Hingham senior outsmarts scammer, prompts police warning

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HINGHAM — A 94-year-old resident narrowly avoided becoming the victim of a scam, thanks to her quick thinking and the intervention of local police.

On Feb. 2, the senior from Linden Ponds sought help from the Hingham Police Department while the scammer was still on the line with her.

The woman reported that she had received an email that morning, claiming her bank account had been hacked.

Following the email’s instructions, she called a phone number provided and was directed to a website, potentially giving the scammer remote access to her computer.

The unidentified male scammer instructed her to withdraw $1,000 from her bank, specifying she should visit a branch outside of Linden Ponds to avoid recognition by bank staff who might identify the scam.

During the transaction, she was to remain on the phone with him and claim the money was for a vacation if questioned.

After withdrawing the money from a different branch, the scammer then instructed her to deposit the cash at a Weymouth gas station ATM.

However, fearing a robbery, the elderly woman drove to the police station instead.

The scammer, who had been on the phone for over three hours, hung up when he learned of her location.

Attempts to call back were unsuccessful as the number was out of service.

The police department is sharing the details of this incident to raise awareness of the methods used by scammers, such as isolation, gaining remote computer access, and requiring secrecy.

They advise residents, especially seniors, to be vigilant and discuss these scams with friends and family.

Hingham Police have given recent presentations on common scams at Linden Ponds and the Senior Center and plan to continue these educational efforts.

They recommend ignoring suspicious emails and calls, and if there is concern about a financial institution’s communication, to contact them using established contact information from personal statements or cards.

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