This time, the “grandparent scam” backfired in a big way an on alleged scammer.
Police on Long Island say a 73-year-old woman lured a man trying to con her out of $8,000 to her home, where officers arrested him. The case unfolded last week, when the Seaford woman, identified only as Jean, received a call purportedly from her grandson saying he needed $8,000 to get bailed out of jail for drunken driving. That seemed a little fishy to the former 911 dispatcher, especially since none of her grandsons are old enough to drive.
“I knew he was a real scammer, I just knew he wasn’t going to scam me.” Jean played along in the call and in subsequent phone calls from others who said they were lawyers or court officials. But she also called police, and officers who were sent to her home heard some of the calls for themselves, When Jean told her alleged scammer that she had $8,000 in cash at home, he told her a bail bondsman would stop by to pick it up. In reality, she handed him wrapped-up paper towels, and police tackled him as he left her house.
“She’s not afraid of these guys,” says Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “She knows what she had to do, and God bless her.” The man arrested is 28-year-old Joshua Estrella Gomez, who is charged with attempted grand larceny in the third degree. The Washington Post notes that scams targeting senior citizens victimize millions of people a year, and the number of such cases have risen during the pandemic. The FBI estimates that people over 60 lost a combined $1 billion to scams in 2020, a figure that has since tripled. (Some cases are worse than others.)
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