The Sacramento Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit has identified a scam targeting the elderly. The scam unfolds with the suspects posing as relatives to the elderly. The suspect will telephone the elderly victim and refer to them as "Grandma" or "Grandpa". The unsuspecting victim will respond by identifying a family member. For example, "Is that you Konrad?" The suspect answers "Yes, it's me. I have been arrested and I need bail money. Please don't tell my parents."
Ultimately, the victim wires money to the suspect, believing they are helping a grandchild. Once the suspect obtains the money (which can be done anywhere in the world), there is no way for the victim to recover it.
It is important for everyone to be aware of these scams. The Sacramento Police Department urges the community to be very cautious about giving any personal information over the phone. Furthermore, if a call like this comes into your home, take measures to confirm the identity of the caller before proceeding.
We also caution the community about the social networking sites where similar scams have occurred. The suspect contacts all the listed friends of an individual, and claims that the individual has been arrested, needing bail money. The friends, in turn, each send some money to the suspect. Once again, before giving any money or personal information, confirm the identity of the person asking for your help. If you have been a victim of a similar scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information pertaining to this crime to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.