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San Jose Spotlight: ‘It is devastating’: Scammers target Santa Clara County seniors

Sharon Sweeney was driving back from Home Depot when she received a call from an unknown number that would eventually end in costly consequences.

The caller introduced himself as Robert. He was the first of multiple people Sweeney, 77, talked to that day who posed as government agents. They created a collection of falsified documents and claims to scare her, Sweeney said, and even convinced her to sign a fake nondisclosure agreement to steer her away from telling any family, friends or the authorities. The scammers had her on the line for hours.

Under their direction, Sweeney withdrew $20,000 from her bank account that she sent to the scammers via Bitcoin, digital currency that is difficult to trackher money gone forever.

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