BLUE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman who sent about $27,000 was among at least three Muskegon County victims in a scam where the suspect posed as a grandson asking for money, investigators said.
On Monday, the woman was contacted by someone who said he was her grandson. He said he had been taken to jail because he was in a car crash and asked for $9,000 to get out. Later, she got a call from someone else who said he was her grandson’s attorney and would come to her house to pick up the $9,000 he needed. Believing it was her grandson in jail, the woman got the money and gave it to the “attorney,” who met her at her home in Blue Lake Township, north of Twin Lake.
The next day, the woman was contacted again by someone who said he was the judge presiding over the case. He said that the victim in the car crash her grandson was involved in had died and that the insurance company was asking for a $25,000 settlement. The woman told him she did not have that much money, so they agreed on $18,000. She mailed the money via UPS to an address in Atlanta, Georgia.
The woman became suspicious after sending the money and contacted law enforcement Wednesday. The responding Muskegon County sheriff’s deputy told the woman to contact UPS to request a return on the shipment and then stopped by the store to verify that the package would be returned.
Later Wednesday, a Michigan State Police trooper responded to a home in Cedar Creek Township, near Twin Lake, for a similar fraud complaint. Detectives with the Safe Seniors Task Force responded to the home to help. The victim agreed to meet the fraud suspects, who eventually arrived at the home to collect $25,000 cash. Instead, officers arrested the suspect at the home. Another suspect was found in a rental car nearby and was also arrested.
The two suspects are from West Palm Beach, Florida, deputies said. They were booked into the Muskegon County Jail.
Deputies say they believe a third victim who lives in Sullivan Township, near Fruitport, was also contacted by the suspects on Wednesday but did not fall for the scam.
Anyone who thinks they may be a victim in this scam are asked to contact Detective Darric Roesler with the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office at 231.724.7135 or AgeWell Services at safeseniors.info.