Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said Wednesday that residents should beware of a scam in which a “female in scrubs is targeting elderly people and stealing items from within their home.”
“This has been going on since at least June,” Hancock Investigator Cole White said Wednesday. “There’s one in the Bay, one in Waveland, and there are perhaps other incidents that haven’t been reported.”
White said that in the first reported incident on June 16, an 87-year-old woman was approached at her residence in Bay St. Louis by a black woman who appeared to be somewhere between mid-30s and 40s, standing approximately 5’7” to 5’9” with a stocky build. The woman was wearing what looked like a possible wig or weave, and was wearing blue scrubs and a pink cloth face mask.
“The unknown female insisted she was trying to collect money for a charity and worked at Oschner’s,” White said. The woman entered the victim’s house and took her purse, White said. The victim was later notified that multiple bank cards/credit cards belonging to her had been used at the CVS located in Diamondhead with unauthorized transactions that added up to more than $1,000.
On Aug. 15, White said, a 60-year-old woman was approached at her home in Waveland by a woman matching the description in the previous case. This time, the woman was wearing green scrubs and a face mask with some sort of badge.
In both incidents, Adam said, the suspect was driving either a silver, gold or brown sedan — one victim said it was a Mercedes, the other a Lexus.
In the Waveland case, White said, the suspect asked the would-be victim to let her enter her home to conduct an interview that would take approximately 15 minutes. In that case, the woman would not let the suspect enter the home, so she returned to her vehicle and sat in the driveway for about five minutes before leaving, White said. That time, the suspect was not wearing a wig or weave, but appeared to have natural hair, White said.
“The unknown female appears to be targeting the elderly and providing a story to enter their home and steals items such as purses, identifications and debit/credit cards,” White said.
“We really want to get it out there, people need to be cautious,” Adam said. If a stranger approaches you asking you to let them in your home or make some other request, “look at their ID. Call 911 and get an officer out there, if you’re concerned.
“This has happened in other places in the county, and it happened up in Ridgeland seven or eight months ago. It’s somebody local, somebody from Hancock or Harrison County. Our main goal is preventing it from happening to anybody else.
If you wish to report the same scam happening to you, White said, contact your local law enforcement agency, whether it be the sheriff’s office or the Waveland, Bay St. Louis or Diamondhead police department. If you have any information in the case, you may call Central Dispatch at 228-255-9191; or call the sheriff’s office directly at 228-466-6900.