Crime of Persuasion: Senior Bilked Out of $11K in Phone Scam
Oak Lawn senior wires $11,000 out of country under phone ruse that grandson was in trouble.
An 82-year-old Oak Lawn man fell prey to a phone scam after a caller posing as his grandson fooled him into sending $11,000 out of the country.
Oak Lawn police said the man received a phone call on his landline around noon March 22 from a caller posing as the senior’s grandson.
According to the report, the “grandson” called the man “grandpa” and said he was in a Mexican jail because he had been in a car accident. The caller told the man he had a lawyer named “Stanley Rosen” and gave him the lawyer’s email address and phone number, both of which police said were fake.
The caller said he needed $2,700 wired to a third party in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. The caller explained that the third party worked at the U.S. Consulate in Mexico, and would transfer the money to him.
Police said the senior was a little suspicious, but said the phone connection seemed like it was actually from Mexico, including static and a partial delay. The senior went to his bank to withdraw cash for the Western Union transfer and wired $2,800 from a local supermarket.
The next morning, the senior received another phone call from his “grandson.” The caller needed more money because the other people involved in the accident were injured, but would settle for $5,400 cash.
The senior again withdrew cash from his bank account and wired $5,400 in two separate transfers. Police said Western Union contacted the senior later that afternoon, stating that one of his money transfers did not go through and that he needed to re-send the payment.
The senior made a third withdrawal from his bank and wired $2,700 to the third party in Mexico. When another call came in from his “grandson,” the senior asked him what his grandmother’s name was, and the line was disconnected.
Police said the senior filed a report with the FBI, but was advised to file a report with Oak Lawn police. The grandson was never in Mexico. The senior has a Facebook account and has his phone numbers listed. He was advised to advise his credit card accounts and change his Facebook settings.
The senior is one of several individuals in the Oak Lawn area who have sent money out of the United States responding to the ruse of a grandchild in trouble, police said.