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Tosa's elderly targeted in phone scams

Feb. 23, 2010

Two elderly Wauwatosa residents were targets of phone scams - also one's suspicions protected her from losing money while the other fell victim to the fraud.

According to Wauwatosa police:

A 79-year-old man received a call a man claiming to be his adult grandson at 2:44 p.m. Saturday. The caller said he was on vacation in London and had gotten injured in a car accident. His passport had been confiscated and he needed $4,500 immediately to pay for fines, damages and medical treatment.

Because the caller gave the name of his grandson, who had visited England numerous times, and the voice was garbled, the victim believed the situation was real. He went to Walmart and sent a money order to the address provided by the caller.

Afterward, he checked in with other family members only to find out his grandson was on a trip to Florida.

On Feb. 11, a 79-year-old Wauwatosa woman received a call at 10:30 a.m. telling her that she had won a $2.5 million sweepstakes and had to send a money order for $925 to cover the transaction fees before she would receive a check for her winnings. The woman became suspicious when the caller asked her if she lived alone and offered to arrange a ride for the woman to her financial institution so she could get the money order.

She called police and when an officer called the North Carolina phone number where the call originated, the person who answered swore and hung up.

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