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Police warn of scam after 80-year-old duped

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — Police are warning Salisbury residents about a scam that cost an 80-year-old woman more than $5,000.
According to Salisbury Police, the woman received a call last week from a man claiming to be her grandson.
The caller never used the woman’s name, but said he was in jail in the Dominican Republic on a driving while impaired charge.
The caller told the woman that he needed $2,800 and asked that she please not call his parents.
Captain Melonie Thompson said Salisbury Police want to make elderly people aware of the scam because they are frequently targeted.
The “primary target is the elderly,” Thompson said, “they prey on that the person cannot hear them well to discern that it is not their relative or that they will show compassion.”
After wiring the man $2,800, the 80-year-old called back and was told that her grandson’s nose had been broken in the incident and that he needed an additional $2,600 for medical bills.
Just before hanging up, the man added, “I love you, Grandma,” the report said.
“The person will want them to not call their parents,” Thompson said, “so the person should immediately call the parent of the child to see if the story is accurate and find out the whereabouts of the person.”
The next day, the woman went to her grandson’s house and found that he had not been out of the country.
“They should never send money orders or money wires without consulting the police to see if the story is plausible and let us investigate before any money transactions take place,” Thompson said.

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