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Blotter: 84-Year-Old Woman Loses Nearly Entire Savings in Phone Scam

The following information has been provided by the Marple Township Police Department. Any arrests or charges mentioned do not indicate guilt or conviction.

BROOMALL–On Nov. 27 at approximately 11:10 a.m., an 84-year-old woman came into the Marple Police Station to report a fraudulent incident. The woman told police she received a phone call the day before from a man who identified himself as her grandson.

According to the report, the woman told the man on the phone that it didn’t sound like her grandson, in which the man told her that he was in a car accident in Colorado and the phone was then handed over to another man who identified himself as “Sgt. Terry.”

That man then told the woman that her grandson was in a car accident in Colorado Springs and that he hit another car and the female driver of the other car had to go to a local hospital, according to the report.

The man continued to tell the elderly woman that her grandson would not be charged if she would be willing to pay for the damage done to the woman’s car for $2,500. The woman was told to wire the money to a Walmart in Fort Collins, Colorado.

According to the report, the 84-year-old woman then went to the Marple Walmart and wired $2,640 to a “Dorris Peretti.” A short time later, the woman received a phone call from “Sgt. Terry” who said he had received the first wire of cash but needed an additional $1,000 for the woman’s medical bill before they could release her grandson.

The woman then went to the Marple Walmart a second time and this time sends $1,057 to the same person. According to the report, the woman never received another phone call from the man. The total monetary loss is $3,697.50.

The woman’s entire savings was $4,000 before the transactions were made and now has $303.50 left in her account, according to the report. The woman told police her grandson had spent time in Colorado this past summer but lives in Philadelphia.

The case was sent over to the Delaware County Senior Victims Services department in the hopes of getting some her money back through programs offered in the unit. 

Concerned Citizen December 04, 2012 at 03:50 PM
How can I donate money to this woman?
Jennifer Kim (Editor) December 04, 2012 at 04:06 PM
I would contact the Marple Police Station 610-356-1500.
barb mcdermott December 05, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Disgusting. Criminals. Get a job and stop preying on the elderly! I would like to donate as well... calling Police station.
Tiffany DiMeo December 05, 2012 at 06:48 PM
My family and I started this ChipIn account to donate the money back to her: http://letsgive12.chipin.com/grandmother-scammed-out-of-savings
Tiffany DiMeo December 05, 2012 at 06:55 PM
My family and I created a ChipIn account to recoup the loss of her savings. We have her contact information from the police and we will be donating everything to her! http://letsgive12.chipin.com/grandmother-scammed-out-of-savings
Michael Dwells December 07, 2012 at 07:55 AM
I feel terrible for the grandma. It must be have been devastating when she realized she was scammed. She was willing t give up her savings because the cause was urgent and important. but knowing that she just handed her money away to scammer would surely be hard for her to accept. This is just another of those cases being reported at http://www.callercenter.com. Sad event.

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