The Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office is warning the public of a phone scam that has been reported in the county recently.
On April 9, Deputies were dispatched to a residence on Catawba-Burris Road. The victim told Deputies that someone called her at about noon on April 7 and portrayed herself as the victim’s granddaughter. The granddaughter is in college in New Jersey.
The victim said the caller seemed to be crying. The caller said she was out with her friends when Officers found marijuana in the vehicle. The caller said she and another person were arrested and taken to jail.
The caller said she needed $5,000 to post her bond. A man who claimed to be the granddaughter’s attorney got on the phone and said the money should be sent to an address in Vandalia, Ohio. He told the victim not to say anything about the money because the information was confidential and the court date was not until April 16. The victim then took $5,000 in cash to a Pack & Ship store in Denver and sent it to the Ohio address.
She then told a family member who checked with the granddaughter in New Jersey. The granddaughter didn’t know anything about the incident. The victim then tracked the package, which was delivered to the Ohio address on April 8. No signature was required upon receipt.
The U. S. Postal Service, operating on a tip from California, conducted a consent search at the residence in Vandalia, Ohio and seized property from that location. Authorities say the person at the residence was a middleman. Most of the money received there was sent to a location in Canada. The initial phone calls also originated in Canada.
An investigation was conducted by the U. S. Postal Service, but no evidence of the money mailed from Denver has been found.
Previously, on February 15, the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office took an unrelated call involving a resident on Bob White Trail in Stanley. The victim said she received a call from someone pretending to be her granddaughter. The call was virtually identical to the one previously described. The amount requested was $2,500, to be shipped via UPS to the same Vandalia, Ohio address.
An unsuccessful scam was attempted on April 14 when a resident on John Beam Road took a call from a man who claimed he was trying to settle a debt with a bank he represented. The caller said the would-be victim owed $2,000, but the bank would settle for $1,000. The resident told the caller that no money would be sent and he threatened to get a warrant for the caller’s arrest. The resident did not provide any personal information, but filed a police report because his bankcard information had been stolen in March of 2013.
Anyone who receives suspicious telephone calls is encouraged to file a report with local authorities.