An elderly Lawrence Township man was scammed out of $1,700 by a con man who pretended to be the victim’s grandson calling for help from a jail in Mexico.
Lawrence Township police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry said the 91-year-old Burning Tree Lane resident received a phone call on Wednesday, Jan. 30, from the con man who, claiming to be the elderly victim’s grandson, said he had been caught with marijuana during a traffic stop in Mexico and needed money in order to have his court hearing expedited.
Following the con man’s instructions, the 91-year-old went to a Rite Aid Pharmacy in the area and wired $1,700 via Western Union to a location in Mexico.
Later that same day, the elderly man received a second call from the con man who, still posing at the victim’s grandson, claimed he had been sentenced to 45 days of community service but that another $1,500 could commute that sentence, Ubry said.
The 91-year-old attempted to go to his bank to withdraw the additional money, but the bank had already closed for the day. Concerned about his grandson, the victim called his daughter, who in turn contacted her son and learned that he was safe in Canada, Ubry said.
Realized that he had been scammed, the victim contacted police that night.
Officer Thomas Maple and Detective William Chester are investigating the crime. Anyone with information that might aid their investigation is asked to call police at (609) 896-1111.