Elderly Hawkins man loses $4k in phony $9.5 million inheritance scam

Jeff Bobo • Mar 4, 2019 at 7:30 PM

ROGERSVILLE — An 80 year old Hawkins County man was swindled out of at least $4,000 that he paid as "fees" to an African attorney required to receive a bogus $9.5 million inheritance.

On Friday the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office was notified by Mineral County, Nevada, Deputy Curtis Schlepp that he was working on a case where it appeared that a Hawkins County man was a victim.

Investigation revealed that the 80-year-old victim, who resides in Mooresburg, had received phone calls from a man claiming to be an attorney from the African nation of Ghana named Abu Jones.

Jones told the victim he'd inherited $9.5 million, which he could collect after paying the fees to the U.S. Treasury Department.

The victim was instructed to send money order payments to an individual in Hawthorne, Nevada.

As it turned out, the person from Nevada was being scammed as well, and was also a victim.

HCSO Detective Cliff Evans determined that the victim sent several payments to Nevada, who was then to forward those payments elsewhere.

The Hawkins County victim wasn't sure how much money he sent to Nevada, but he believes it was more than $4,000.

A bank in Hawthorne, Nevada, was working with the HCSO and local authorities there to return a portion of the money back to the Hawkins County victim.

Phone inheritance and lottery scams are very common, and always require the payment of fees up front to receive the prize, which never comes.

The basic rule of thumb is, if it sounds to good to be true, it's probably a lie.

The public is also urged never to send money orders or gift cards, or give anyone credit card or gift card numbers, or any other type of payment when they receive surprise inheritance or lottery messages.

Police advise the public to contact their local law enforcement agencies when they receive calls or offers that sound too good to be true.