PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) — A scam came between an elderly Northwest Indiana woman and nearly $10,000 of her money.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports, the 72-year-old woman was warned by a Western Union employee about scams against the elderly when she made two large wire transfers to the Dominican Republic. But she didn’t heed the warning.
On June 7, the Portage, Ind., woman received a call from a man she thought was her grandson. The man said he was in the Dominican Republic and had been in a traffic accident, and he would be put in jail if he didn’t pay $4,200 for the damage to the other vehicle and court costs.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Felicia Middlebrooks reports
The day after the woman wired the money to what she thought was her grandson’s attorney, a man claiming to be that attorney called and told her the other driver was injured and planned to sue for $5,300. He told her that her grandson would be jailed until the claim was paid, so she needed to send money again.
The man also told her the people at Western Union may question her about the large sum of money but warned her she could not legally tell them why she was wiring the money because it involved a criminal matter, so she would have to make up a reason.
When the transaction went as the man told her it would, the woman told police, she told the Western Union employees that she was investing in property.
It was only when the woman contacted her grandson more than a week later, on Friday, annoyed with not receiving a thank-you for keeping him out of jail in a foreign country, that she learned she had been scammed.
Altogether, the woman sent $9,500. With fees, her loss totaled $9,977.
The Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire