FRANKLIN, Ind. - A Franklin police officer is being praised for his work in helping an 84-year-old woman get $8,000 back she was scammed out of.
"Typically on a lot of these frauds that are out of state it’s difficult to track them down and the money is already spent," Franklin Police Officer Ryan Mears said. "It was really nice to be able to help someone and have one of these cases work out like it (did.)"
Officer Mears got the call last Thursday and responded to the 84-year-old's house.
She explained scammers called her and told her granddaughter had been in a car accident and that she was in jail. Acting as her attorney, the scammers told the woman they need $4,000 in Best Buy gift cards to get her out of jail and another $4,000 for court fees.
“They try to get you upset so that your emotion overrides your logic and you’re more concerned about your relative than what you are of what you’re really about to do," Mears said.
The woman told Mears she had avoided being a victim of scams in the past, but this time the scammers knew her granddaughter's name and where she lived.
“Even answered the phone as the attorney so she thought it was legitimate," Mears said.
The woman bought the gift cards and told the scammers the numbers on the cards over the phone. After that the scammers stopped answering and the woman reached out to her granddaughter. After learning her granddaughter was just fine, the woman reached out to police.
“What was great about that is because she did that generally pretty quickly we were able to help her get some of her funds back," Mears said. "If she had waited longer than there would have been no chance for us to get those cards back because they would have been spent."
Mears spent four hours on the phone with Best Buy's corporate office to get the funds back to the 84-year-old.
Mears hopes other scam victims take this as a lesson to always report these cases to police, even if you are embarrassed, because police can often help in these situations.