An 85-year-old man has been bilked out of $12,000 in a bank examiner's scam, police spokesman Bill Robinson said.
It began Oct. 28 when the Pacific Beach resident received a call from a man claiming to be a police officer. He said he was conducting an investigation of a bank employee suspected of embezzling money and asked the elderly man to help, promising him $1,000 as a reward.
The elderly man complied with the caller by withdrawing $6,000 from his account at the Pacific Beach branch of Home Federal Savings & Loan and also having a cashier's check for the same amount made out to the caller, Robinson said.
After returning home, the elderly man answered a knock at the door, and a man displayed a silver badge and took the cash, saying he would be in contact regarding the investigation.
Soon after the man left, a second call was made instructing the elderly man to cash the check and drive half a block from the bank and wait. The elderly man did so and was met again by the "officer," who told him a new account would be opened for him with the reward money.
In an hour and a half, the con job netted the stranger $12,000 in cash.
On Monday, the elderly man went to the bank and, when he learned that the new account had not been established, called police.
"This scam happens two or three times a year, especially around Christmas, and then they move on," Robinson said. "This is the only case here at this time."
"The victims are, in many cases, (survivors) taken from the obituary notices in the paper," he said.
Anyone who receives bank examiner scam calls is asked to contact the police fraud unit at 531-2545 or the communications department at 236-6566 during evening hours.