Police Seek Help Stopping Scam Aimed at Elderly Residents

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The Watertown Police Department warns that a scam targeting older residents has been reported recently, and asks residents to alert family, friends and neighbors.

The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Police Department:

Elderly Scam Advisory

Important Information!!! REQUESTING YOUR ASSISTANCE

There is currently a group of individuals targeting senior citizens by way of a telephone scam in our community as well as several Metro-Boston cities and towns. An unidentified person will telephone an unsuspecting elder and say that the elder’s grandchild is currently in jail due to some prior event.

The unknown suspect will say that they are a lawyer representing the
“grandchild” and request the elder to obtain an amount of money to bail the “grandchild” out of jail. This is referred to as the “grandchild in jail scam”. Usually the money request is in the tens of thousands of dollars. After the elder obtains the cash, the “lawyer” will send a “courier” to the
elder’s home to collect the cash. The “courier” will then arrive at the elder’s home, usually in a vehicle and take the money.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Please inform your family, friends, and neighbors of this scam.

Speak to your elderly parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. and make sure they are aware and understand.

Explain to people, that a lawyer, the police, a bail bonds person, court personnel, the District Attorney, will NEVER call you to obtain money to get someone out of jail.

VERY IMPORTANT … If you or someone you know receives this scam call, PLEASE CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY AND LET US KNOW. Even if you are not sure, call us!!!

As a practice, never give money or credit card numbers to anyone calling on the phone, if you are not sure what to do, please call us, we are always available to help.

7 thoughts on “Police Seek Help Stopping Scam Aimed at Elderly Residents

  1. This scam is nothing new. All a person of normal intelligence, elderly or not, has to do is call the mother or father of their grandchild and see where their child is rather than running to the bank, or Target or Stop & Shot to get gift cards to mail to someone, somewhere they don’t know. Remember, with age grows wisdom but sometimes age comes along all by itself. Oh, and please, no reply about lonely elderly people who like the sound of the scammer’s voice.

    • With all due respect, if you are bright enough to fall for this scam, you deserve to have your life savings wiped out.

  2. It may be annoying to be reminded that long-running scams are still finding victims. It only takes a few hits for these scams to keep running. And don’t be so sure it will never happen to you. Sometimes falling for such a scam is the first sign that cognitive decline has outrun your ability to compensate.

  3. Bank of America has staff in the Fraud Department as does Watertown Savings Bank, so please, let’s all speak to the staff where we do our banking .

  4. What some may not realize is that the elderly are sometimes confused, maybe early dementia is setting in, and that is why they tend to fall victim to scams more than others.

    Unfortunately though many times elders are scammed by people they have known and that they trust. Having more than one person looking out for your finances is what experts recommend. Maybe a family member, financial advisor, and a friend.

    And in reply to Alice Wadden’s comments. Yes, bankers are usually people you can go to for suspicious behavior but not always. Let’s not forget that about a year ago a Watertown woman that was also a bank manager was able to scam an elderly Belmont resident out of more than $500,000. See the Boston news story below for the details.

    https://bostonnewsgroup.com/2019/01/10/watertown-woman-arraigned-in-connection-with-alleged-financial-theft/

    Working in the financial sector, we see these abuses and more often they are by someone that has intentionally gotten close to the victim for the purpose of stealing money.

    • Maybe , I didn’t read the name of the bank nor the Fraud Department in the newspaper article, so I am confused as to your point . Please, don’t minimize the efficacy of banks with Fraud Departments like Bank of America and Watertown Savings Bank .

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