Rome Grandparent Falls Victim to Scam, Loses $9,000 – Here’s How It Happened
Rome Police are warning the public after a recent score by crooks who conned a local grandparent out of $9,000 in cash. And, they're hoping someone has security or doorbell camera footage that will help identify at least one of the thieves.
According to Rome Police, the victim received phone call from a young girl who claimed to be the victim's granddaughter, and correctly used the granddaughters first name. The phony grandchild claimed she was involved in car accident and was in the custody of 'troopers' and was calling from a local 'holding facility'. Then, a man got on the phone identifying himself as 'Mr. Bateman', explaining he was the girl's attorney and would need $9,000 to bail the girl out.
When the victim agreed, 'Mr. Bateman' then said he'd send a 'court courier' to the home to retrieve the cash. The fake lawyer also said there was a 'gag order' on the case, and that the victim shouldn't talk to anyone about the situation. Finally, the scammer said the girl was set to appear in court later that afternoon. All of this was false, police say.
After the fake 'court courier' showed up and took the money, the victim would later go to the Rome courthouse for the granddaughters 'hearing' where they learned no such case existed. The victim also confirmed with their 'real' granddaughter that she wasn't involved in an accident and hadn't been held by police.
Police do have some images of the phony court courier's vehicle, and police are hoping it will lead to the identity of those involved. Further, they're asking Romans to check security footage to help in the case. Cops say the fake 'courier' who retrieved the money from the victim's home was a thin black male, possibly in his 20's, with braided hair, wearing a brown track suit and tan work boots:
It is believed that the male traveled in the area of Laurel St, Union St, and Massena Ave. The Rome Police Department is asking the community to review any security video they have from May 4th between the hours of 3:15 PM and 4:30 PM. ...The vehicle used by the “courier” to pick up the money was a newer model black Honda Accord with tinted windows and dark colored rims..
Rome police provided two images of the vehicle used by the phony courier, but say the front and rear license plates were completely covered.
If you have footage or information that can help in the case you're asked to call the Rome Police Department Tip Line at (315) 339-7744 or Mohawk Valley Crime Stoppers, online at MVCrimestoppers.com.
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