Pueblo County detectives warn of “grandparent” scam

(PUEBLO, Colo.) — Detectives with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) are warning people to be alert of a telephone scam targeting the elderly after a couple was targeted and almost lost $20,000 to scammers.

According to PCSO, detectives learned a suspect called an elderly man posing as a Denver attorney representing his grandson. The caller said the man’s grandson was in jail after he was involved in a fatal traffic crash and the attorney needed $20,000 to get the grandson out of jail.

The caller told the man to put the money in a box and meet at a downtown Pueblo restaurant to exchange the money.

At first, the elderly couple thought the call was legitimate but later figured out it was a scam after contacting the grandson and learning he was not in jail or involved in a crash.

The couple decided to follow through with delivering an empty box to find out who the suspects were. After arriving at the designated meeting, an older woman took the box and left.

PCSO said detectives later learned the woman was a Lyft driver from Colorado Springs, who was paid to drive to Pueblo and pick up the box then deliver it to a location in Colorado Springs. Detectives said the driver did not know about the scam.

Detectives are still investigating to determine the suspects involved. PCSO wants the public to remain vigilant and aware of this type of scam and are offering the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Do not answer telephone calls from numbers you don’t recognize.

  • If you get an unsolicited or suspicious call from someone claiming to be family and urgently asking for money, hang up. Resist the urge to act immediately, even if the call seems dramatic and you fear for your loved one’s safety.

  • If you do get caught up talking to the scammer, try to verify the caller’s identity and ask questions that a stranger could not know.

  • Contact your family members to verify the story.

  • Limit personal identifiable information you post on social media as scammers can use that information to make it more convincing.

  • If an unknown person calls you or contacts you online, do not release any financial or personal information, and do not send any money.

If you get a similar phone call or have information about this type of scam, contact PCSO at (719) 583-6250.

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