03/31/11 — Police warn of elderly scam

View Archive

Police warn of elderly scam

By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 31, 2011 1:46 PM

A nationwide scam targeting the elderly has recently reached area residents, and Goldsboro police are asking the public to be on guard.

The scam involves telephone calls made to the homes of elderly people, and the caller pretends to be a grandchild in need of bail money.

Two individuals, both of Goldsboro, were victims of the scam earlier this week, said Sgt. Dwayne Dean of the Goldsboro police

The victims were 87 and 79 years old and were scammed out of $5,950 and $4,235, respectively.

The stolen money has not been recovered.

"I want people to be made aware before they start sending money," Dean said.

In one case the caller pretended to be the grandchild, and in the other the caller acted as the friend of the grandchild in need of bail money.

Dean said the calls are coming from Canada and the victims are asked to send the money through Western Union to Houston, Texas.

"Some how the suspects have obtained personal information," Dean said. "The suspects know the name of the grandchild."

Dean said in at least one of the scams the suspect knew the nicknames that the grandchild had for the grandparent.

Dean said the scammers are preying people's natural instinct to trust others.

"If you get those types of phone calls, verify with family members that someone is in trouble before sending money."