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New scam targets elderly

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While many scams take advantage of technology, this one takes advantage of human nature. (Source: 3TV) While many scams take advantage of technology, this one takes advantage of human nature. (Source: 3TV)
Joe and Joyce Saults are sharing their story so other seniors do not become victims. (Source: 3TV) Joe and Joyce Saults are sharing their story so other seniors do not become victims. (Source: 3TV)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A lot of scams these days work through the internet or maybe a phone call, but a new scam is done the old-fashioned way: in person. 

Joe and Joyce Saults said that even in their 80s, they're still very active.

“I'm an avid sewer. I was born with a needle in my hand," Joyce Saults said.  

As for Joe Saults, he likes to play Bridge at an adult center.

Coming home from that adult center recently, Joe Saults said the strangest thing happened. He said he saw a smiling woman, waving her arms, trying to flag him down.
   
“And at the next stop light she jumps in the car - and the rest of the story, I just came on home with the free riders," he said.  

Joe Saults said he was near North 15th Avenue and West Campbell Avenue when the random woman actually jumped into the passenger side of his car while he was stopped at a light. He said the woman acted like she knew him and claimed she hadn't see him or his wife for a while.
   
She went on to ask a lot of questions, such as "How have you been doing?"
   
Joe Saults said he was confused and kind of embarrassed to ask who she was. After all, he said, she was very convincing.

"Well, I thought, it must be somebody that we know, so I just went along with it," Joe Saults said. 

Joe Saults just kept on driving home with the talkative woman right beside him and a man following right behind in a car.

“Must be somebody Joyce knows, ‘cause I don't," Joe Saults said. 

When Joe Saults got home, his wife was surprised to see he had two strangers with him.  
   
Though Joyce Saults didn't know who they were, they just started talking to her like they knew her. 

“There was a gentleman who came rushing over to me," Joyce Saults said. "He hugged me and said, 'Oh, I haven't seen you in so long. I bet you don't even remember me.' And there's a lady in front of Joe, and she comes racing over and says, "Oh my gosh, you just celebrated your 80th birthday.' I just thought, 'Well, 83rd, but how did she know that?' [And then she said], "Oh and that granddaughter, I hear she's absolutely adorable.'”

It was all information the woman pulled out of Joe Saults on the way home, but his wife didn't know that.

“So I thought she must know my granddaughter Nikki,” Joyce Saults said.  

Unbelievably, Joyce said found herself showing the mystery woman around her home, showing photographs to the two people and having a great conversation.    

Not long after the two strangers arrived, they quickly announced that they had to leave, and out the door they went.

“So I locked the door and I turned around and I said to Joe, 'Who the hell are they?'" Joyce Saults said. "And he looked at me and says, 'You didn't know them?'"

Stunned and trying to figure out what just happened, the two noticed Joe Saults' wallet out. That's when they discovered the strangers had taken about $450 in cash. 
 
"I don't know how he got that out of my billfold," Joe Saults said.  

Joyce Saults said that’s when they knew they’d been had and called police. 

The Saults also decided to contact 3 On Your Side to let other senior citizens know not to fall for this scam.

“Let me tell you, this couple is so fabulous. They have their act together. They need Oscar awards,” Joyce Saults said.  

The Saults are convinced the man and woman duo are scoping out senior centers, just waiting to pounce on their next targets.

“They were so good at it. We don't want anyone else conned like we were conned," Joyce Saults said. 

Phoenix police say they're currently investigating this issue. They don't know how many victims are out there. That may be because senior citizens don't report crimes like these because they're embarrassed.

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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