Recently the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has taken several reports of fraudulent schemes or scams that prey on the elderly.
One type involves a phone call to an elderly citizen asking he/she to wire money to a location in Canada or other foreign countries. The caller will use one of several ploys. “Grandma, I’m in jail in Canada and I need you to wire me $5000 right away.” Or “Grandma, we’ve been in a car accident and we need medical help. Please wire money right away.” The callers are very adept in their scamming technique and seem to have an appropriate response for anything the victim might say during the conversation.
Another type of scam that we are seeing in Larimer County involves someone approaching the elderly when they exit their car in a parking lot. The suspect tells the victim that he noticed a problem with their vehicle, i.e., oil leak, suspension, etc. He further adds that he can fix it for only $3000 but it would cost so much more elsewhere.
A popular scam is to make the victim think they have won the Canadian lottery. “Send $10,000 to pay the taxes and we’ll send you $6,000,000.”
Larimer County investigators want citizens to know that once you wire money, it’s gone. Most legitimate businesses will accept other forms of payment. They further caution folks to check thoroughly before sending cash to anyone. If you can’t verify the identity of the recipient, don’t send it. In the above example, a call to the hospital would have exposed the scam. As always, know with whom you are dealing to have any work done on car or house. Contact the Better Business Bureau before paying for any service.
Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call Larimer County Sheriff’s Office at 970-416-1985 or Crime Stoppers at 970-221-6868 where you will remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward.
Eloise B. Campanella, Press Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office