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Hingham Police Department News

Posted on: August 2, 2023

Senior Couple Victim of Arrested Relative Phone Scam

Hingham, MA - A couple fell victim yesterday to a common phone scam known as the "Arrested Relative Scam" and lost $24,000.  

On August 1, 2023 the Hingham residents, ages 82 and 78, received a call earlier in the day from a distraught woman who they believed was their daughter. The woman immediately handed the phone to a man who said he was their daughter’s lawyer. The man said their daughter (who lives out of state) had been in a car accident in which a pregnant woman was injured. Their daughter had been arrested needed $24,000 cash bail today or she would be sent to prison. He also said the charges may get worse. 

Over a series of phone calls the man said the court had placed a "gag order" on the case and the bail needed to be posted immediately. The man confirmed with the couple they had the cash available. He also warned them that some banks may ask why do they need for such a large cash withdrawal. He suggested they explain they were purchasing a used car. 

The man asked for their address so he could send a courier to pick up the cash. The cash was placed in a Halloween box and a short time later a man arrived at their door. The couple handed the  driver the box with the cash.  

Later that day they couple were discussing the incident and recalled that their daughter's "attorney" had to ask them for their address (which their daughter could tell her actual attorney). They called their daughter, realized they had been scammed, and called police. 

This common scam may involve a “grandchild” as the victim as well. Some key takeaways:

-scammers can easily change the caller ID to display anything (courthouse, jail, lawyers, etc.) 

-they are skilled at extracting person information from you without you realizing you're providing it (daughters name) 

-scammers create a sense of urgency to create panic to gain your help (pregnant woman injured/charges can get worse) 

-scammers don’t want you to call anyone to find out it’s a scam (the gag order)

-want you to have an excuse for bank staff who may ask questions (banks may especially ask if seniors who they know may be more susceptible to scams)

-an actual attorney would not send a driver to you and direct you to put cash in a discreet box so the delivery/pick-up person doesn't steal from it

Contact P.I.O. Lt. Steven Dearth 

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