Phone Swindles target seniors
Beware of scammers
by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
July 21, 2009
The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office out of Green River / Rock Springs, Wyoming, issued advisories about two recent phone swindle scams that are circulating the area. Both are phone scams that target seniors.
‘Lloyd’s of London Big Money’ Scam
Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell today issued his second advisory in two days on yet another phone swindle in Sweetwater County that targets seniors.
Under investigation is the case of a 78-year-old who was telephoned by a man who claimed to represent Lloyd’s of London, the famous British insurance firm. The bogus Lloyd’s agent told the victim he was entitled to a huge sum of money, which he could collect after paying "processing fees" and "taxes."
"Unfortunately, the ‘processing fees’ and ‘taxes’ came to over $30,000," Haskell said. "This particular victim was hit very hard."
Haskell urged people to be very cautious if contacted by a stranger who says they’ve come into a lot of money. "Be suspicious and be safe," he recommends. "Send no money and call local law enforcement."
‘Grandson in Jail and Needs Money’ Scam
Sweetwater County Sheriff Rich Haskell issued an advisory concerning a phone swindle circulating in Sweetwater County that targets seniors.
Haskell said the victim receives a telephone call from a man who identifies himself as the person’s grandson, who sometimes explains that if his voice is unfamiliar, it’s because he has a cold. The caller goes on to say that he is in jail in Canada after being involved in an accident, is facing DUI charges, and needs money for bail, damages, and attorney expenses.
The first call is followed up by a second, from a man who represents himself as the bogus grandson’s attorney, who "confirms" the story and presses the victim to wire the funds - usually about $4,000 - right away.
Haskell said that two people in Green River, whose grandson was neither in jail nor in Canada, were victimized for over $8,000 while a third person, living in Reliance, refused to send any money and called the Sheriff’s Office instead.
The Green River Police Department is investigating the first two instances and the Sheriff’s Office the third. The two agencies are coordinating their efforts.
"Obviously, the swindlers are doing some research before they make their calls," Haskell said. "That’s a big part of making it all sound authentic." He encouraged Sweetwater County residents to be alert for similar calls, and to confirm independently any such information with other relatives before sending off any money.
For more information about these scams call Detective Dick Blust, Jr., Public Information Officer, Green River / Rock Springs, Wyoming, phone 307-922-5294 or 307-350-4016, e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org