the fake attorney. Soon after, her mother realized something wasn't right, and she went back to the Walmart.

Walmart staff told Platt's mother there was nothing they could do, as funds on the gift cards had almost been depleted.

"There was only 10 cents left on all four gift cards," Platt said.

A spokesperson for Walmart said the company will work with police to try and help the woman who was scammed. According to federal law, identification is not required when purchasing gift cards under $5,000.

Platt's mother filed a police report, which was provided. Platt said there needs to be stricter guidelines to protect elderly people from getting scammed.

News4Jax found some places in Jacksonville do have stricter guidelines. Publix requires customers to show identification and fill out a form if purchasing gift cards over $3,000. Walgreens only allows customers to buy up to $500 in gift cards per person, per day.

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