Boston woman loses $15,000 in gift card scam

Boston woman loses $15,000 in gift card scam

BOSTON — An 81-year-old Roslindale grandmother told FOX25 she feels emotionally and financially drained after falling victim to an iPhone scam.

“I was at 9 o’clock mass, and when I came home, there was a message on my recording from this man, and he said he was an investigator from the Justice Department,” Connie Killeen said.

When Killeen returned the call, she was told she owed thousands in back taxes and would be send to jail if she didn’t pay.

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“I have a clear mind, but I was very vulnerable. I just wasn’t thinking because he was threatening me,” Killeen told FOX25.

Fearful that she would be arrested, Killeen complied.

Over a three-day period, she withdrew more than $15,000 in cash from her savings to purchase Apple iTunes gift cards. Killeen visited three different Stop and Shop locations, as well as a CVS Pharmacy, buying as many $500 Apple gift cards as she could.

Her son, Bill wonders why it didn’t raise a red flag for store employees.

“I think any rational person seeing someone with $4,000 would question the fact that it was $15,000 in three days. I would have thought there was some internal control,” Bill told FOX25.

For scam artists, gift cards are untraceable and as good as cash. The only thing unique on gift cards is the number on the back.

Killeen told FOX25 she did not realize she was a victim of a scam until after she had called her contact with all the gift card numbers.

Unfortunately with gift cards, even if a victim realizes they've been scammed, there's typically no way to reverse the transaction.