Scammed Atascadero grandfather gets $55,000 back

October 2, 2015

slo sheriff flashAn 84-year-old Atascadero man who lost $55,000 to a grandfather scam got his money back with the help of a San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s detective.

On July 2, a man claiming to be an attorney representing the victim’s grandson called the elderly Atascadero resident. The man said the grandson had been in a car accident and needed $5,000 for bail.

The victim did the right thing before sending the money, a sheriff’s office press release states. He tried contacting his grandson to confirm the story.

But, the Atascadero man was not able to reach his grandson. He then went online to look into his grandson’s alleged attorney and found a lawyer whose name matched the person the caller was claiming to be.

The victim placed $5,000 in a bank account given to him by the caller.

After the transaction took place, the scammer called again and told the victim that a law enforcement officer was involved in his grandson’s car accident and the officer died from his injuries.

The scammer told the victim to deposit $50,000 in a different bank account in order to keep his grandson out of trouble. The Atascadero man then deposited $50,000 in the account.

Soon after, the grandson called and said he had not been involved in an accident. The victim contacted the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff’s Detective David Marquez managed to trace the bank accounts to Las Vegas and Texas. Marquez succeeded in convincing the banks to place holds on the deposited money.

As a result, Marquez returned all $55,000 to the victim.

The sheriff’s office news release warns grandparents to never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email. Also, verify the caller’s identity by contacting your grandchild or another family member, the sheriff’s office says.

Likewise, be suspicious if you are told not to contact law enforcement and resist the pressure to act quickly, the press release states.


Last week my parents received one from the IRS” Scam. Said there was a warrant out for their arrest because they owed taxes. I had my Dad Google the phone number, and it showed up as a number from Angles Camp, CA!! He knew it was a scam, but still left him upset. What an intrusion, they have no right upsetting the sanctity of old people! Even though my parents knew it was a scam, it still created such unnecessary stress. These freaks should get an extra 10 years for targeting the elderly. Elder Abuse!!

fishing village

Heartless, mean, ugly, awful people! My husband was called, said it was our grandson (but, his voice was different because his nose was broken) I had heard about this repulsive scam, we called him. Very convincing! The people are good at their nasty trade. So glad this man was saved and his money. Would love to ring their necks.


Wring did you mean? Love doing that?


The latest issue of Consumer Reports magazine has a long article about various scams used on the elderly. It’s horrifying to think that there are so many horrible people who think it’s OK to do this to the elderly – or anyone else, for that matter.


These scammers need to spend hard time on a chain gang. Esp, when they prey on seniors.


This man should consider himself very lucky.

Most victims never recoup any of their losses.


A guy that easily duped shouldn’t be in charge of his money. Time for a conservatorship.


This. Wholly this.




Kudos to the sheriff for getting a happy ending to an all-too-common sad story.

So is this scammer going to be charged with anything: elder abuse, fraud, interstate fraud or whatever? How many other victims are there? This doesn’t sound like his first time.


This kind of scam has been going on for a long time. Too bad info about the scam isn’t more widely distributed.