CAPITOLA -- A police investigator is calling the defrauding of a Capitola couple in the 80s of their life savings "heartbreaking."
The couple, whose identities are not being released by police, transferred nearly $89,000 to a bank in Mexico in late May, believing they were helping to pay their grandson's legal bills after he was in a fight, said Capitola police detective Leo Moreno.
The female victim reportedly received a phone call from a man who sounded like her grandson, asking for her help. The grandson's father was out of phone range when the calls came in, and it was not until weeks later that the couple found out their grandson had never left the country, Moreno said.
"We've had similar scams before, but never of this magnitude in terms of the take," Moreno said of the case, reported to police this week. "This is probably the largest that I've seen, the largest this agency has seen."
The funds were transferred to a Banco Nacional De Mexico S.A or "Banamex" account registered to Oscar Gallegos Lomeli of Mexicaltzingo, Mexico, Moreno said. The funds have since been withdrawn from the account. Moreno said police are working with the banks locally and in Mexico in an attempt to recover the funds.
The suspect, still posing as the couple's grandson, also called back several days later and asked them to purchase $5,000 in prepaid debit cards and provide him with the cards' information. Those funds also were withdrawn immediately, Moreno said. ------ (c)2014 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at www.santacruzsentinel.com Distributed by MCT Information Services