Grand Jury Indicts Two in “Grandparent Scam”
PROVIDENCE (STL.News) A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging two Providence men with allegedly running a so-called “grandparent scam” in two states, fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain thousands of dollars in cash from at least nine elderly victims by claiming the money was needed immediately to assist a relative, typically the victim’s grandchild or child, who had purportedly been arrested or jailed.
It is alleged in the indictment that members of the conspiracy sometimes posed briefly on the telephone as the victims’ relative, sounding upset or ill to disguise their voice, to further persuade the victim to provide the cash. It is alleged that victims were instructed by a co-conspirator posing as an attorney to provide the cash to a courier or bail bondsman that would arrive at their home to collect the cash. The victims were told that a “gag order” was in place on their relative’s legal matter that prohibited the victims from sharing information about the matter.
In many instances, victims reported to law enforcement that the person who arrived at their home to collect the cash did so in a white van and wore a work uniform type vest.