$4,500 and $2,500. These large sums were wired separately by two senior citizens of the town of New Castle on Friday, January 27. Both amounts were extorted as the result of a scam.
In one incident, a senior citizen received a call telling him that his son had been kidnapped in Bolivia. By employing a ruse, the name of the son was extracted from the senior. The caller referred to the son by name, lending an air of veracity to the scam. The senior hastened to Western Union in Mount Kisco and sent $4,500 to Bolivia. Fortunately, in this case, when the senior confirmed that the information he had been given was false, Western Union was able to cancel the money transfer because the sum had not yet been collected by the designated recipient in Bolivia.
On the same day, another elderly gentleman received a phone call that sounded quite similar. He was told that his grandson had been in a car accident in Mexico City. The caller said that if $2,500 was not sent immediately, terrible consequences would befall the grandson. This caller used the grandson’s actual name which persuaded the victim to send the money.
Detective/Sergeant James Wilson of the New Castle Police Department explained that this type of scam began on the internet. Emails are sent to unsuspecting family or friends, claiming that someone they know desperately needs money right away. The two incidents in town occurred solely on the telephone.
“If you receive a phone call about a relative who needs money, try to confirm it,” Wilson cautioned. “These people are very convincing on the telephone,” he added.