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Posing as Grandson in Peril, Crooks Scam 80-year-old for Thousands

A local senior citizen called the cops last week after she wired money overseas in hopes of helping her 26-year-old grandson.

Paramedics were called last week to the home of an elderly woman who was distraught after being scammed by crooks who pretended to be her grandson.

responders said they got a call shortly after 9 p.m. Feb. 20 that the 80-year-old may have been having a stroke, according to the police report. She had wired $2,400 earlier that day to the Dominican Republic after someone posing as her 26-year-old grandson called her and told her he'd been in a traffic accident in Chicago. 

"(Suspects told the victim) that her grandson … had just been in an accident with a subject from another country who was driving a Hertz rent-a-car," the report said. "(A caller) told the victim that (her grandson) had a blood-alcohol content of near 0.08."

The caller then said the driver of the rental car paid for damages but demanded reimbursement or he would press charges against the grandson. Damages amounted to $2,400, the man said. The caller asked the woman to wire the money to a person named "Dorka Clase" and to not tell anyone about it because her grandson could be sued. 

An employee at Super Kmart refused to wire the money for the victim, who then went to the nearest currency exchange. She wired the money and paid a $200 transfer fee. 

The woman called the number back and reached the voice mail for a public defender's office originating in Quebec, Canada.

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Loretta Torres February 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Please post scam awarenesses on every single issue each and every week. Remind mostly seniors and others to be aware of so many scams out there. Do not take info over the phone. Do not send or give anyone money. Do not hire anyone who comes to ur door for any kind of services and do not let Anyone in ur home or go outside or anywhere with them. It's a shame that we can't trust anyone this day and age but it's a fact. Be safe and protect your loved ones
Russ February 27, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Loretta, I agree Patch has reported on a few of these stories.There needs to be a huge community awareness push for the seniors.Kudos to Super Kmart.Seniors become more vulnerable to this type of scam ,because of some aging issues like senility, dementia etc. A good start would be to indoctrinate ,your older parents and grandparents. When we were raising our kids we had a secret word(to be used in emergencies) that even to this day my eldest remembers. The threat of someone trying to abduct your child by saying they were from the hospital ,fellow worker etc. and dad or mom were sick,had some kind of emergency and told them to go with the nice person, or in a terrible accident and the abductor would volunteer to take them to the hospital.If our children didn't get the secret word they would run away. That might work for your older loved ones.
Russ February 27, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Secret word for grandchildren or children to give to grandparent if they have a problem.
Resident February 28, 2012 at 12:25 AM
My mom got a scam call like this... someone claiming to be her grandson... He was able to get just enough info from Mom to pull off a pretty believable story that he needed cash wired to him... Thankfully, Mom called me to ask some questions that I deciphered were leading to something very fishy... Russ's advice is a great one: secret word.

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