Third person in SC victim of ‘grandparent scam’
September 18, 2012 8:48PM
Updated: October 20, 2012 6:20AM
‘Grandparent scam’: Three grandparents in St. Charles have been victimized this year by a telephone con called “The Grandparent Scam,” police spokesman Paul McCurtain said Tuesday. In the latest case, reported Monday by a woman who lives on Ohio Avenue, the woman received a phone call from a person claiming to be her grandson, who lives out of state. Her “grandson” said he had been involved in a car accident in Lima, Peru, and was now in jail charged with DUI. He also related that he had struck a car being driven by a woman from out of the country who was driving a rental car. He asked if his attorney could call the grandmother and make arrangements for his release. The victim agreed. About 10 minutes later, a male called and identified himself as her grandson’s “attorney.” The attorney directed the victim to wire $2,823 to the caller in Lima, Peru. The victim then went to Walmart and wired a MoneyGram to Peru. A short time later, the attorney called back, saying he was in court and that the judge had agreed that if the injured woman’s hospital bills were paid, she would not pursue criminal or civil charges. The attorney requested an additional $2,450. The victim wired the additional funds and received a call indicating that her grandson would be released shortly. When she didn’t hear from her grandson, she called his home and determined that he was at home and not out of the country. Total loss to the victim was $5,273. McCurtain said similar incidents occurred in January and February. All three involved the victim’s “grandson” being arrested and charged with DUI in a foreign country and needing bond money. Those calls originated in Canada and Mexico.