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Darien Police Investigate Phone Scam That Bilked 81-Year-Old

Darien police are investigating a scam where an 81-year-old resident was swindled out of $4,500.
Darien police are investigating a scam where an 81-year-old resident was swindled out of $4,500. Photo Credit: Alfred Branch

DARIEN, Conn. – An 81-year-old Darien man was swindled out of $4,500 in a recent scam in which he was fooled into believing that one of his grandchildren was in trouble, police said.

The man received a phone call from someone claiming to be “Detective Tyler James” from the Danbury Police Department, who said the man’s grandson was in trouble, had been arrested, and that he needed to wire $2,250 via a MoneyGram from a nearby Wal-Mart to an unnamed person.

The man asked which grandson was in trouble, and “Detective James” gave the correct name of one of the man’s grandchildren. So he went to the Wal-Mart on Connecticut Avenue in Norwalk and wired the money.

About three hours later, he received a second call from the same individual who again told the man to wire another $2,250, which he did. It wasn’t until days later that the man discovered through a family member that he had been swindled.

Darien Police Detective Mark Cappelli said such scams do not happen often but they still occur, in part because wired money can be difficult to trace.

“It appears that the money was picked up in Georgia,” said Cappelli.

Using phone records, Cappelli was able to trace the call to a cell phone out of Canada, but he did not disclose who the phone's owner.

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