A Greenwich grandmother was swindled out of $2,800 last week in a scam commonly employed against the elderly. The Greenwich Police Department is warning senior citizens to beware.
A man claiming to be a police officer from Madrid called the woman and said her grandson had been with a group of people in a car containing drugs. He told the grandmother her grandson needed the money to make bail and would then have to testify against the person who was in possession of the drugs. After he testified he could return to the United States.
The grandmother told police the story didnt seem that far off because her grandson had just been to Spain. She was advised to contact Jill Thomas at (514) 573-2466 after she wired the money through Western Union. She was told she would receive a text message on her cell phone after the money was received and that someone would contact her on Jan. 14.
After she wired the money she contacted her grandson and found he was safe at college in the United States, but her money was gone.
Lt. Kraig Gray, spokesman for the Greenwich Police Department, said scams like these, which take advantage of the trusting nature of an elderly grandparent, are very common. He said similar complaints have been received lately and each has a similar thread, mainly that a loved one is in danger, in the hospital or under arrest; the incident occurred overseas, on vacation, or where their grandchild attends school; the need for the money to be wired is immediate; the call-back numbers are out-of-country.
Residents who receive such calls should contact the loved one directly and never send money without proper verification, Gray said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.