A woman has been scammed out of all the money she had by a phone call with someone pos-ing as her grandson who claimed to be in jail needing money.
“She was hard of hearing and didn’t realize that was someone posing as her grandson,” said Sheriff Jackie Matheny about the call received by the local woman.
When she picked up the phone and talked to the person she thought was her grandson, the person claimed he was in jail in Las Vegas, Nev., and needed money to get out.
“At some point during the conversation, he put on someone he claimed was his attorney,” Matheny said.
Convinced her grandson needed help, the woman wired the money to the location specified in the Dominican Republic.
“After she did it, she began wondering why she had to wire it there,” Matheny said. “By then it was too late. Her money was gone forever and it was basically all she had.”
Matheny said there’s no chance of ever catching the people who scammed the woman or getting her money back. And, the lawman said scams like this happen on a regular basis here in Warren County.
“They are wearing our county out,” Matheny said. “They get lists of senior citizens and they sit there and call until they find someone to send them money.”
Matheny said it is important for not only senior citizens to take heed, but also their loved ones to talk to their parents and grandparents and warn them about wiring or sending money to anyone.
“This scam has been used before, with someone claiming to need bond,” Matheny said. “There was one case here where the caller claimed their son was in jail in Canada and needed $4,000. They had sent it before they got to thinking something was up. They were able to stop the transfer at the last minute. As you might have guessed, their son wasn’t in jail.”
Matheny said if you get a call claiming a loved one is in jail, contact the sheriff’s department and report it. They can check to see if the claim is true.
The sheriff noted the “loved one in jail” scam is only one of many. This time of year the IRS scam is big where someone calls claiming to be a revenue officer and threatens to put the person in jail if they do not send them money to pay back taxes.
“The IRS does not work that way,” Matheny warned, noting it’s a good idea to take things slow when being pressured by a caller. “If you’ve got a question, call us,” Matheny said. “The best advice I can give is not to talk to these people.”