BBB warns of scammers targeting repeat scam victims

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local woman fell victim to a convincing scam, and now she wants to warn others, so it doesn’t happen to them.

A man sent her an identification trying to prove he’s a legitimate lawyer, and after looking up the name, you’ll find he’s actually the deputy Attorney General of the United States.

But on the ID card, his name was spelled wrong. It’s a fake.

That’s part of what clued in the woman to know that she was being scammed for a second time.

“Last year, she fell for a government grant scam,” said Nancy Crawford Butcher with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South. “It was a typical Facebook government grant offer, where someone she thought was her friend said, ‘Hey I got this grant, you can get it too.'”

Crawford Butcher said the woman ended up sending around $1,000 last year to the person who contacted her on Facebook.

“She never got any grant money in return, so she knew she had fallen for a scam,” Crawford Butcher said.

She was embarrassed after the first time, so she never told anyone.

That’s what clued her in this year when she heard from the supposed lawyer.

“She said, ‘There is no way anybody knows I lost money,'” Crawford Butcher said.

In fact, Crawford Butcher said this happens often. Scammers sell their lists of people they’ve victimized and who’ve proven to be vulnerable.

“They know it’s easier to get someone who’s already been fooled to send them more money,” she said. “We don’t hear about the recovery scams as frequently. If I’ve fallen twice, I’m probably less likely to report that to authorities.”

That’s why this woman’s story is so important. She did come forward to the BBB, who’s now putting out this warning.

BBB officials said you should also report any scam activity to local law enforcement for them to investigate.

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