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HPD Investigates "Grandma Scam"

03/13/2014


The Honolulu Police Department is warning the public of a recent scam targeting seniors. Recently an elderly female was contacted by a mainland caller who said that her grandson had been in a car accident and that drugs were found in his vehicle. The caller told the female that he could help her grandson if she sent money to him. Because the victim has a grandson who lives on the mainland, she complied and mailed money to the caller. Shortly thereafter, the caller asked for additional money and the victim complied again.

The victim was then contacted by a male claiming to be from a Canadian law firm, Robert Morris and Associates. The male said that her grandson's situation was more serious than previously thought. He instructed the victim to purchase a cashier's check for a large amount of money and said that someone would stop by her home to pick up the check. The victim obtained the cashier's check and later that night a local, middle-aged male came to her home and took the cashier's check.

The elderly victim paid the scammers more than $200,000. The HPD has opened a First Degree Theft investigation.

If you receive a similar call, you should contact your grandchild or another relative to confirm your grandchild's safety and whereabouts. It is very likely that your grandchild is doing just fine and is not even in the same city as the caller.

Also, never give out your address or give money to strangers. Meeting face to face with criminals is dangerous and puts you at risk of more problems in the future.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of such a crime, please contact the HPD.