Quick-acting police investigators on Long Island were able to save an elderly man thousands of dollars after he was caught up in a grandparent scam.
Suffolk County Police Financial Crimes Unit detectives and members of the United States Postal Inspection Service intercepted cash sent by a St. James man as part of a phone scam this week.
Police said that a 79-year-old man in St. James received a phone call on Wednesday, April 8 from scammers who claimed that his grandson had been involved in a motor vehicle crash and was arrested. The caller said that the man needed to send $9,500 to an address in St. Louis to bail out his grandson, which he did.
According to police, the man sent the cash through the United States Postal Service, and after speaking with his grandson, realized he had been scammed.
Detectives contacted officials at the New York office of the United States Postal Inspection Service who then contacted officials in the St. Louis office. Postal inspectors intercepted the package prior to delivery and turned over the cash to Financial Crimes Unit detectives on Tuesday, April 14 to be returned to the victim.
“I would like to commend the efforts of the Financial Crimes Unit detectives who kept an innocent victim’s money from making its way into the hands of a scammer—a result that is not always easy,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
“We would like to remind people to be alert to scams such as this one, as well as those involving the IRS, Social Security and utility companies. It is also important to be aware of emerging scams relating to COVID-19.”
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