Woman scammed out of $19,500; Caller claimed grandson needed bail money

Published 10:58 am Friday, July 6, 2018

Law enforcement is reminding people that scammers continue to target residents after a 92-year-old Mower County woman was scammed out of $19,500.

According to Mower County Chief Deputy Mark May, the woman received a call on Sunday in which the scammer claimed her grandson had been in a car accident in New York involving a female. The scammer also said he had been arrested and needed $9,500 to post bail.

The Mower County woman sent the money, but could not remember the address.

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The woman received a second call on Tuesday claiming the baby of the female involved in the accident had died and she needed $30,000 for the funeral because she was from another country, May said. When the woman informed the scammer she did not have the money, the scammer settled on $10,000, which she sent to 320 Park Ave. in New York.

The woman later spoke to a relative in the Twin Cities, who informed her her grandson had not been in New York, at which point she called the Mower County Law Enforcement Center. She was able to provide law enforcement with tracking numbers for the payments, according to May.

The report has been forwarded to investigators, though efforts to call the provided numbers have been unsuccessful.

Law enforcement officials say this scam commonly targets the elderly. They advise to never provide any money and to call a family member if there is any uncertainty.