Police in Topsfield, Massachusetts, last week arrested three people they said were carrying out a scheme to defraud someone out of thousands of dollars by pretending their grandchild was in jail.
Topsfield police were alerted to the scam just after noon on Dec. 1, officials said Wednesday. The victim had been told his grandson was in jail and needed $7,000 for bail, which was to be given to a courier.
The person who came to the victim's home and picked up the cash was 41-year-old Cynthia Arroyo of Framingham, police said. After she drove off, she was stopped by plainclothes and uniformed Topsfield Officers and, after she allegedly attempted to escape, was placed into custody.
The two other people in the vehicle, Roxbury resdients Wascar Castillo, 38, and Alixon Roa Romero, 34, were also taken into custody, police said. Officers found 80 grams of fentanyl and over $13,000 in cash in the vehicle.
Arroyo, Castillo and Romero are facing charges including drug trafficking and attempted larceny. Arroyo was also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, police said.
It wasn't immediately clear if the three people who were arrested have attorneys who can speak to the charges.
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The Federal Trade Commission has warned Americans to be on the lookout for schemes like the one in Topsfield.
"When it comes to scammers, nothing is sacred — including the bond between grandparent and grandchild. Lately, grandparent scammers have gotten bolder: they might even come to your door to collect money, supposedly for your grandchild in distress," an FTC attorney wrote in April.
She urged people who think they might be scammed to directly call the person supposedly in danger to verify the story and to make sure to never give personal information, cash, a gift card or money transfer to someone in situations like these.