The two incidents, one resulting in the loss of $14,000 and the other of $30,000, are the latest in ongoing scams where telephone callers target the elderly, said Deerfield (Mass.) Police detective Adam Sokoloski.
The callers pretend to be the lawyer or legal representative for a grandchild who has been arrested, and they need money for bail or to pay for legal representation.
The department gets calls daily from people reporting getting a strange call from someone asking for money. In most instances, the people receiving the call do not give any money, he said. But there are cases when the people getting the call agree to send money to the caller.
“We get calls all the time and it’s heartbreaking when people lose money,” he said.
He said there have been four or five cases just this year in Deerfield where people have given large amounts of money to scammers.
Police would rather hear about it before any money is exchanged than afterward. Because once payment is made, the money is basically gone and there’s very little chance of getting it back.
In the two recent incidents, money in one instance was sent by FedEx to an address in Florida where it disappeared. In the other, $30,000 was wired to Wells Fargo Bank, and once it was received, the account was closed out.
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Scammers bilk elderly Mass. residents out of $44k