Friday, August, 17, 2018

Loretto law enforcement warns of scam

Loretto Police Department

Earlier this week some local grandparents were contacted by a male who was crying and asking for his grandfather.

The grandfather eventually asked if this was his grandson and used the grandson’s name, for this post’s purposes lets use Billy. A short time later the couple was contacted by a person claiming to be the public defender for little Billy.

This person gave an elaborate story about how Billy had been involved in a crash where the other driver was seriously injured and Billy was subsequently arrested for DUI in New York. Billy’s bond had been set at $15,000 and only he, the public defender, could contact Billy in the jail.

A request was made for the grandparents to mail $15,000 in cash to an address in New York where the money would then be used to free little Billy. The person advised the grandparents not to contact any of Billy’s family or friends as he had a previous client commit suicide out of embarrassment.

The grandparents, fearing for little Billy’s safety, did as the person asked and took $15,000 to the local FedEx and mailed it. However, upon returning home an uneasy feeling led them to call little Billy’s phone.

Turns out Billy was not in a New York jail but rather safe in Pittsburgh. A prompt call to FedEx stopped the money from being shipped out and it was safely recovered.We see many variations of this scam several times a year.

Often the caller gleans personal information off of social media and then uses it against elderly relatives. Typical payment requests are in the form of gift cards or one use debit cards making it impossible for us to track the transaction.It bears repeating that if you are contacted by someone claiming a similar situation as describedabove you always have the option to verify the incarceration of your loved one.

While [omit negative comment about lawyers], those in the jail, law enforcement, and court system will neversolicit money over the phone for bail or other activities.If you think you are being scammed, you most likely are.



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