Scam artist arrested after grandma discovers his tricks


A scammer will try their luck with just about any scenario they can come up with. For example, a common tactic is when criminals call elderly people who claim to be a relative. Then they pretend to have debt or need bonds and ask for wire transfers or cash deposits.

The trick is to convince the victim that they are who they claim to be. Once they establish trust, the scammers go to the grandparents’ house to collect the money or send someone else on their behalf.

But it doesn’t always work that way, as there are plenty of variables to consider. Read on to see how one such criminal met his match.

Here’s the backstory

Using the Scammer 101 playbook, a crook targeted a 73-year-old Long Island woman posing as her grandson. He claimed to have been arrested for drunk driving and was in jail. As a result, he had to pay bail.

The target (known only as Jean) immediately realized something wasn’t right and decided to play along. The former 911 operator does not have a grandson old enough to drive, let alone be arrested on DUI charges.

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“He starts calling me ‘grandma,’ and then I’m like, I don’t have a grandson who drives, so I knew it was a scam,” she told CBS New York.

A few phone calls back and forth, and her alleged grandson’s attorney told her the bail was set at $8,000. Convinced that the criminals would realize she caught on, Jean told the scammers that she had the money on hand.

With contacts at the police, Jean called the police during the conversations with the thieves. “I told him I had the money, and I thought he wouldn’t kick for it. Well, he fell for that hook, line, and sinker.”

Shortly afterwards, a con man posing as a guarantor arrived at her house. She acted as naturally as she could and handed the man an envelope of alleged cash. But really, inside there was nothing more than paper towels.

Once the transfer was completed, police held back and took a 28-year-old into custody on charges of attempted grand robbery in the third degree.

What can you do about it?

Scammers often target seniors, playing with their gentle nature and willingness to help family members. Here are a few things you can do to stay safe:

Never give out personal information to strangers over the phone. No government agency will call you to ask for details, so it’s probably a scammer. If you get a call from a family member who seems odd, hang up the phone. Call the person back at a number that you know is legit and verify the claims. Check your social media account settings and make sure you don’t share more information with the world than you should. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. So don’t be afraid to call the police if something isn’t right. Rather be careful than fall victim to a scam.

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