March 28, 2024

Dianne Kricheldorf, 88, likes crosswords and was in the middle of one last October when she received a call that left her figuring out the clues to a puzzle of a different kind.

The call was from a man claiming to be an investigator in Texas and with the U.S. Treasury.

“And that they had found my name on some paperwork,” Kricheldorf said.

Paperwork, the caller said, connected to a case of an abandoned car registered in Dianne’s name that was involved in an accident. It supposedly had a bag of cash inside, along with drugs, blood that matched her type and checks with her signature.

“He asked if I’ve ever been in Texas. I said heavens no. And that’s how it all started,” Kricheldorf said.

Dianne said they knew a little about her background and financial investments. She said the caller read off her actual social security number and wanted her to confirm it, but she refused.

“I made a mental note. This is a real scam. But I want to find out more about it,” Kricheldorf said.

After filing a police report, she took matters into her own hands, taking notes during each call. She was told an officer would go to her house. And if she didn’t cooperate with the investigation, she would lose her social security, and be arrested, unless she sent a $30,000 bond.

“I was angry that my privacy had been invaded by a bunch of crooks. And they’re getting away with it. So, I wanted to see how far they went with this,” Kricheldorf said.

So she decided to cooperate with the callers. She drove to…

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