Rancho Cucamonga woman, 79, swindled out of $1.25 million in phone scam

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Saturday, December 30, 2023
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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (KABC) -- Authorities issued a warning to the public after a 79-year-old woman in Rancho Cucamonga was scammed out of $1.25 million.

The woman received a phone call in October from a caller who claimed to be a Walmart International representative. She was told she was the victim of identity theft and possible fraud, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities say the suspect also told the victim she had to deposit $1,250,000 into a Bank of America account or else she would be arrested. The woman complied and transferred the money.

The scam didn't end there as another call was made this month. More money was requested the second time and the threats became more sinister.

Authorities say the caller told the woman she would be arrested or killed if she didn't cooperate.

Ultimately, the victim told her son and they reported the fraud to law enforcement on Wednesday.

Investigators say the case is ongoing and they're working with the victim and financial institutions to track down those behind the scam.

"Remember, government agencies and local law enforcement will not call you asking for money or your personal information," the Sheriff's Department warns. "If you suspect a caller or email contact may be a scam, end the interaction and contact the business or entity directly to verify the nature of the call."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Station at 909-477-2800.