New Canaan Woman Scammed Out of $175K

One elderly woman fell victim to the "grandparent scam."


A New Canaan woman was scammed out of $175,000 after being informed, falsely, that her granddaughter was in custody in California following a serious car accident which resulted in the injury of a child.

The 87-year-old woman fell victim to the "" on Sept. 6 and reported the incident to police on Sept. 12.  

According to , a man pretending to be the lawyer representing her granddaughter told the elderly woman she needed to wire him bond money to secure her granddaughter's release from jail. The victim told police she also heard a woman "who was crying hysterically" and then got on the phone, asking for help. The woman eventually ended up wiring $75,000 to California.


Interested in New Canaan's news, events, community bulletins, blogs and businesses? Sign up for the free New Canaan Patch daily newsletter, "like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


The woman then received another phone call on Sept. 7, where the man pretending to be the lawyer informed her that the child in the accident died and she needed to wire an additional $100,000 because her granddaughter's bond had increased. The woman wired that amount too, police said.

Following the second wire transfer, a bank employee informed the woman that it sounded like she was being scammed. The woman then called her granddaughter, who informed her that she had not been arrested and wasn't in an accident either.

The case remains under investigation.

NCFamily September 14, 2012 at 08:38 AM
Isn't it sad that the elderly call their grandchildren after wiring the money to verify the story? I think our local banks should be on the look out for elderly who are asked to wire transfer huge amounts of money. Call the police first to verify the story before wire-transferring the money.
Beth Shepherd Peters September 14, 2012 at 01:26 PM
We got the same call last week asking for $150,000 - very upsetting for my husband, who has a serious heart condition. I was not believing the story from the beginning - I had just gotten an email from the supposed victim. When the fake lawyer called back he was on the phone telling them that we could not do this when the supposed imprisoned victim called us back . . . when he told them that she was on the phone they hung up fast. No one in the family would do this to someone with a heart as fragile as his and the experience was very violating. He called and reported this to the New Canaan Police. I am sad that people do this kind of thing and that an elderly woman was caught in such an emotional story.
Jaimie Cura September 14, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Wow Beth, I'm so sorry to hear that you and your husband received a call like this. Hopefully the more we share these kinds of stories, the more aware we will all be.
catalina meders September 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I agree with you...except I note that when I make an unusually large credit card purchase I get an email from the cc company right away asking if I had, in fact, made that purchase ....perhaps banks should do the same thing ? This seems like another loss of freedom, but maybe there should be an option for "older" people to choose some kind of automatic "safe guard" on their accounts.....Unfortunately there will always be unscrupulous people who will prey on those who seem vulnerable.... It's too bad that this lady didn't verify the phone call first.....However, since this occurrence I imagine more people will take notice and be alert. Hope so anyway.
Gopal Das September 15, 2012 at 05:36 AM
I think everybody should check out the Scam Detector app. I believe they're online as well.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »