While two New York men remain in the Hall County Jail on charges related to a phone scam, Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) investigators are working to identify county residents, particularly senior citizens, who have been contacted as part of the scheme.
According to the investigation, the scammer will place a call and tell the potential victim that one of their family members, usually a grandchild, is in legal trouble. The caller will indicate cash is required to secure bond or pay legal fees associated with the so-called arrest of a family member. The scammer typically asks for more than $10,000 and sends one or two “representatives” to the victim’s home to collect the money.
The current investigation began on Thursday, Sept. 9, when uniform patrol division deputies and the criminal investigations division property crimes unit thwarted an attempt to defraud $12,000 from an elderly North Hall County couple. After being notified of the fraud in progress, deputies and investigators set up a sting operation at the victim’s residence and apprehended the two men who arrived to get the cash.
Brandon A. Massey, 23, of Springfield Gardens, New York, is charged with exploitation of an elder person, fleeing/attempting to elude a police officer, obstruction of an officer and reckless driving. Massey drove away when deputies moved in but stopped when they blocked his car with patrol vehicles. Investigators arrested Jamal Clifford Davis, 28, of Queens Village, New York, without incident at the front of the residence on a charge of exploitation of an elder person.
The ongoing HCSO investigation revealed both men were operating out of the Atlanta area. HCSO detectives began networking the details of the crime to other law enforcement agencies in Georgia. As a result, authorities in Walton, Fannin and Hart counties identified similar circumstances in their jurisdictions and arrested suspects as they arrived to collect money from elderly victims.
The inquiry deepened when investigators identified a lead scammer who appears to be the caller and coordinator of those who collect the funds. According to initial details, the head scammer’s base of operations is in New Jersey and New York, with indications the scheme has reached as far west as Nebraska.
HCSO investigators are now working in conjunction with the IRS and FBI on the case.
Anyone in Hall County who recently received a call similar to the MO in the case can call investigators at 770-297-4686.