Grandparent scam in US

A federal grand jury has indicted eight persons for their involvement in the grandparent scam:

A federal grand jury in San Diego has returned an indictment against eight defendants for their alleged roles in a federal racketeering conspiracy. The indictment alleges the defendants were members and associates of a criminal enterprise that defrauded elderly Americans by making them falsely believe that a grandchild (or other close relative) was in trouble and needed their help. The elderly victims each paid thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to the criminal organization in this scheme.

This scheme has left many elderly victims financially and emotionally devastated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman for the Southern District of California. “It is unconscionable to target the elderly and exploit their love for their grandchildren. Elder fraud is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. We are committed to combating all types of elder abuse in our community.”

“Elder Fraud is a massive and growing problem, as our county’s population gets older, with losses into the billions of dollars nationwide,” said Special Agent in Charge Suzanne Turner of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. “The San Diego Elder Justice Task Force was set up to combine resources, experience, and capabilities to have a sophisticated and coordinated law enforcement response to fight this battle.”

According to the indictment, the defendants were members and associates of a network of individuals who, through extortion and fraud, induced elderly Americans across the United States to pay thousands to tens of thousands of dollars each to purportedly help their grandchild or other close family relatives. According to statements made by prosecutors in court, the defendants swindled more than $2 million from 70-plus elderly victims across the nation, with at least 10 in San Diego County.

The perpetrators contacted elderly Americans by telephone and impersonated a grandchild, other close relative, or friend of the victim. They falsely convinced the victims that their relatives were in legal trouble and needed money to pay for bail, medical expenses for car accident victims, or to prevent additional charges from being filed. The defendants and their co-conspirators received money from victims via various means, including in-person pickup, mail, and wire transfer, and laundered the proceeds, including through cryptocurrency.


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