Police: Man posing as officer tries to scam senior citizen | Crime
The Columbia Police Department is investigating allegations that a man tried to impersonate a police officer in an attempt to scam a senior citizen out of money.
Police say the incident occurred Monday around 2:30 p.m.
The elderly victim told police that a man approached him outside of his Oak Street home and stated that he worked with crime prevention. Police say the man did not name a specific law enforcement agency.
According to police, the suspect told the victim his name was ‘Ferguson’ and that there had been drug activity in the area.
As part of the scam, the man stated that he had information that two of the drug suspects lived at the victim’s residence.
The man further advised that the victim’s bank account had been hacked and someone tried to steal several thousand dollars, police say.
The report said when the victim asked the man for identification, he stated that he left it in his vehicle.
Police say the man allegedly pulled up his shirt and showed the elderly man a gold badge with blue lettering that read “Crime Suppression.”
The suspect then told the victim that an investigator wanted to talk with him at the bank and offered him a ride to the location. The victim declined and he saw the man get into his vehicle and drive in the direction of Green Street, the report stated.
Police describe the suspect as a black male, possibly in his mid 40s, wearing blue or gray slacks, light blue shirt, and a ball cap.
The vehicle is described as a gray or light-colored Mercedes Benz (no known model).
Chief Scott encourages residents to call CPD at 545-3500 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME-SC if they have experienced a similar incident.
Chief Scott says, “Door-to-door scams are common among retirement-age citizens. Scammers know that these residents are more likely to be home and not busy at work. They are also less likely to be rude and not listen to the scammer.”
- If someone comes to your home, do not feel obligated to answer the door.
- If you feel uncomfortable, call 9-1-1.
- Do not invite strangers into your home.
- Do not discuss personal bank information with strangers.
- Do not give money to strangers.
- If someone claims to be in law enforcement, ask to see identification. If identification is not provided, call 9-1-1.
- Try to get a description of the suspect including any possibly vehicle information.
- Report suspicious activity to police immediately.