Two men are facing charges after duping an elderly couple out of thousands of dollars by pretending their grandson was in jail.
New York State Police investigators from Orange County responded to a residence in Wawayanda earlier this year, for a report of a “grandparent bail bond scam.”
Police said that the couple received a call from someone alleging to be their grandson, stating that he had been arrested and needed bail money.
The couple was then put into contact with an alleged attorney who advised that he needed $8,700 in cash to bail their grandson out of jail. They were told that a courier would come to pick up the funds. This alleged currier arrived at their residence a short time later and retrieved the cash.
According to police, shortly after that initial exchange, the couple received a call from the alleged attorney who advised that the bail had been increased and that they would need to supply an additional $13,500.
The couple became suspicious and contacted their grandson who advised that he was fine and not under arrest. They then contacted State Police in Middletown. Troopers and Investigators waited for the suspect to return. Upon his arrival at the couples’ residence he, along with an accomplice were taken into custody.
Hansel Barrett, 51, Clayton Barton, 64, both of Queens, were arrested following the investigation into the scam and charged with grand larceny, third-degree attempted grand larceny and conspiracy.
The two men were arraigned in the Town of Wawayanda Court and are being held in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $75,000 bond at the Orange County Jail. They are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday, Oct. 25.
According to police, if someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:
- Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
- Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
- Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
- Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
- Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Anyone who feels they may have been victimized by this pair has been asked to contact the State Police at Middletown by calling (845) 344-5300.
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