An eastern Lincoln County woman was scammed out of $5,000, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies went to a residence on the 4400 block of Catawba-Burris Road in Denver on April 9 to investigate possible fraud. The victim said someone called her residence, claiming to be her granddaughter, and told the victim to send $5,000 so the caller could post bond for a marijuana arrest, according to a press release. The victim has a granddaughter that is a college student in New Jersey.
The victim told deputies she received the call on April 7. She said the caller sounded like she was crying. The caller said she had been arrested when marijuana was found in a friend’s vehicle. A man claiming to be the caller’s attorney got on the phone and told the victim the money should be sent to an address in Vandalia, Ohio, and to not tell anyone because the information was confidential and that the supposed granddaughter’s court date wasn’t until April 16.
The victim took $5,000 cash to the Pack and Ship store on Highway 16 in Denver and mailed it to the Ohio address. She later told a family member about the incident, who then checked with the granddaughter in New Jersey. The victim’s granddaughter didn’t know anything about the incident.
The victim tracked the package, which was delivered to the Ohio address on April 8.
The Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division learned Monday that the U.S. Postal Service conducted a search of the Ohio residence, based upon a tip from California, that resulted in a seizure of property. The press release said the person at the Ohio location was a middleman, and that most of the money received there was sent to Canada. The phone calls also originated in Canada.
Sheriff’s Office officials said they received a call on Feb. 15 about a nearly identical fraud attempt.
A resident of the 6600 block of Bob White Trail in Stanley said she received a call from a woman who claimed to be her granddaughter, and said she needed money to get out of jail after a drugs arrest. A man got on the phone and told the resident to send $2,500 to the Ohio address.
The Sheriff’s Office said citizens “should never blindly follow the directions of people who call them on the telephone.”