81-year-old man driven to death by phone scammers

81-year-old man driven to death by phone scammers

The phone calls wouldn’t stop.

The man on the other end of the line made promises of a big payoff: millions of dollars in prize money. But first the IRS needed $1,500 in taxes, he insisted, then the jackpot would arrive at the family home, a camera crew ready to capture the excitement.

The calls came a couple of times a day; other times, nearly 50.

Mr. Albert, we need the money to be sent today …

Don’t hang up the phone, Mr. Albert …

Mr. Albert, don’t tell your wife about this …

Albert Poland Jr. had worked 45 years for the Burlington hosiery factory in Harriman, Tennessee, starting off as a mechanic before rising to become a quality control manager.


At age 81, his mind was faltering. He suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia. And the caller — a man in Jamaica — preyed on that vulnerability.

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