New scam targets senior citizens

DOWNEY - Senior citizens in Downey are being targeted by scam artists who falsely claim a relative has been arrested before requesting money for their release, the Downey Police Department said this week.According to police, the victim will receive a telephone call from a person claiming to be either their grandchild or a friend of one of their grandchildren. The scammer claims the relative has been arrested in Canada and tells the victim to wire money via Western Union to cover court costs and secure their grandchild's release, police said. The money is usually wired overseas. After wiring the money, victims are instructed not to tell family members because of "possible embarrassment to the grandchild." "The suspects that commit these scams are experts at what they do and often times have specific details about the victim's family," police said in a statement. "Those details may include personal information such as names of their grandchildren or other family members." Residents who receive such a call should notify police immediately. Anyone with questions or information regarding the scam should call Detective Javier Sanchez at (562) 904-2320 or Sgt. Brian Baker at (562) 904-2304.

********** Published: January 15, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 39