General Crime

* Police Warn Phone Scams Targeting Elderly in Palo Alto

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Palo Alto police are warning seniors that a telephone scam from last spring has resurfaced over the past week. Last May, Palo Alto police warned residents about this same scam after one victim reported losing $4,000. Elderly residents have reported two similar calls to police in the past week. The scam, dubbed “favorite grandson” targets elderly residents. The caller typically greets the victim as his or her “favorite grandson” or “favorite granddaughter.” If the victim names an actual grandchild, the caller then assumes that person’s identity, claiming a cold or a bad connection to explain the different voice. Using this grandchild’s identity, the caller then says that he or she is visiting a different city and got into a crash while driving a rental car. Next the scammer asks for money for expenses like bail or repairing the
rental car. The victim is told to expect a call from an attorney or police official explaining where to wire the money.
A second scammer then calls, purporting to be that person. He directs the victim on where to wire the money. Typically the person picking up the money uses false identification, according to police. The crime isn’t reported for several days, making it difficult for officers to investigate. Police are warning residents to be alert and notify authorities of any similar calls. Please call the Fugitive Watch hot line at 1-800-9-CAUGHT (1-800-922-8448) or text us at 408-355-0999 or CLICK HERE to send a confidential email tip, if you have any information that can help solve this crime.

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