An 82-year-old woman narrowly avoided being scammed out of thousands of dollars by two men posing as Fort Worth officers working a forgery case.
According to a police report, the woman received a call Thursday morning from a man purporting to be a Fort Worth police officer.
The “officer” told the woman that he had a couple in custody who had forged two checks, including one for $9,000, from the woman’s bank account. The suspects, he told the woman, may have also given her counterfeit money.
It’s unclear how the men found the woman they were trying to scam.
The woman told the “officer” that she did have several thousand dollars and read the serial numbers so he could determine whether the money was counterfeit.
The “officer” asked the woman to take the money to a Taco Bueno on Hulen Bend Boulevard to meet with a second officer.
There, the woman met in the parking lot with a neatly dressed man who appeared to be about 30. He also identified himself as an “officer” and claimed to be talking on the phone to his supervisor, the other man.
The second man asked the woman to give him the $6,000 she’d brought so he could exchange the counterfeit bills for “good” money.
When the woman asked for the “good” money first, the man said he would give it to her in a few days. The man began pulling on the woman’s car door handle, but she refused to unlock the door.
The man eventually walked around the corner of the building, disappearing.
According to the woman’s son, who contacted police, the suspects appear to have tried to call her cellphone and home phone several times from blocked numbers, the report says.
Daniel Segura, a police spokesman, said Fort Worth had some officer impersonation cases last year but have had none similar to the one reported Thursday.
“A legitimate police officer will never ask anyone for money or cash, especially over the phone or at a suspicious location,” Segura said.
Segura said most officers who interact with residents will be in uniform with a badge pinned to their chest and shoulder patches identifying their agency. And they will drive marked police cars with red, blue and white strobe lights mounted on top, on the grille or on the dashboard.
If residents suspect they have encountered a fake officer, they should call 911, give their location and ask the call taker to confirm that they’ve been pulled over or detained by a legitimate officer, Segura said.
“If you are driving and it is readily apparent that a car that is not equipped with standard red, blue and white strobes is attempting to pull you over, call 911 and drive to a well-lit, populated area,” Segura said.