Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2012 --- 12:26 p.m.
Incident Reports from the Madison Police Department:
Incident Date: 07/12/2012 - 10:05 AM
Address: Alden Dr.
Victim: Male, age 83, Madison
Details An 83-year old Madison man was scammed out of $4,500 last week after being convinced his grandson had been in a car crash in Mexico. The victim said two actors - one playing his grandson and another assuming the role of a staff member at American Embassy in Mexico City - were very believable. When he asked his "grandson" why he sounded different, he was told it was because his "grandson's" jaw was badly swollen. When he said he was not aware his grandson was even in Mexico, he was told it was a last minute thing. A group of his friends had booked a trip and that just before the travel date someone had dropped out. His grandson filled the open spot. The Madison man ended up making two wire transfers believing funds were being used to pay for damage to a rental car and a light pole, and to buy his grandson a plane ticket home. After sending the money, he learned his grandson was not in Mexico but at his out-of-state home. An investigating officer also determined the crooks’ phone number (438-995-9059) did not track to Mexico, but to Canada.
Incident Date: 07/12/2012 - 9:19 AM
Address: Sawyer Terrace
Victim: Male, age 32, Madison
Details: A Madison man was perusing an Internet job site, looking for work, when a "James Bernard" emailed him offering work. "Bernard" said he was an art dealer looking for someone to assist with financial transactions. He sent the Madison man a $2,900 cashier's check. The 32-year old was to keep $500 and wire the rest to someone in Dubai. The victim took the check to a Madison bank and was told it was a fake. He tore it up and sent no funds to Dubai.
Incident Type: Fraud
Incident Date: 07/07/2012 - 12:08 AM
Address: Lake Mendota Dr.
Details: A 50-year old Madison woman contacted the MPD's Self Report Unit saying her elderly parents – who also live in Madison - were nearly duped out of $1,800. It was another phone scam where a "grandson" claims to have been caught with drugs in Mexico and needs bail money. In this case, the male victim went to a Walmart to wire funds but an employee was very suspicious and did not want to send the money. The victim then learned his Los Angeles based grandson was at home, not in Mexico. No money was sent. One of the crooks, "Michael Hunter" from the American Embassy in Mexico City (phone number 888-881-3876), called the Madison man back saying no funds had been received. The victim said that’s right and he now knew this was a scam. The caller told the victim he was not supposed to tell anyone and he would now go to hell. The man's daughter said, "luckily my dad isn't religious or that could have been upsetting."