A west-side Madison woman wired money to Mexico Nov. 1 to a person claiming to be her grandson but it turned out it was an imposter, police said.
The 86-year-old victim received a call from someone she told police sounded like her grandson at 11:40 p.m. The caller stated he was in a car crash in Mexico and after leaving the hospital would be forced to go to jail. The caller stated the police needed money wired from the U.S. to Mexico in order to bail her grandson out of jail.
After the woman electronically transferred funds, the fraudster called again asking for more money. The victim became suspicious and hung up. After she talked to family and confirmed her grandson was never in Mexico, she called police.
The report did not indicate how much money was sent to the man impersonating the grandson.
The Madison Police Department offered tips on how citizens can avoid similar scams:
- If someone calls you "in an emergency" asking for a money wire, confirm with friends and relatives.
- Remember: Financial institutions will not call over the phone to verify account or personal information.
- If you have suspicions, trust your gut and seek to confirm details on the situation with family and friends.
- Offer to hang up and call him or her at their normal contact number. Citizens could also verify the caller’s birthplace, old street address, high school or other oddities only the relative or friend would know.