Elderly ‘memere’ from Berwick gets tricked into sending over $1,000 to a scammer

Posted Feb. 17, 2012, at 2:01 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 17, 2012, at 6:51 p.m.

BERWICK, Maine — A cautionary tale of deception and theft to an elderly victim is being told around town to warn people of the dangers of scam artists.

The victim received a phone call this month from a man who called her “memere,” a common French nickname for a grandmother and the name her grandson typically calls her, according to a press release from the Berwick Police Department. The caller told the grandmother he was in the Dominican Republic for a friend’s wedding. He said he was arrested after he was involved in a car accident and needed bail money. The caller also said he had broken his nose in the accident.

The caller asked the victim to electronically transfer $2,500 to a friend of his, also in the Dominican Republic, to help with bail. The caller gave an address and name of “Gary” for the money to be sent to. The victim noticed the check was “instantly cashed,” and she received another call from the same male subject asking for another $1,900 for more bail money. The victim said she was in the process of transferring the money when a clerk completing the transfer told the victim the situation and transfer seemed suspicious. This suspicion caused the victim to contact her grandson who informed her he was not in the Caribbean and was actually at work.

The police department wants to remind residents to be careful about giving out their private information on the phone or on the Internet.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Berwick Police Department at 207-698-1136.

© 2012 the Foster’s Daily Democrat

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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