Police in New York say a scammer impersonated an elderly woman’s grandson and swindled her out of nearly $10,000 in Manhattan last month.
The 78-year-old victim, who resides on the Upper West Side, received a call on August 23 from a person pretending to be her grandson. The imposter claimed he needed $9,500 for bail, leading the unsuspecting grandmother to fall victim to the scam.
The elderly woman agreed to the scammer’s request and the scammer arranged for a courier to collect the $9,500 she was duped into giving. The courier arrived about an hour later, driving a white Toyota with a New York license plate. Fortunately, the victim managed to capture a photo of the driver before he left, according to the New York Post.
The New York Police Department has released the image as part of its investigation. The police say there seems to be an emerging trend of unsuspecting older women being swindled by unscrupulous individuals.
In 2020, Anthony Rosario Mendez executed a similar fraudulent scheme in Brooklyn, posing as a lawyer to deceive grandparents. He falsely informed them that their grandchildren had been arrested and required bail money. Mendez managed to defraud victims aged 74 to 90, extracting thousands of dollars from them. The bail amounts ranged from $3,000 to $20,000, as reported by authorities.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez urged people not to hand over money without verifying the situation with their grandchild, their parent, or another relative to ensure their safety. He emphasized the importance of reporting any suspicious solicitations to law enforcement.