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84-year-old Niagara County woman falls for "grandson in jail" scam, nearly loses $8,500

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 16:38:48-04

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — The quick actions of the Niagara County Sheriff's Office saved an 84-year-old Gasport woman from falling victim to a costly scam.

Investigators say the woman was contacted by a man who claimed to be a police officer. He told the victim her grandson was arrested and needed $8,500 in bail money.

The victim went to her bank, withdrew the money, and packaged it to be sent to an address in Michigan. She then left the money on her doorstep for a pre-arranged pickup by a delivery company, deputies said.

After speaking with family members, the victim realized her grandson was not in jail. She then called the sheriff's office to alert them to the scam.

An investigator was able to track the package to an Office Max in Niagara Falls, where it was being held for pickup by FedEx Express. The investigator returned the money to the victim.

Anyone who believes they are a victim of fraud can call their local police department or NY CONNECTS (1-800-342-9871).