Another victim loses money in a common scam that targets seniors and involve suspects who pretend they are the victim’s grandson needing money due to some type of crisis.
On April 4, 2018, a 75-year-old Chino Valley man told deputies he received a phone call from an individual who sounded like his grandson claiming to need bail money. The so-called ‘grandson’ had been in a DUI related collision in Florida which caused a lot of property damage. The victim’s ‘grandson’ retained a lawyer who would provide further details during the call. The victim was directed not to involve any other family as his ‘grandson’ wanted to avoid further trouble. During the call, the ‘grandson’ mentioned a family friend who recently died of cancer which, because it was true, afforded some credibility to the call.
Another man came on the line identifying himself as a lawyer and indicated to the victim needing at least 10 percent of the $10,000 bond to get his ‘grandson’ out of jail. The lawyer noted he was able to get a small discount and would only charge $960.00.
The victim went to the grocery store in Chino Valley and sent a $960.00 money order to a location in the Dominican Republic as directed. After sending the money order, the victim received a phone call from the lawyer’s ‘assistant’ explaining that the person his ‘grandson’ hit was in bad shape and this resulted in a bond increase and the need for more money. When the victim asked to speak with the lawyer, he was told the lawyer was busy and would call back. The ‘lawyer’ never did and the victim realized he had been scammed and verified his grandson was not in jail.
Even with ongoing media notifications and community alerts by crime prevention officials to residents throughout the county, the “Grandparent” scam continues to victimize our seniors. Suspects are generally calling from locations all over the world. Please share this information with seniors in your family or those under your care. Social networking sites are the most likely source for suspects to gain knowledge of family members which lends believability when conversing with victims. We also encourage store clerks to intervene and politely question the transaction when they sense a senior may be involved in such scams.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260
or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov