Please Be Aware of "Grandparent Scam"
Three Incidents have been Reported in St. Charles This Year
On Sept. 17, St. Charles Police personnel were dispatched to a residence regarding a theft. Upon arrival, the officer determined that the incident was a telephone scam commonly referred to as the “Grandparent Scam.”
The female victim related that she received a telephone call from a subject claiming to be her grandson who lived out of state. Her “grandson” stated that he was 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 her and make arrangements for his release. The victim agreed and approximately 10 minutes later, a male subject called and identified himself as her grandson’s “attorney.” The attorney directed the victim to wire $2,823 to the victim in Lima, Peru. The victim then went to Walmart and wired a MoneyGram to Peru. A short time later, the attorney called back related that he was in court and the judge had agreed if the woman’s hospital bills were paid, then she would not pursue criminal or civil charges. The attorney requested an additional $2,450. The victim sent 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 residence and determined that he was at home and not out of the country. Total loss to the victim was $5,273.00.
This is the third report taken by St. Charles Police personnel in 2012 involving the “Grandparent Scam.” Other similar reports were taken during the months of January and February. All three of the reports involved the victim’s “grandson” being arrested and charged with DUI in a foreign country and needing bond money. The other calls originated in Canada and Mexico. Additional similar reports were taken in 2011.
St. Charles Police Department personnel would like to remind our citizens that if they receive a call from a person identifying themselves as a relative in trouble while visiting another country, to verify the call. They can also call the relative directly to verify that they are visiting another country. In all three cases, the grandson was at home safe and sound. If there is some doubt, citizens are asked to call the St. Charles Police Department and speak with an officer before wiring funds out of the country. We believe the number of victims to this crime can be reduced through education, so please, spread the word!