Prison Phone Scam? Ex-Con Back in Jail Thanks to Shreveport Judge
I think we can all agree that people who use the phone for nefarious purposes are some of the worst people in the world. I can't really ignore strange numbers in my line of work, but about 99% of the numbers I don't recognize are robocalls and it drive me crazy. Those aren't the bottom of the barrel though, that spot is reserved for con-men who use the phone to swindle and steal from hard working citizens.
Back in 2016, two elderly Shreveport residents were targeted and victimized by one such scam. The unnamed pair (ages 75 and 78) were contacted by what seemed to be an official with local law enforcement who informed them that they had missed jury duty, which was (they were told) a serious infraction. In total, the couple were scammed out of $9,797.95.
The scammer impersonating the police told his marks that unless they payed their fine, an arrest warrant would be issued. Of course, all of the "fines" were paid using Visa gift cards and direct wire transfers that were funneled into a secret account.
These unsuspecting victims had no idea that they were the target of a sophisticated system of cons and falsehoods designed to fool people in to coughing up cash to stay out of jail. The irony of the situation is that this scam was being run on smuggled mobile phones by an inmate serving time in Georgia's Autry State Prison!
According to a report from WKRG, Andre Deaveon Reese had been posing as a legitimate officer of the law in order to steal from people using this "jury duty" con for 5 years. Reese wasn't alone, either. He and several unidentified people formed a network that included official-sounding voice-mail greetings that falsely identified the scammers as legitimate law enforcement and several co-conspirators on the "outside" to handle the money transactions.
Wednesday, Shreveport Federal Judge Donald E. Walter sentenced the 32-year-old convicted scammer to 33 months in prison, pay $9,800 in restitution to his victims, and undergo 3 years of supervised release once his jail term is completed.