Elderly Woman Scammed Out Of Thousands Of Dollars

Police say a man scammed an elderly Omaha woman out of thousands of dollars, even coming back for more.

After convincing Gail her foundation needed painting, two strangers, a man and woman, took her for a ride. “They made me get in the pickup and go right straight to the bank.” She gave them $3,800 and they brought her back to her home at 80th and Blondo.

In less than 24 hours, the man returned telling Gail she had a rebate coming, but it would cost her an additional $3,400. Gail gave the man a $3,400 check and police have security camera photos of him cashing it.

“He thought he had a fish on the line so he just kept trying to pull you in,” OPD detective Rick Belik told Gail. “The good thing is you woke up to it and said no more.” The suspect came back a third time saying he lost the check and needed another. “I said no, I wasn't about to be stung a third time,” said Gail.

The man did paint and caulk Gail’s foundation, but her cousin says it’s not work worth $7,200. “No, I would say maybe two or $300 worth because you’re talking two hours’ work,” said Randy Baker.

Gail and police don't know why the suspects targeted her for a home improvement scam, but she's learned what to do when a stranger comes to her door. “Going forward here, we're not going to answer strangers or deal with strangers,” Baker told Gail.

“No,” she replied.

Police say Blaze Harding of Hiawatha, Iowa used his own driver's license to cash Gail’s check. Detectives are looking for him and his female accomplice.


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