Police say they recovered a substantial amount of money this week after a scammer targeted a 90-year-old Tomahawk woman out of more than $10,000.
The elderly victim was contacted by someone who claimed to be from the Drug Enforcement Agency, telling the woman her grandson was being held on drug charges in southern Wisconsin, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.
Initially, the woman was told to send $4,000 to an address in Michigan, police said. When the victim agreed, the scammer increased the demand to more than $10,000.
Deputies were able to recover the money, something that is rare for victims of such scams, police said. Typically, funds sent are relatively untraceable.
The scam prompted the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department to urge the public to educate elderly family members about such crimes and create safety measures at their financial institutions to protect them.
“Financial institutions train their staff to spot people who may be falling victims to scams,” Lt. Tim Fischer wrote. “Banks can also note accounts of adults who may be vulnerable to scams to prevent them from withdrawing large amounts of money without involving family members.”