Police Warn of Bi-Coastal Scam Targeting Elderly

Someone is calling elderly posing as a relative saying they're in trouble and need money for bail

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An 86-year-old grandmother from Orange County lost 30 thousand dollars after falling for a heartbreaking scam. A man posing as her grandson called her saying he was caught in Mexico with drugs that weren't his, and he needed bail money. Vikki Vargas reports from Seal Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 9, 2013. (Published Thursday, May 9, 2013)

    Maxine Scott says the voice on the phone was similar to her grandson’s voice and the story seemed believable.

    The man said Randy was caught in Mexico with marijuana that wasn’t his and would need bail money.

    “It didn’t sound quite like him,” Scott said. “He said, ‘I’m sick. I have a cold.’”

    So the 86-year-old great grandmother went into rescue mode.

    She wanted to help.

    “The next day he called and said the judge needed $15,000 – that’s what he needed to get out,” Scott said.

    Scott drove to her bank, packed the cash in a gift box and sent it as directed.

    The address?

    A Sheraton Hotel in New York City.

    Surveillance photos show the scam artist retrieving the package.

    There were two for a total of $30,0000.

    Recently detectives in New York realized they had a similar case with a man with the braided goatee.

    But his ID says Matthew Jones, an alias.

    Authoritities say it was never Randy.

    “I’m mad, I’m angry. I’m mad at myself for doing such a thing,” Scott said.

    Police fear that more good-natured victims could be scattered across the country.

    “It tells me this is not his first time,” said Sgt. Ron La Velle, of the Seal Beach Police Department.
    “It’s a high-yield crime with very low risk.”

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