A Hilton Head Island woman was scammed out of $6,000 in the form of iTunes gift cards by a man claiming to be a Michigan police officer.
The theft was reported Tuesday at a residence on Harleston Green Road around 6:15 p.m., according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
The victim told a deputy that she had been called by a man claiming to be Capt. James Miller of the Lavonia Police Department in Michigan. The man told her that her grandson was in custody and that he needed to collect $6,000 in order to get him out of jail, the report said.
The alleged captain told her he could not accept the money from a credit card and instead instructed her to purchase $6,000 worth of iTunes gift cards and read the number on the back of the cards to him over the phone.
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Once she provided the man with the numbers, he contacted her again to request an additional $3,000 to pay a lawyer for her grandson.
When the woman attempted to purchase additional iTunes gift cards from a store on Palmetto Bay Road, the manager informed her that she may be the victim of a scam, the report said.
As the responding deputy spoke with the victim, the alleged police officer called her again from a blocked number.
The deputy answered and questioned the man who, in reply, cursed at the deputy before saying, “Are you mad bro that I just scammed this old lady and made more in a matter of days than you make in a month?” the report said.
The man then hung up.
The deputy searched the phone number the suspected scam artist used and it returned as being connected to a scam, the report said.