Utica, N.Y. - On Thursday we told you about an elaborate scam that Rome Police say duped an elderly Rome woman out of $9,000, now State Police say the same thing has happened to two other elderly people here in Central New York, and for even more money.
That Rome woman we told you about on Thursday wasn't alone in doing what she could to help whom she thought was her own grandchild and State Police say two other grandparents have also gotten taken trying to help their grandchildren, one was taken for $9,800 and the other for $15,000, all in cash.
State Police say an 83-year-old woman received a call from a man posing as an attorney, who said police had just arrested her grandson and needed $9,800 in cash for legal fees. Police say the victim retrieved the cash and waited for a courier to pick the cash up at her home and she then gave it to him.
The same thing happened to an 87-year-old man, but this time that grandfather gave the courier $15,000 in cash for his grandson's bail.
State Police have not released the locations of where these other two scams took place here in the Troop D Region.
State Police are warning area seniors this weekend to be alert to anyone who calls asking for money.
They are also urging family members to have a talk with their elderly loved ones to make sure they are aware that this sort of thing is happening and what to do if they receive a call. They should call a loved one or the police.
State Police say a grandparent may think they would know whether they were speaking to their own grandchild or to an imposter, but they say it is easy to be fooled. The caller may be crying or the background may be noisy, or the caller may claim the connection is bad.
State Police say the numbers of these types of scams where people impersonate family members are up nationally.
In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission received 24,545 such complaints, up from 20,234 in 2019.
New Yorkers alone filed 1,359 complaints in 2020.
Additional information about the so-called Grandparent Scam can be found on the New York State Attorney General’s website : https://ag.ny.gov/
New Yorkers who have been targeted by this scam are urged to file a complaint by completing an online complaint form on the Attorney General's website or by calling (800) 771-7755.