A common scam known as the “grandparent scam” has been going on for years, under different iterations and with different scammers. The grift is a tried-and-true one, and it’s insidious. A group of scammers pose as lawyers and call elderly marks. They tell their victims that one of their relatives, usually a distant grandchild, has run into legal trouble.
Then, the “attorneys” would claim that they needed money to help pay for the relatives. Sometimes, the trouble would be medical bills, other times it would be property damage, and on other occasions the issues would be more nebulous. There was one common factor, though: the marks needed to pay up.
Police in Indianapolis became aware of the scam when the “attorneys” attempted to defraud an 81-year old Minnesota woman for a third time. The woman had already paid them $9,000, twice, ostensibly to help a grand-niece pay for medical bills. Police were contacted when the scammers came back for a third round of payments after the woman got in touch with her real grand-niece and realized that she was being defrauded.
Police instructed the woman to acquiesce to their terms once again, agreeing to leave a package full of “money” on her porch. Instead of money, however, the package was full of old magazines. And, instead of grabbing the item and taking off, the scammers were tailed by police, who pulled them over and booked them on charges of running a national scam.
The alleged scammers, including Jennifer Glemeau, Princess Elizer, both of whom hail from Georgia. They’ve allegedly been traveling all over the United States, spending a few weeks at a time in cities around the country, hitting numerous elderly victims up for cash, collecting the money as dead-drops from their porches, and then breaking for the next city.
Their scam has reportedly been running from as early as April of 2020, and has allegedly been quite lucrative. Authorities believe the scam has already raked in some $350,000 from victims, though that number could be even higher. Some victims paid as much as $70,000, thinking they were paying relatives’ medical bills.
Others accused of participating in the scam are Darlens Renard, Jasaun Pope, and Kareem Brown, who are all facing federal criminal charges. It is unclear if any of the five charged with the scams have secured legal counsel yet, but court records indicate they’re all facing serious jail time if convicted.