Vero Beach police warn against phone scam after grandma gets conned

VERO BEACH — Residents are reminded not to wire cash or withdraw large sums of money for relatives until they have confirmed that the caller on the other end of the phone really is their grandchild, cousin, niece or nephew.

The reminder comes after a Vero Beach grandmother was conned out of $2,400 cash Monday when someone posing as her grandson in Orlando called asking for help. The 68-year-old woman told police that a man called claiming to be her grandson. He told her that he was in trouble and that he owed $6,000 to a bookie and asked for her help.

The woman told him that the best she could do was get him $2,400, which he accepted, telling her to meet at the Maryland Fried Chicken on 21st Street. He told her to leave the money on the front seat of her car with the doors unlocked and the windows down.

The woman told police that she followed his instructions and went into the restaurant to wait for her grandson. An hour and-a-half later, her grandson was a no-show and the woman went out to her car to find the cash was gone, authorities said.

The woman then called her grandson to make sure that he got his money, only to hear him tell her that he had never called asking for help.

The only other information the grandmother could provide to the police department was a phone number with a 407 area code from her caller ID.

Investigators are still working the case.

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