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“Grandparent scam” costs Boardman woman $90k

By Justin Wier

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Staff report


An 83-year-old Boardman woman lost nearly $90,000 after she fell victim to a phone scam.

The woman received the first of two phone calls April 17 when a man identified himself as a “district attorney general” and said her grandson had been arrested on a narcotics charge, according to a police report.

At the caller’s request, she sent three $500 Walmart gift cards via overnight shipping.

The man called back April 19 and said more narcotics had been found in her grandson’s car. He asked her to empty her bank accounts and send the money to him.

The woman told township police she emptied a Wells Fargo account and sent $87,694 to the man.

She believed it was suspicious to send a large amount of money through the mail, but she believed her grandson needed the money.

The woman spoke to her grandson Monday, and he told her he had not been arrested, at which time she contacted police.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has alerted the elderly to the “grandparent scam” since 2008.

The bureau advises potential victims to resist the pressure to act quickly, to contact another family member before taking action and to never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email.

In 2017, nearly one in five people reported losing money in an imposter scheme, which resulted in the loss of $328 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission.