Scammers target elderly, rake in cash
MANCHESTER — Three people — ages 77, 87 and 92 — fell for a scam after police said callers asked the trio to wire money to relatives in distress.
In one instance, a Rite Aid manager recognized the 92-year-old as the same man who had transferred cash earlier and, suspecting it was a scam, convinced him to cancel the second transaction and call police.
Police learned of the latest telephone scam making the rounds Friday when a 77-year-old Calef Road woman reported she was scammed out of $700. She explained she received a phone call from someone saying her nephew was in an accident in Mexico and needed money for some auto repairs.
Following the caller's instructions, the woman wired $700 from the Rite Aid on Willow Street to a location in Mexico City. A short time later, she learned her nephew was not in Mexico.
That same day, an 87-year-old Maple Street man filed a similar complaint. A caller told him his grandson needed money to repair a vehicle following an accident. The man went to Hannaford's on Hanover Street and wired money to a location in Mexico City. He wired more money a second time after the scammer called back explaining more money was needed.
On Saturday, a 92-year-old Highview Terrace man told police he received a call from a woman identifying herself as his granddaughter and saying she was under arrest and needed bail money. He received additional calls from another man and woman, both identifying themselves as police officers, and corroborating the “granddaughter’s” story that she needed bail money.
The man bought money packs at Rite Aid on Mammoth Road and sent them to a location in Arizona, as the caller instructed. He returned to Rite Aid to buy more after the “police officers” called back, saying more money was required.
That was when the Rite Aid manager intervened.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call police at 668-8711. Anonymous tips for cash rewards may be made through Manchester Crimeline at 624-4040 or online at manchestercrimeline.org.