‘Grandma, I’m in jail’: Elderly woman conned out of $10k after phony jail call

Local News

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 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The mother of a Tampa Bay area man was conned out of thousands of dollars Wednesday, but when the crook came back for more, he was there to stop it.  

Cary Young is angry his 82-year-old mother was duped out of $10,000.

“My mom got a call from a little girl stating that, ‘grandma, grandma I’m in jail,’” Young said. “She said she was in an accident and needed $30,000 to bail her out.”

The caller also put a so-called lawyer on the phone demanding the money, saying not to tell anyone because there was a ‘gag order’ in place.

Naturally, grandma was worried.

“She dropped everything and she ran to the bank and got $10,000 out,” Young said.

The suspect picked up the cash and the next day called back for the rest. But this time, Young’s mother had let her family know, so Young set a trap.

Young met the suspect at the agreed-upon ‘pickup’ spot.

“A lady got out of the car and came to the front door where I met her and I grabbed her and pinned her against the wall and told her she was going to stay here until the deputy got here.”

Deputies were just around the corner. Young had called them first to alert them what was going.

Accompanying the woman was Roberto Quiles Lugo, her husband. He was arrested, but not for this scheme. His arrest is for a parole violation in Puerto Rico. In fact, neither Lugo nor his wife are charged in this case.

The woman claims she was just an Uber driver hired to pick up a package and Lugo, her husband, was just there to ride with her.

“We’re not familiar with this service she’s talking about… this high level pick up service with Uber,” said Crystal Clark with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. “Also, the woman had no stickers on her car indicating that she worked for Uber.”

Also, in Pasco County, investigators are trying to track down the person responsible for several similar cases.

They have seen several cases of exploitation of the elderly across the county this week. The situations are all the same.

Pasco County Sheriff’s Deputies searching for this man in connection to elderly exploitation cases.

Suspects contact victims claiming that the victim’s grandchild is in jail and the victim must produce large sums of cash to get the grandchild released for their legal fees. 

Cases have been reported in Zephyrhills, Wesley Chapel, Land O’ Lakes and New Port Richey.

And now as Hillsborough detectives try to unravel their criminal mystery, Cary Young has a warning for others:

“Talk to somebody before you run to the bank, pull out money and give it somebody.”


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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