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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: elderly

Woman duped in ‘grandparents scam’

Law enforcement is again warning of a swindle known as the grandparents scam after a 79-year-old Spokane Valley woman sent money to a con man claiming to be her grandson.

The woman called Crime Check on Monday and said a man claiming to be her grandson called on Dec. 9 and asked for money to bail out jail in Canada.

The victim believed him and sent a $2,750 money order to a man named “B” in New Jersey, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. She later realized it was scam.

Similar scams were reported last spring and in fall 2009. Anyone with an elderly relative should warn them of the scam.

“Citizens in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s grew up in a more trusting era and are particularly susceptible to this type of fraud,” according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. “Suspects can pick their victims from obituaries where the children and grandchildren are occasionally listed by name.”

Police warn of scams against elderly

Police are warning of a scam targeting the elderly after a conman nearly bilked an 89-year-old Spokane Valley woman out of $2,500 last week. 

The man called and said he was reviewing employees at a Spokane financial institution “to see if they were handling her account correctly,” according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

The man asked for her balance, then asked her to deliver a $2,500 check to a man named “Meyers” at a nearby grocery store.

“The intended-victim said she was preparing to leave with the check when it occurred to her to call the bank,” according to a news release. “Employees there quickly squelched the attempted fraud.”

Another woman last month told police she nearly sent a man posing as her grandson money for bail in Canada before realizing it was a con. (Read a story on that scam here.)

People with elderly parents are encouraged to talk to them about potential frauds. Thieves may scan obituaries seeking elder widows or widowers to target.

“Persons in their 70s and older grew up in an age where people were more trusting in others, and the elderly frequently fall prey to this type of con,” Sgt Dave Reagan said in a news release.

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