Flagler deputies warn of phone scam

Scam targets elderly victims

Published On: Jun 21 2013 10:50:35 AM EDT
FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. -

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office wants to alert residents to a telephone scam where the caller tells his victim that a relative is in trouble and victim needs to send a large amount of money to assist the relative.

In the most recent incident, the 92-year-old victim was contacted by phone and told his grandson had been arrested in Mexico City for drunken driving, deputies said. They said the caller, using the grandson's nickname, told the elderly victim that his grandson would be released from jail once the man wired $1,500 via Western Union to "authorities" in Mexico City.

The victim wired the $1,500 and was contacted a third time with a request for an additional $12,000 because illegal substances had been found inside the grandson's car, deputies said. This time, the man told the scammer he did not have the money and hung up. He then called his daughter, who told him that the grandson was safe and not in Mexico City and to report the incident to law enforcement.

At least one other similar fraud has been reported in the last several months, and officials want to get the word out in order to prevent others from becoming victims.

"Scam's like this have become an everyday occurrence across the country," said Sheriff James Manfre.
"Swindlers like this prey upon the generosity, kindness and trusting nature of their elderly victims. Getting
the word out about frauds like this will hopefully help prevent another person from becoming a victim."

In a similar incident reported in April, a Palm Coast couple was called and advised about a family member allegedly being detained by Mexican authorities and wired $1,295 via Western Union to "The District of Federal Mexico." The victim was called the following day and asked to send an additional $1,345. The victim wired the additional monies.

The couple became concerned after not hearing from the family member and then was informed by another family member that the event never occurred.