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83-year-old Westlake grandmother bilked out of thousands

UHAUL grandparent scam Ohio.JPG
Posted at 2:29 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 15:03:22-04

WESTLAKE, Ohio — An 83-year-old grandmother was taken for thousands after she gave money to a fake lawyer who said her grandson was in legal trouble after a traffic accident on Route 8, according to Westlake police.

RELATED: Police arrest 2 men for allegedly bilking Westlake grandmother out of thousands

On Wednesday, police received a report that an 83-year-old woman had parted with a large amount of money.

The woman told police she received a call the day before from someone posing as her grandson, saying he was at fault in a bad traffic accident and need legal help.

Police confirmed to News 5 that the man posing as the woman’s grandson said he was in the crash on Route 8 on Tuesday morning involving a tanker truck that killed an 18-year-old from North Canton.

A second man came on the phone, identifying himself as her grandson’s public defender, said her grandson needed thousands of dollars to pay court costs.

The duo talked the woman into going to the bank and withdrawing cash. The specific amount was not given in the report.

When she refused to drive to Cleveland to meet outside the bail bonds office, the man who falsely identified himself as the lawyer said that “as luck would have it, they had a courier in the area who could pick up the funds.”

The callers told the woman she couldn’t tell anyone about the bond payment because there was a gag order on the case and she could get in trouble.

The woman said a man driving a 10-foot U-Haul truck arrived at her home. She told police the man was “very polite” as he collected the cash and drove away.

Police later released images of the U-Haul they believe was involved — they said it had an image of a camel on the side.

UHAUL grandparent scam Ohio.JPG
Surveillance image of the U-Haul police say was driven by the "courier" who took cash from a Westlake grandmother.

She later saw the story about the crash, reached out to her grandson, who told her he wasn’t involved, police said.

Investigators are looking at video from the area and discussing the case with other local police departments who reported similar crimes.