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'Grandparent' Scam Strikes Again in Glen Rock

Incident similar to one reported earlier in the week, in which an 86-year-old borough woman wired $90,000 to a Los Angeles bank under the belief her grandson needed bail for a DWI-related car accident.

Days after a borough senior discovered she'd been scammed out of a significant amount of money from a thief claiming to be a family member in distress, another senior nearly fell prey to the same scam. 

According to Detective James Calaski, the male borough resident received a phone call by a man claiming to be his grandson. The caller said he had been involved in a DWI accident in Los Angeles and was being held on a high amount of bail. He requested the borough senior wire him $100,000 to make bail.

Fortunately, according to Calaski, the victim, a male over the age of 80, did not lose any money after the bank deemed the wire transfer to be suspicious. He reported the incident to police on Friday.

Glen Rock Police are working with other agencies, including the FBI, and the case remains an active investigation.

If the story sounds familiar, it should. upon hearing the same tale of a grandson needing bail money. Authorities in that case were able to recover half the money and arrested a woman in connection to the alleged theft.

The stories are virtually the same, but it doesn't mean the suspects are, according to Calaski.

"We do not know of any apparent link between the victims nor do we have any evidence Glen Rock is specifically being targeted, however all residents are urged to be aware of any unsolicited phone calls and verify any requests to send money, especially a large amount with a request to not tell anyone or keep it quiet," he said.

Scam artists often use stories that have been successful in separate crimes, he said.

If not for the banks questioning the wire transfers and the quick action of authorities, borough residents could very well have lost about $200,000 in a single week, Calaski said.

It's important residents – particularly seniors – pay careful attention to any suspicious requests, Calaski said. If they have any suspicions whatsoever, they're urged to call the GRPD Detective Bureau at 201-670-3948.

Barbara Steuert September 15, 2012 at 12:57 AM
This scam is all over. My credit union has prevented several of these wires. We always tell the grandparent to call the parent and confirm where the grandchild is or call the grandchild directly before we will send the wire.
Michael Dwells September 17, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I feel terrible for the seniors who fell for the scam. More than the loss of money, it must have deeply worried them when they heard the situation their loved one was supposed to be into. It's just sad how other people easily take advantage of the love and concern grandparents have for their grandchildren. Based on the complaints posted at http://www.callercenter.com alone, about 63 percent of the scams targeted the seniors.Unacceptable!

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