(PresidentialHill.com)- As a general rule of thumb, if you’re going to scam old people over the phone, it might not be such a good idea to target someone who is a former FBI and CIA director.
Back in 2014, a Jamaican scammer who identified himself as David had called the Phoenix, Arizona home of 98-year-old former FBI and CIA Director William Webster and his wife Lynda.
The scammer informed the Websters that William won a sweepstakes prize of a car and millions of dollars, but there was a catch. To collect the winnings, Webster was told he had to pay “David” $50,000. When William and Lynda refused to pay, things got ugly.
According to Lynda, the scammer started to get violent, threatening to come to their house and burn it down and suggesting the white brick of their home would “look lovely” with Lynda’s brains on the wall.
But unlike most victims of Elder Fraud, Lynda and William took action. They contacted the FBI, supplying them with evidence that enabled authorities to track down “David” in Jamaica. He was later apprehended while visiting the United States and is now serving time in prison.
Though the Websters’ case is eight years old, it is being used by the FBI to help promote awareness about Elder Fraud.
According to the FBI’s 2021 Elder Fraud Report, there were over 90,000 cases of scammers targeting the elderly with phone scams, totaling losses of more than a billion dollars. That is a 74 percent increase since 2020.
According to the FBI, victims of Elder Fraud often refuse to report the crime to law enforcement out of embarrassment at being conned.
The Websters are joining the effort to encourage families to get involved and help protect their parents or grandparents from phone scams.
In 2019, the FBI released a public service announcement featuring the Websters’ case.
Watch it HERE.