Two 80-year-old Wauwatosa women received phone calls from people looking to scam them out of money. One fell for the con, the other smelled a rat.
The scams are not new, but every few months they resurface, targeting seniors in the community, Tosa police officers said.
According to police reports:
The first woman received a call about 11 a.m. Nov. 3 from a man who greeted her as "grandma" and said he needed help. He went on to say that he had been stopped for speeding and that some friends in the car had drugs on them - so he needs $2,400 to be released from jail.
A second person then identified himself as an officer from Deerbrook, Wis., and told the woman she could no longer talk to her grandson. He specified how to send the money, along with a $126 service charge, to an account in Spain.
When she hung up the phone, she called her grandson and verified he wasn't in trouble.
Unfortunately, another Tosa resident parted with her cash before learning the caller was defrauding her.
She received a call Oct. 28 from a man who identified himself as Vic Henderson and said she had won $2.5 million. All she would have to do is send $3,500 to collect her winnings. He said he worked for a law firm and gave her another man's name and number to call to verify the winnings.
She was told to purchase pre-paid money cards and call back with the codes on the back of the cards to cover her payment. She purchased several cards but didn't have enough money, so she went to the bank to take out more cash. There she told the teller she needed money to claim her winnings.
As the elderly woman purchased the rest of the cards and provided the codes to the scammers, the teller alerted bank security personnel, who asked the police to contact the lady. Police quickly learned the codes had been activated and the money had already been collected.
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