Cops Arrest 3 After $24k Taken In ‘Grandson Needs Help’ Scam
New York State Police say an elderly Central New York couple fell victim to an enduring scam that puts emotion ahead of all else: a sudden call that a loved one needs your help immediately.
Authorities say the con worked for a while, as the couple was swindled out of more than $24,000, but three arrests have been made in the case and police say there maybe more local victims out there.
The Cayuga County Sheriff's Office was first notified this week that the couple received a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandson, that he was involved in a motor vehicle accident and needed bail money.
Wanting to help, the couple withdrew $9,500, police said, then followed instructions to put the money in a box. Uber Package was used to pick it up and have it delivered. Police say it worked so smoothly, the scammers manipulated the couple into making a total of three withdrawals, totaling over $24,000.
After still more calls from the scammers came demanding cash on Thursday, authorities say they were able to track the money exchanges to a location in Syracuse and have arrested three people on charges of conspiracy and grand larceny. The investigation also led to an Airbnb in Syracuse where $20,000 in cash was found during a search by police.
However, the names of the three arrested have not been released by police, who also say they had to release the suspects on their own recognizance as it is not considered a bail eligible offense.
It is not believed that the third-party delivery drivers involved in the money pick-ups and drop-offs were involved in the scheme, police said, but continue to investigate to see if there are additional victims.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call 911. The investigation included members of the sheriff's office along with New York State Police and the Finger Lakes Drug Task Force.
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