On Feb. 10, an 80-year-old female victim received a call from a male caller, stating he was her 25-year-old grandson. He continued to say that he was in Toronto, Canada, where he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident in a rented car.
The male subject then informed the victim he was arrested for DUI. He informed her that he had been before a judge in Toronto and would be released without charges, if he paid the fine and vehicle repair cost. He then asked the victim to send $4,200, so he could get out of jail and return to the U.S. He told the female she had to use a "MoneyGram" at the local Wal-Mart, as this is what they used in Canada. He further stated he was unable to get hold of his mother and this was the reason he was calling her.
The victim confirmed the subject did know the grandson's name, where he was from, and had her number. She further confirmed it did sound like her grandson. It was due to this fact that she did wire the money, only to find out later when talking to her daughter, that the grandson was in the US and was not involved in any accident in Canada.
This case is presently under investigation. The reason for this press release, is this is the fourth call in the Troop C area of this type of phone scam. There had been three reported in the Rutland County Area, and one in the Bennington area.
Another was also received in the Chittenden County area, but as the caller was calling himself the grandson, the would-be victim was actually looking at her grandson in front of her.
Most of the scams reported are being attempted with senior citizens. Other scams used are when a subject calls and tells the victim they have won a large sum of money. They then inform the victim, that the victim must send an insurance fee to secure the delivery of the money. The sum is then supposed to be returned to the victim, when they receive the winnings. The money is never sent and the so called insurance money is lost.
As Internet crime prevention improves, criminals are attempting other scams via the telephone. They are still getting information off the internet, but do not use it, in an attempt to restrict the tracking of the information.
State Police would like to remind people that situations or instances when money is requested from you and you are not sure of the source, call local law enforcement for confirmation before sending money to a person or company.