New Video Aims To Stop Scam Artists

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County authorities have put together a new crime prevention video that they hope might prevent you or someone who you love from becoming the next victim of scam artists, Action News' Ed Gallek reported.

It's a story that you could have only seen on Action News.

The video shows actors portraying scam artists who use a smile and some smooth talking to pick the pockets of unsuspecting senior citizens. They use examples placing thieves in different situations like in a store, doing yard work and posing as utility workers. When seniors turn their backs, the scam artists do their thing.

Marilyn Pealer knows firsthand why the tape was so badly needed. The Old Brooklyn resident is a real-life victim. She got a call and then a visit from a man posing as an FBI agent doing a bank investigation. Before she knew it, she was swindled out of cash.

"I know better," Pealer said. "It never hurts to have a reminder. It could happen to anybody."

Cuyahoga County commissioners, the county sheriff and local police put the tape together with the hopes that senior citizen organizations would show it to groups of people, helping to prevent similar acts of thievery.

Pealer said that a con artist has changed her life for good.

"Even if they have identification, forget it, they're not coming in. Period," she said. "You can talk through the door or outside. (Tell them to) just go away."

If you are interested in watching the tape and you live in Cuyahoga County, just call your local police department. If you know of a group that would like to see it, call (216) 443-7281. It might just help you outsmart the con man.