Con Artists Allegedly Use “Grandparent Scam” to Steal Thousands of Dollars from Ridgewood NJ Residents
Two (2) Ridgewood NJ residents were allegedly victimized by con artists who claimed to be their grandchildren.
A man notified Ridgewood police that he had received a phone call from a person claiming to be his grandson. The individual on the phone said that he had been jailed in Mexico and that he needed $1,500.00 for bail. When the victim wired the money using Western Union, the person claiming to be his grandson contacted him again and asked for an additional $1,400.00. This time, a Western Union agent intervened after sensing that something was amiss.
According to police, a second scammer used a similar strategy to deceive a Ridgewood woman out of nearly $1,400.00 by claiming to be her grandson. The scammer told the victim that he had been involved in an accident in Nevada and needed the money. He instructed the victim to send the money to the Dominican Republic. Sometime later, the victim learned that her actual grandson had not been in jail.
In New Jersey, theft by deception is addressed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. The penalties for theft by deception vary, depending on the value of the property. In these cases, if either of the suspects is caught, they could be charged with third degree theft by deception. If convicted, the suspects may face prison sentences of up to five (5) years.
To learn more about these incidents, check out the NJ.com article entitled “Police: Ridgewood Residents Lose Thousands to Con Artists Using ‘Grandparent Scam.’“