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Palm Beach Residents Warned of Scams

Lynda Webster has a message for town of Palm Beach residents: If the former director of the CIA and FBI can be the target of a scam, so can you.

In 2014, William Webster, who held both jobs during his career, received a call saying he had won $72 million and a new Mercedes Benz in the Mega Millions lottery, according to his wife. All William Webster had to do to claim his prize, the caller said, was send $50,000, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

That call was one of many made to the Websters by Keniel Thomas before the 29-year-old Jamaican man was arrested in 2017. Some of the calls Thomas made were threatening and in October he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted extortion and received almost six years in prison.

Thomas obviously picked on the wrong couple. The day after Thomas’ first phone call, William Webster phoned him back, the start of a reverse sting that would result in the prison sentence. 

Since most people don’t have the law enforcement connections of William Webster, awareness is the key in fighting back against con artists, Lynda Webster told the Palm Beach Daily News.

Palm Beach Residents Warned of Scams

“Most of these calls are harmless,” she said. “But in this case, the guy threatened to kill me, put my blood on the White House and burn down our house, so he was not a good guy.”

Lynda Webster said residents of Palm Beach—a town filled with wealthy, older residents who may not be the most technologically savvy—should be extra observant. A town like Palm Beach is the perfect mark for scammers, she said.

“We need to be vigilant, especially younger people in families with seniors,” Lynda Webster said. “Keep an eye on grandma and grandpa.”

Related >>> Porn Actor Found Guilty of Extorting Palm Beacher

According to a Federal Trade Commission report, in 2017, Florida ranked first nationally for fraud and second for identity theft. Nearly 2.7 million consumer complaints of scams were made by Floridians to the agency. More than $54 million in losses were reported.

The FTC said senior citizens were the most likely age group to be targeted by fraudsters. People 80 and older lost an average of $1,090.

Lynda Webster said that the elderly often don’t come forward about scams they’ve been targeted by, digging themselves in deeper.

Even after Thomas’ prosecution, the Websters get calls with shakedown attempts “all of the time.”

“We got one today,” she said.

Anyone who believes they may be the victim of a scam is urged to contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

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