Crime

Elma couple falls for ‘grandparent’ scam, sends scammers $27,000

Elma police are warning area residents about a “grandparent” scam after a couple in their 80s sent $27,000 to an address in Pennsylvania. The couple reported the scam on Monday, according to police.
Elma police are warning area residents about a “grandparent” scam after a couple in their 80s sent $27,000 to an address in Pennsylvania. The couple reported the scam on Monday, according to police. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Elma police are warning area residents about a “grandparent” scam after a couple in their 80s sent $27,000 to an address in Pennsylvania, thinking they were helping their grandson.

The couple had received phone calls telling them their grandson was in police custody. After they withdrew the money and sent it overnight, they called their grandson directly who told them he was fine and had never been in jail.

“Before sending any financial assistance to an individual or group, verify the authenticity of the request with local law enforcement or other family members,” Elma Police Chief Susan Shultz said in a statement.

The Elma couple received several phone calls. First, they heard from someone claiming to be a drug enforcement agent, followed by someone crying hysterically, saying he was their grandson and in custody. They were told that bail was $14,500 and attorney fees were $12,500.

“The victims were instructed to send the money in cash to an address in Pennsylvania and not to tell anyone about the case,” a news release reads.

So that’s what they did, via UPS. After they sent the money, they received another phone call for an additional $12,500. It was then that they finally became suspicious and called their grandson.

Elma police confirmed that the couple withdrew the money from their bank in two transactions. They also are working with a police department in Pennsylvania, which has received similar reports about the scam.

In a warning about IRS scam call season, the Midland Police Department in Texas shared a video on Facebook of Officer Stief's phone call with "six different 'IRS' representatives."

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