Crime Ring of 6 Arrested after Allegedly Scamming Grandparents Out of $250k

( – Con artists are obviously heartless, but the latest trend in scamming seems particularly cruel. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the arrest of six scam artists practicing what are known as “grandparent scams.”

It works like this. Thieves target old people with grandchildren, posing as lawyers for said grandchildren. These scammers often research victims on social media to learn names and other personal information about victims and their family members. They tell the elderly that their grandchild has been arrested or is in some kind of legal trouble that requires quick cash, such as bail money. The thieves then arrange for the unsuspecting grandparents to transfer the cash, banking on their embarrassment about the situation to keep anyone who might help them in the dark.

AG Moody said the group of six suspects made off with almost $250,000 from the elderly they targeted. The suspects are Gennesis Castro, Ada Tido, Wendy Angelina Ortiz, Jair Izquerido, Olfa Cornielle, and Wandy Castro. They’ve all been charged with numerous felonies including using organized defrauding schemes, grand theft, and using personal identification in the commission of a crime.

Moody told reporters the scammers understand that grandparents “would do anything” to help a grandkid who they think is in need. She said the criminals ran a “convincing impostor scheme” that played on family loyalty and fear to part the victims from a quarter-million dollars.

Apparently, the scammers would wind up the grandparents with a stressful story about how their grandchild was in a bind, and then they would ratchet up the pressure to send “bail money.” The thieves wanted it in cash which would be placed in a box and picked up by a delivery person. Sometimes these couriers were ride-share drivers for companies like Uber who had no idea they were being directed to participate in a theft ring.

One case is particularly heartless. The criminals managed to get $9,000 of out one grandmother to allegedly help her pregnant granddaughter. The con women then squeezed an additional $18,000 out of the grandmother by claiming the granddaughter miscarried her baby at the same time she was facing even more criminal charges.

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