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Angeles County | Community News File / Westchester

Police Warn of Con Artist Preying on Elderly Women

January 23, 1998

Detectives on the Westside are searching for a scam artist who preys on elderly women by calling them and claiming that he is their jailed nephew, then asking for bail money.

According to several victims, a man calls and claims to be a nephew and says something like, "Hi, it's your nephew. I'm in trouble and in jail and I need bail money," said Det. David R. Straky of the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division.

After the caller convinces the women that he is their nephew, he tells them that his friend will come and pick up the money, sometimes in amounts of up to $400, said Straky.

The detective said eight women have reported giving money to this man in the Westchester and south Mar Vista areas during the last six months. The most recent incident was reported last week.

Straky believes there are other victims who "may not report the crime because they are embarrassed."

He advised those who may receive a call like this "not to cooperate with the person and to contact other relatives to verify the information."

Anyone with information is asked to call Straky at (310) 202-4506.

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