BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about an old scam with a new twist.
Investigators said an 82-year-old woman living on Ross Lane was scammed out of $3,500 on April 12. Two days later, an 84-year-old man living on Blue Grass Lane lost $13,000.
“It’s extremely sad and frustrating for us that someone would take advantage of our elderly population,” said Sgt. James Hendricks with the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office.
The department posted details of the scam on its Facebook page. In both cases, a caller claimed to be the grandson of the elderly residents and needed money. In one case, the claim was that money was needed for bail. In the other case, the caller said they needed money because of a car crash.
The new twist on the scam involved someone arriving at the elderly person’s front door to collect the money in person. Investigators are determined to track down the suspects and hold them accountable.
“These are all federal wire fraud cases,” Hendricks said.
He advised anyone with elderly loved ones to alert them about the scam.
“The simplest thing to do would be to hang up the phone and call your grandchild or just call someone else to verify,” Hendricks said.
Investigators said the suspect in the Ross Lane case is a woman who is approximately 35 years old, about 5’4″ tall, and weighs 140 pounds. She has short, bleached hair or a wig, and she speaks with an accent.
The suspect in the case on Blue Grass Lane is described as a male, approximately 40 years of age, driving a white GMC Acadia.
Anyone with information should contact Investigator Gary Brewer at 618-825-5779 or Investigator Dane Brueggemann at 618-825-5716.