Back in October, an elderly woman almost lost thousands of dollars after her son passed away, because of a scam.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office told WAAY 31 they deal with unbelievable scams all the time, but one of the most recent ones was especially shocking because the person behind the scam was also behind bars, and the woman who was going to lose her money had already lost enough.
“It’s very sad that they preyed upon someone in such a very hard time," a community member told WAAY 31. "I mean, she already had a lot to deal with with losing her son.”
“It costs so much to bury somebody, and you’re already hurting because you’re missing your family and it’s just sad," Edith Owens added.
Many in Limestone County told WAAY 31 they’re shocked and saddened to hear about this scam that happened back in October.
According to the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, a woman had just received a death benefit after losing her son when she got a phone call saying she had been given too much money and was told she had to pay it back.
Deputies say the phone call was not legitimate, and the person behind the call was 35-year-old Ronnie Coleman, who is currently in prison for manslaughter.
Officials go on to say Coleman told the victim over the phone he was the sheriff’s nephew, and he was going to send two of his “employees” to meet her and get the money.
The two women, later identified as Letia Hammons and Constance Hammond, showed up with fake name badges and took the victim to a local check cashing place, where the manager refused to cash the check.
They tried several other places as well, but were unsuccessful each time.
The sheriff’s office says the last attempt should have been a big red flag.
“No legitimate agency, no legitimate organization—private or public—if you owe them money, is going to ask you to give them some type of payment that can’t be tracked like that," said Limestone County public information officer Stephen Young.
But the scammers are pretty convincing, using personal information and local numbers to make you think they’re legitimate.
One community member says she can relate because her mother-in-law and her nephew have been scammed.
“They called him and told him he owed taxes and he actually went through with it," she said.
Deputies say they want the public to know about this particular scam because they’re afraid there are more victims.
And community members agree it’s important to get the word out and keep others from falling into the trap.
“I try to tell them to just hang the phone up, report it to the police, because they’re just out to get free money.”
The sheriff’s office tells WAAY 31 the reason we’re just now learning about this scam is because of a long investigation.
But they’re happy to let us know that both women involved in the scam have been arrested, and the man behind it is facing more charges as well.