I Wanna Know: Fraud against the elderly - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

I Wanna Know: Fake electronics

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Kecee Lewis Kecee Lewis

Kecee Lewis recently ran for Lake Charles City Council and though he wasn't elected, people who got to know him have come to ask him for help with various problems, including a scam that surfaced in the area last week.

"I want to know what elderly people can do if they were victims of fraud," he said.

Lewis poses that question after hearing from an elderly couple and an individual who were reportedly approached by a man in the local Best Buy parking lot. They were reportedly offered a "good deal" if they'd pay cash for what the man claimed to have bought on his Best Buy card.

Lewis said the man gave the people a sob story.

"He gave them a story saying he was from Florida. He just came out of the store and bought the laptop and bought the iPad, and just received news that his mother died. He didn't have enough cash money to make it back to Florida, so he was going to sell the stuff that he just purchased. He had the receipt for it. He said he purchased it on his Best Buy card and he said all he needed was $700 to get back home so he sold them the iPad and the laptop," he said.

Lewis said the couple went to the bank and got $700 to pay.

"Immediately the guy said, 'Thank you so much. God's going to bless you.' And he left immediately and he said he was on his way back to Florida to meet his family and to take care of his dead mother," Lewis said.

And Lewis said the individual paid $200 for what turned out to be a piece of glass disguised as an iPad.

"Whenever you open up the iPad, it looks legit. It looks 100 percent real. Whenever you open it up, take the bubble wrapper off, you notice that it's just a piece of glass or a glass frame with bubble wrap over with duct tape over it with an Apple sticker and with Best Buy display item. My reaction, if I'm an elderly couple that just lost $700, on a fixed income, that I've been saving for six months to get a graduation present …  I'm outraged. I mean, I might end up having to go to the hospital behind a heart attack," he said.

Mark Judson with the Southwest Louisiana Law center said the first thing that victims should do is report the crime to law enforcement.

"Well, if you don't report it, there's no record. And if there's no record, there's no way for law enforcement to identify trends to spot activity to be aware of the potential trend. There's just not much in the way of a civil remedy that is available to a person like this, so if you're the victim of this type of a crime, the best thing you can do is try to prevent it from happening to other innocent people," he said.

Also, laptops and iPads come in boxes in not bubble wrap. Lewis said the con-artist was in red a red car with Florida tags. For more advice from Mark Judson, go to www.kplctv.com and look for our web extra.

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