FALLS TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Authorities believe an international phone scam ring has conned thousands of dollars from elderly people by posing as family members in distress.
Police in Bucks County say 19-year-old Christopher Mauricio was arrested after he allegedly acted as a courier for the phone scam ring, picking up a $5k check from a 93-year-old woman.
The woman told FOX 29 that she received a call from someone who claimed her grandson was being held for rear ending another driver and she could keep him out of jail by paying $5k.
She immediately withdrew the money from her bank account and handed it over to a courier, believed to be Mauricio, who came to her house a short time later.
Feeling unsettled about the transaction, she got a call from her bank warning her that she may have been the target of a scam.
Police were eventually able to arrest Mauricio, who they say acted as the courier in as many as 30 similar scams. Investigators believe there could be hundreds of elderly victims across Pennsylvania.
"It’s more of a fishing expedition, so they get someone who believes them and scam them to take full advantage of them," Officer Stephen McCreery from the Falls Township Police Department said.
Investigators say they have tracked calls connected to the phone scam to the Dominican Republic. They have advised residents that police won't ask people to withdraw money from the bank.