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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – A Hollywood woman said what happened to her should be a cautionary tale to those who donate money to people on the phone who say they are with a charity.
Even as Anja Hillberg explained to CBS4’s Ted Scouten how she was scammed by a person calling her, she got another call from someone else trying to sell her something.
“I don’t want any medical help. No thank you, ma’am,” she told the caller on the phone.
“When you get to be 70 they want to give you all kind of medical stuff,” she said to Scouten.
Hillberg said it began when she got a call from someone who said they were collecting for a charity on behalf of the Hollywood Fire Department. She agreed to give, remembering how Hollywood paramedics helped her late husband.
“I said yes. I called them a few times because my husband heart, he’s been having heart attacks so they’re always available. They come right in, they come to help. I really respect them,” she said.
It didn’t take long, however, for her to realize she was scammed.
“I said $25 dollars, I can handle it no problem. Then my daughter calls and says they took over $500 dollars out of my bank, credit union,” said Hillberg.
“It’s a shame, it’s a shame and we don’t want other people to fall victim to these pirates,” said Hollywood police Officer Christian Lata.
Hollywood Police believe others may have gotten the same call but just didn’t report it. They, like Hillberg, urge people to check out any charity before giving and be cautious when someone’s calling asking for money and credit card information.
The Hollywood fire department doesn’t call people and ask them for money. That was one of the red flags that made us investigate this,” said Lata. “Most organizations, they’re not going to call you and ask you for your personal information over the phone.”
Hollywood police department has a few tips on how you can avoid becoming a victim of fraud. Click Here to check them out.