LOS OSOS — An elderly man from Los Osos was duped out of $2,400 in a telephone-fraud scam by a man who claimed he was the victim’s grandson.
A second male, who claimed he was a public defender, also spoke to the victim during the same March 4 phone call and asked for $2,400 in bail money for the so-called grandson, said sheriff’s spokesman Rob Bryn.
The victim wired the money and the scammers called back the next day requesting another $2,400 to cover additional charges. This time, though, the victim did not fall for the scam.
“He figured it out,” Bryn said.
Bryn said it was likely the scammers did not research the victim to learn he had a grandson, but rather called people until they found someone whom their scam fit.
“If someone didn’t have a grandson, they just ignore it,” Bryn said of the increasingly common scheme.
“The relative/friend/co-worker in jail scam has been active for the last year and is a variation of phone and internet scams nationwide,” Bryn said. “If you receive a call of this nature, do not respond to the caller, but secure a call back name and number while you check with the person or a relative to determine if the call is legitimate.”