US Authorities Arrest 16 Scammers Behind Attacks On The Elderly

US Authorities Arrest 16 Scammers Behind Attacks On The Elderly

Tyler Cross Tyler Cross
Published on: May 9, 2024

There have been 16 suspects arrested by US prosecutors for their roles in a large-scale scam targeting the elderly.

The group’s age-based scam focused on older grandparents who weren’t tech-savvy and were more likely to follow their orders. The attacks were carried out by the group as a whole, with each member taking different roles within the scam. Overall, they stole more than $55 million from the elderly across the world.

US prosecutors claim that the accused employees hired illegitimate “couriers” who would pose as legitimate employees and present fake receipts to the victims. These “openers” were used to bait a target in.

Another method the “openers” used was to feign an emergency within the family. They would make up harmful scenarios about family members in the US in order to shock the victims into a state of panic, making them much more likely to send money. They would lie and tell them that their family members were in a bad accident or had a terminal illness.

After the opener hooked a target, the “closer” would pose as figures with authority, such as a lawyer, judge, court staff, police officer, or doctor. Their job was to encourage the victim to send as much money as possible.

Finally, the group would attempt to launder the money using cryptocurrency, wire transfers, or bulk money orders.

The attacks took place between May and December 2023.

The 16 suspects are between 21-59 years of age and each can face up to 20 years in prison, as well as hefty fines or $500,000 for each count of money laundering, plus $250,000 for each count of fraud.

“The panic-stricken grandparents quickly paid – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars,” stated Phillip Sellinger, a US attorney for the District of New Jersey. “My office is committed to protecting the rights of all victims, and we will relentlessly prosecute those who allegedly target vulnerable seniors to steal their hard-earned savings.”

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