High tech thieves, scammers target Michigan residents

Michigan AG encourages families to speak to senior loved ones

Michigan is one of the top states for high tech thieves and scammers to search for victims.

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Michigan is one of the top states for high tech thieves and scammers to search for victims.

Local 4′s Hank Winchester has an inside look at the tactics being used to trick people and what the attorney general said you can do to protect yourself.

Susan Gibson, of Royal Oak, said when she heard her husband on the phone she immediately knew something wasn’t right.

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Her husband, who is hard of hearing, revealed their grandson was in legal trouble and the only way out was to deposit thousands of dollars immediately. It was a scam.

They drove to the bank, took out the cash, and they were told they couldn’t wire the money because the bail bonds office was closed. Instead, they were told to go to the ATM, they were provided account numbers and told to make a series of deposits.

They did and shortly after they realized they had been ripped off. The couple and their daughter were devastated.

The high tech thieves are focused on scams like that one and other catfishing scams that make the victim believe they’re talking to a real person that often doesn’t exist.

The scammers are a huge concern for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. She is encouraging families to speak with their senior loved ones about the scams. Tell seniors to never share personal information over the phone, not to send money and if you receive a call from a stranger and it doesn’t feel right just hang up.

READ: More scam coverage

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.