Northeast Tarrant

Be on alert! The suspect in this familiar scam identifies himself as a police chief

A suspect who identified himself as Police Chief Jeff Gibson attempted to get personal information from a resident in a yet another scam that targeted older people, police said Thursday.

The woman who received the call Tuesday night did not provide any information to the suspect, but called police.

Police on Thursday alerted residents on social media that the police chief or any employee of the police department would never contact residents and request personal information of any kind over the phone.

These types of scams targeting elderly residents are nothing new in Texas or the United States. A 2015 report estimated that older Americans lose $36.5 billion each year to financial scams and abuse.

Each year, one in 18 “cognitively intact” older adults is victim to financial fraud or abuse, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health.

The most recent Bedford scam occurred about 9 p.m. Tuesday night when the woman received a call from a man who identified being from Publishers Clearing House.

The suspect wanted her to confirm the last four numbers of her social security, police said.

The con artist who knew where the woman worked also knew her bank account and routing numbers.

At one point, the suspect asked for her bank password, but she did not provide it.

Then the suspect told the woman that Police Chief Jeff Gibson would call her to approve the personal information request.

Minutes later, a man who identified himself as the police chief called the woman and instructed her to comply with the personal information request.

Anyone who receives a call from police requesting personal information should call Bedford police at 817-952-2127.

Domingo Ramirez Jr.: 817-390-7763,@mingoramirezjr.
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