After parting with nearly $90,000 of life time savings to help a person she thought was her grandson, our 80 year old Wexford neighbor became suspicious and contacted our police department. While there is no good crime, those that prey on our most vulnerable really hit low. This targeted scam has been around for a long time yet we still have too many, young and old, become victims.
This latest financial assault started on October 3 when our neighbor received a call from the unknown suspect who identified himself as the victim’s grandson, according to the police department media release below. The first request was for $1,700, which was sent. After that it became a semi daily call requesting more money until our neighbor became suspicious and contacted PD.
How heartbreaking for this person, who only wanting to do good, ended up being wiped out of such a large sum of money by a suspect who may never get caught. There are many of us who do not have family near by to help us suss things out and many times as neighbors, we are too busy with our own lives to become involved in others. We have to find a way to help our vulnerable neighbors. Perhaps we can start by sharing this report with those we know in our neighborhood, talk about while in line at the store, do whatever you can to alert folks to contact the police if they ever feel suspicious about anything. Especially if it involves money.
The next caller may make contact with your elderly parents or grandparents, aunties or uncles. We have to stand united and not allow our neighbors to become victims. It hurts us all. And this is a good reminder for us all to pick up the phone and stay connected to our family as they become older. Let them hear our voices, know what we are up to, keep connections open so they will not fall prey to these types of scams. To our Wexford neighbor, we are so sorry this thief contacted you and we hope there will be some way for you to find restitution. Please pass this message onward to warn another neighbor, friend, or family member. If you are in anyway concerned for someone’s well being, please reach out to police 877-8900, anonymous tip line 952-2244, or clergy. Another resource is the San Mateo County Office on Aging Adults where they offer information, advice and 24-hour emergency response. You can reach them at 650/573-3900 or 711 for California Relay Services (TDD). They 24 hr hotline is staffed by knowledgeable and experienced social workers and public health nurses. Keep those numbers handy for reference.