Rock Hill woman upset by scammers

by: Greg Suskin Updated:


ROCK HILL, S.C. - Rose Cowan is not easily fooled.

The Rock Hill woman didn't know what to think Sunday when she got a phone call from a stranger.

"He said 'your son is locked up, in jail.' And he knew my son's name," Cowan said.

The man asked for $60 for his bail, and wanted it by 5:30 that afternoon.

Cowan tried to contact her son, who lives in California, but she couldn't reach him.

"I was so worried something had happened to him, that he'd been shot or something," she said.

Cowan even asked the caller several questions, and he seemed to have answers for all of them, even somewhat accurately describing her son's appearance.

She went next door and got her neighbor, Scotia Miller, who also listened on the phone to the caller, and took notes.

"It was weird. I'd never heard of anything like that," Miller said. "And she was so upset about it."

After the man called several more times, Cowan's daughter decided to give him the money. The caller asked that they go to a local CVS drug store and get a Green Dot prepaid card. They did, and later Cowan heard from her son, after she sent the $60 to the stranger.

"He was not in jail. He was fine, and he told me never to take calls from strangers like that," she said.

Miller said it sickens her that people are preying on the elderly, and taking advantage of a woman like her neighbor.

"I just told her, going forward don't answer any calls like that. Let me know," she said.

This is the second time police in York County have dealt with this kind of fraud in the last few weeks.

In November, two restaurant owners in York called police when someone claiming to be from Duke Power called and told them their power was about to be shut off.

They were told they owed hundreds of dollars in past due bills, and must get a Green Dot prepaid card and send money immediately to avoid a cut off.

One restaurant owner sent the caller $800.

The other nearly did, but called police instead.

York police are still investigating those two cases.

It's not believed that this case in Rock Hill is connected.