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88-year-old Carmel resident scammed out of thousands of dollars

Imposter Scams hit over 850,000 in 2023 including some Carmel residents
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Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 19:04:39-05

CARMEL — Last month, Carmel resident David Clingman received the most expensive phone call of his life.

“It all sounded plausible to me,” explained Clingman.

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In January, Clingman received a call from an unknown number claiming to be a friend in trouble.

“He said, ‘Do you know who this is?’” shared Clingman.

Clingman’s friend claimed to be needing help posting bail after causing a car accident that hit a pregnant woman.

“He told me he needed an $8,000 bond,” explained Clingman.

“That way he didn't have to spend the rest of the week (in jail).”

Clingman was told a courier would come pick up the $8,000 cash.

The day after the cash was picked up, Clingman was called and told the bond was $10,000 more.

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Clingman was a victim of an imposter scam. The scam, which was the most popular method in 2023 according to the Federal Trade Commission, involves a person lying about who they are to get money sent to them.

“I shouldn't have done what I did,” explained Clingman.

“There are more of these things going on than people realize,” he said.

Indiana Banking Association’s Vice President of communication, Evan Hoffmeyer, says Clingman isn’t alone.

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“The big thing we're noticing is that they really want to go after, you know, our older customers,” explained Hoffmeyer.

“(They) have been spending their entire lives being very frugal and being very prudent and (scammers) are taking advantage of that money they've stored up to take care of themselves in retirement,” he said.

Hoffmeyer shares a great way to avoid being taken advantage of is by staying away from cash.

“Instead of giving it in cash, you can give a cashier's check,” expressed Hoffmeyer. “Just like a personal check, you have a stop payment function on it afterwards and you have a little bit more window to hopefully prevent the fraud.”

For more information on how to avoid scams, visit the Federal Trade Commissions website.