CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMOX) – International scam artists allegedly tricked a Chesterfield grandmother out of $250,000.
Police say the elderly woman believed the callers who said her grandson was behind bars in Peru and needed money wired in several installments to get him out.
“She cashed in some of her own personal investments, some of her life savings, so she is basically closing accounts and sending money out,” Chesterfield Police Captain Steven Lewis explained.
The scam took place over several weeks. On some occasions the victim spoke to someone she believed to be her grandson.
Lewis says the con artists, claiming to be with the U.S. Embassy, warned her not to tell anyone but when a bank stopped a final transaction, the victim finally broke her silence. The woman called her grandson and discovered he was alive and well in the United States.
“In this case, she was described as sharp as a tack,” Lewis said. “This is something that I tell people. You’re presented with these facts and you believe you are doing something to help a family member and you deeply care about them.”