“Grandparent scam” results in theft of $25k, arrests


The Pennsylvania State Police would like to remind the public to be aware of evolving scams, after a Perry County resident lost $25,000 through a “grandparent scam.”

According to PSP, the Newport Station received a call on Feb. 16, from an 86-year-old female relating she had received phone calls that her grandson had arrest warrants out of Pittsburgh and was instructed to send money to help. The woman sent the money with drivers on a rideshare service as instructed.

Troopers worked with the victim to contact the suspected scammers stating she had more money to send and arranged another rideshare service to deliver the money.  A driver arrived at the victim’s residence and took possession of the package, telling the victim only that the destination was in New Jersey.

PSP Troopers immediately made contact with the driver, who was an unknown participant in the scam. The driver agreed to assist the investigation as troopers accompanied the driver to the location in New Jersey.

At the drop-off location, two males were awaiting the cash delivery. They both were taken into custody without incident by New Jersey State Police. The investigation continues while both suspects–Alfonso Manuel Montero-Perez and Rafael Humberto Recio-Santana–await extradition to Pennsylvania.

PSP warns residents that your information as well as family member’s information are commonly used by scammers in attempt to make the claims appear credible. Many scam attempts are done via telephone, email, and social media accounts.

Take extra steps to verify any claims and never give out personal information or money to anyone you do not trust.

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