EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 16, 2013

Windham police warn of phone scam

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — WINDHAM — An elderly couple was taken for $1,800 recently in a scam targeting older residents, according to police Capt. Michael Caron.

Windham police have received two reports from older residents in the past few weeks about calls they received from someone purporting to be a relative. The caller indicated said (s)he was out of the country and had been injured or arrested. The caller requested money immediately, Caron said.

“In one incident, they were not allowed to speak directly with the relative and (in) the other one a person pretended to be the relative in need of the money,” Caron said. “Both times, the victims were told to wire the money via Western Union.”

One couple sent $1,800 before contacting the relative who allegedly needed money, Caron said. They later discovered that family member was home and fine. In the other case, the potential victim checked first and did not send any money.

“This is a very common scam directed toward the elderly,” he said. “The Windham Police encourages anyone that receives this type of phone call to contact the relative in question prior to sending any money. A representative from the Windham Police Department is always available to assist individuals who might receive these types of calls.

The non-emergency number for Windham police is 434-5577.