An 87-Year-Old Woman and Her Purse

Elder holds hands on walking stick while sitting on white sofa in nursing home

Clara Washington, 87, is a compassionate woman who can take care of herself and her sick husband — which is what she was doing on November 30, 2022 — running an errand at the Dollar Tree in the Jefferson-Chalmers, MI area. But a thief was also at that Dollar Tree looking for an easy target and unfortunately that was Clara.

While at the store, Clara said another woman was basically stalking her through the aisles, and as they left the store, the woman asked her a question. “She said, ‘I’m going home, could you give me a ride?'” Clara said no, but unfortunately the woman would not listen and got in the car.

Once inside her apartment, while 87-year-old Clara was getting settled and checking on her husband, the suspect took Clara’s purse. In that purse was Clara’s ID, bank cards, Social Security card, her phone, and her keys. A win for a thief who can now assume the identity of Clara Washington. A loss for Clara who will need to change her house locks and get an identity protection service.

Unfortunately, chances are Clara is not going to get justice. She did file a police report but there really wasn’t enough to find the fraudster. FOX 2 did speak with the management of the apartment complex who would not provide video, saying the 87-year-old “willingly let the person into her apartment.”

Fraud protection advice: Do not have your social security card on you. Ever. You will rarely need the card itself — perhaps only when you get a new job and have to show it to your employer. Also, look out for the elderly. Make sure they don’t have their social security card on them, nor give it out to people.

Shout out to Renee Cobb for looking out for her grandmother.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “Elderly woman has purse stolen by stranger who preyed on her kindness” published by Fox2Detroit on December 7, 2022

An 87-year-old Detroit woman fells victim to a thief who she says managed to con her way from the Dollar Store right into her home and stole her purse.

“It’s just heartbreaking that someone would do this to my mom,” said Renee Cobb, the victim’s daughter. Clara |Washington is a compassionate woman who can take care of herself and her sick husband – which is what she was doing Wednesday at around lunchtime, running an errand at the Dollar Tree in the Jefferson-Chalmers area.

“And when I got in the Dollar Store this lady kept getting so close to me and I kept saying, ‘I wonder why she is so close to me,'” Clara said.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.