Three Redding residents have fallen victim to a scam that preys upon a grandparent’s or parent’s love for a child and police are warning others not to become victims as well.
In these cases, and in others taking place across the country, the caller claims to be the victim’s child or grandchild or someone who is holding the loved one in jail, usually in Mexico.
The caller then instructs the victim to send money to a specific location or to make a wire transfer into a bank account.
The actual amount demanded varies, but it is usually in increments of $20,000, according to police.
Redding Police said they have received three complaints of the scam in town and the total amount of money stolen adds up to almost $190,000.
One victim was scammed of $18,000, while a second was scammed of $60,000 and a third was scammed of $111,000.
Many of the scams target elderly victims and while banks will usually question when seniors withdraw large amounts of cash, victims in these cases are given instructions as to what to say to the teller if questioned, police said.
Anyone who receives a similar call should immediately call the local police department.
If a relative being held legitimately needs bail money, call your local police department to verify this. Do not send any cash or transfer any funds, police warn.
Darien police have reported similar crimes in the past and said the caller might impersonate a resident, lawyer or police officer.