St. Cloud grandmother tricked into giving up $10,000 in phone scam, deputies say

Osceola County sheriff's deputies are looking for a man accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a senior citizen.

Investigators say the man took $10,000 from a grandmother.  The 78-year-old woman, who asked not to be named in this report, says it all started with a phone call from someone pretending to be her 17-year-old grandson. He told her he needed bail money and should talk to his attorney.

"It upset me tremendously that we were scammed and that they used my grandson to get at me," she says. "He said, 'Grandma, I’ve been arrested.' The attorney was on the phone and he said, 'I’m sending a carrier over to get the money.' The carrier came over to get the money."

Deputies say the stranger walked right into her home.

"I handed over $10,000 which I never do without a receipt, but I was upset over my grandson."

The victim later called her son and found out her grandson was never arrested.

"That’s when we realized we have been scammed," she said.

Osceola County Sheriff Major Jacob Ruiz says, "To physically show up at the victim’s house in person, that’s pretty scary."
The grandmother says the suspect also knew details about her family.

"With social media and access to information and people’s personal lives, it’s really not that hard at all," Ruiz says. "We understand this subject has done this before in another county. The majority of these kinds of phone calls, where they call, have derived from Hispanic --  usually Puerto Rico -- area codes."

The victim says she wishes would have called her son sooner and warns others to beware.

"I was upset because they took $10,000 from us." 

The victim says she had planned to use the money to pay for dental work. If you know who the suspect is, call the Osceola County Sheriff's Office at 407-348-2222.