Last week, cops say, these tricksters targeted a 75 year-old Boynton Beach man.
He got a phone call July 5 from a man who claimed to be his grandson. The retiree told cops that the man sounded like his grandson. Turns out, this was not actually the man's grandson. This grandson impostor, however, told the victim that he was in big trouble with the law, and stuck in a foreign country.
The perp told the man that he had been drinking in Mexico City, smashed his car, got arrested for DUI, and needed money to get out of lockup.
The victim wired $4,600 to Mexico, then got a call from another man who claimed to be his grandson's lawyer. The accomplice confirmed that the money arrived in Mexico.
When the man called his daughter to check on his grandson, however, he found out that his grandson was home safe and had never been in Mexico City.
Cops say that the best way to avoid this scam and others like it is to treat alleged family members like dirt.
If a purported jailbird relative calls your house asking for bail, hang up immediately, and definitely, definitely, don't wire any money.
If you still feel the need to be charitable, however, then call other family to confirm that this relative actually exists. Then, call cops to make sure the relative is behind bars.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.