Elderly Oxford Township woman loses $2,000 in phone scam

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OXFORD TOWNSHIP — Eastern Adams Regional Police are warning residents of a potential phone scam after an elderly resident of the Brethren Home in Oxford Township was recently victimized.

According to police, the crime was reported by the victim’s son, who said his mother was contacted by a man purporting to be a member of an unidentified police department on October 19.

The suspect told the victim her grandson was involved in an accident in New Jersey, had been arrested, and needed bail money. Another man, who identified himself as a public defender, contacted the victim a few minutes later, instructing her to go to Home Depot, put $2,000 on a gift card, and provide him with the card number to transfer the funds, which he said was bail money for the victim’s grandson.

The victim did as she was instructed. She was then contacted again later in the day by a man claiming he needed an additional $2,900. This time, the victim refused, police say.

Later in the day, the victim called her son, who contacted the victim’s grandson and confirmed that he had not been in New Jersey and was not involved in any car accident.

The victim provided two phone numbers to police. The first was an untraceable 877 number, police say. The second is believed to be a burner phone number from a Lynchburg, VA area code.

Eastern Adams Regional Police are advising all residents not to fall victim of this type of scam. Police Departments do not contact any individuals for bail money. Most importantly, if anyone asks for payment to be made by a gift card, Walmart Card, Home Depot card, etc., this is the telltale sign of a classic fraud, police say. No government agency ever accepts nor requires this type of payment.

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