Port Jeff Station couple says scammer posed as grandson, stole thousands

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A Port Jefferson Station couple says they fell victim to a scammer who posed as their grandson, pretended to need bail money and then stole thousands of dollars.

The couple says the scheme unfolded over the course of several hours Friday afternoon. In the end, they say they withdrew nearly $20,000 from the Capital One bank on Old Town Road and handed it over to a scammer.

The couple does not want their identities to be revealed. The 76-year-old wife tells News 12 that she received a random phone call at around noon yesterday from someone claiming to be her grandson.

The caller then passed the phone to someone else who pretended to be a lawyer. That person said that her grandson and his friend had gotten into a car accident, and that a baby in the other vehicle was injured. He told the woman that her grandson had been taken into custody for texting behind the wheel during the crash, and needed $18,000 for bail.

Fearing for her grandson's safety, the woman says she withdrew the money and handed it over to a man who met her at her doorstep.

MORE: Long Island Crime Coverage

She later found out that her grandson was fine, and that the whole story was an elaborate lie.

The woman says she had been aware of these kinds of scams — but she says it all seemed so real as it was happening.

"He did seem to know all the names. I just can't believe this," the woman says. "But I did speak to -- it sounded like my grandson when I picked up the phone... How did they get my grandson's voice? How did they get the phone numbers, is what I want to know."

Suffolk police have confirmed that the victims in the case have filed a police report, and the case is under investigation.

The couple says the man who came to their door was a light-skinned African American man in his late 20s. He drove a dark-colored sedan with New Jersey plates.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

 

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