That’s the presumably fake identity someone used on Monday when they scammed an elderly Tewksbury woman out of $5,000.
It’s as pathetic as it is outlandish.
Police Chief Timothy Sheehan twice described the perpetrators as “degenerates.”
The scammer called the woman and claimed to be a law enforcement official in Bolivia, where he said the woman’s grandson had been imprisoned. The woman needed to immediately wire $5,000 via Money Gram International Transfer in order to get her grandson out of prison.
The woman went to Wal-Mart and wired the money. She was told her grandson was safe in Massachusetts. By the time she tried to cancel the wire transfer, the money had already been claimed by “Max Goody,” in Bolivia.
Scams like this — that pray on the love of grandparents — are increasingly common, according to Tewksbury Police, the AARP, and federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and the State Department. Follow the links in the names for more information and tips on how to avoid these scams.
They’re also extremely difficult for local law enforcement to prosecute due to the distances involved and international boundries, according to Sheehan.
“It is not for the lack of effort in this case and with the past cases,” Sheehan told me in an email. “We will work with the federal authorities again this time to see what we are capable of doing in Bolivia. We would like nothing more than to bring those responsible to justice.”
While Tewksbury detectives work with federal authorities, Sheehan wants to warn everyone in the area about this scam.
“We have not had a great deal of success with prosecuting the degenerates that perpetrate this type of heinous international crime,” Sheehan said. “So we wanted to focus as much attention as possible on educating the public that these scams are out there.”
Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of this, or an attempted victim of this, should call police. Do not be too embarrassed to call. These scammers sometimes use information gleaned from obituaries and social media to make their scams extremely complex.
Follow the links I provided above for even more information and safety tips on avoiding these scams.