A woman who defrauded hundreds of senior citizens — some from Indian River and St. Lucie counties — racked up more than $1 million in her scheme, according to federal authorities.
Edtronda Simon, 41, of Fayette County, Georgia, is being charged by the U.S Attorney’s Office with access device fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
In the scam, Simon tricked more than 250 Floridians into turning over their credit cards, debit cards, and related personal identification numbers, officials said. According to the charges, Simon and her co-conspirators used the cards and PINs to steal more than $1 million.
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Simon would cold-call her targets and pretend to be from the fraud department of each senior citizen’s bank. She would convince the bank customers that their accounts had been compromised and offer to send someone to the victim’s home to exchange any compromised credit or debit card with a new one, says the complaint, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
One of Simon’s co-conspirators would arrive at the victim’s home, take the credit or debit card, but not provide a replacement, according to the complaint affidavit.
In a separate case filed earlier this year, prosecutors charged six of Simon’s co-conspirators — all from Florida — for their involvement in this scheme. Two of them have pleaded guilty.
Most banks said if there’s legitimate fraudulent activity on a customer’s account, they do not make unsolicited phone calls to the account holder and request PINs or passwords.
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Lamaur Stancil is the Treasure Coast regional economy reporter covering business and industries, including retail, tourism and hospitality. Contact him at 321-987-7179 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at Lamaur Stancil on Facebook and @TCPalmLStancil on Twitter.
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