, Salem, MA

July 23, 2013

Police: Salem woman loses $973 in phone scam

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM ­— Police say a Boston Street woman was duped out of $973 on Sunday afternoon by a scam artist who said her brother had been in a car accident.

The woman reported yesterday that a Spanish-accented man who identified himself as “Robert” had called her on her cellphone from a 617-area code number about 3 p.m. the day before, according to the incident log.

The man said her brother was involved in an accident while driving the caller’s brother’s BMW.

“He related that his brother was going to kill her brother, unless she came up with $2,000,” wrote police.

The woman was only able to raise $1,000, which the caller ordered her to wire to a “Ruth Hernandez” in Puerto Rico via a Moneygram at CVS.

She sent $900 and was charged a $73 fee, according to the log.

“She was told that her brother would be released once the money was sent,” wrote police. “She sent the money and the caller disconnected the call.”

The woman only realized it was a scam when she got in touch with her brother, police wrote.