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Wire fraud scam costs twp. senior $4,000



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March 30, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- An elderly township woman lost more than $4,000 in a wire fraud scam this week.

A deputy responded to the woman's home on S. Ortonville Road March 23, where she said she had been tricked into sending $4,000 via Western Union to an address in Madrid, Spain.

The woman said a man called her and told her that her son was in an auto accident in Spain and was in jail. He told her she needed to send $4,000 to get him out. The complainant told the caller she wanted to speak with her son first, and he put another man on the phone whom the woman believed to be her son, who told her he was OK, but needed the money.

The complainant, with the help of her daughter, withdrew the money. The Western Union clerk told the complainant that the transaction sounded like a scam, but the woman was sure she had spoken to her son. After the wire transaction (for which there was a $175 fee) was complete, the suspect called the complainant and said an additional $4,200 needed to be wired to cover restitution for her son, who would then be released. The man told her to use a different Western Union branch. Suspicious, she called her son's cell phone and he told his mother he was in New York, on his way home from work.

The suspect has tried several times to call the complainant and she hasn't answered the phone. Police tracked the caller to Quebec, Canada and the Montreal Police are investigating the case.

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Donald Turner
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