With grandparent scams more prevalent than ever, authorities in Massachusetts broke up an alleged scam ring near the end of 2022. Here is a revisit of that investigation. These cons scare the elderly by saying an urgent emergency has happened to their child or grandchild, or that they are holding them hostage until a ransom is paid.
Three people were arrested in Massachusetts for their alleged roles in a country-wide scam that cost victims thousands of dollars. The scam involved at least Boston, MA, Bristol County, Bronx, New York, Conrow, Texas, San Diego, California, and Panorama, Texas.
According to Deputy Chief Timothy Cook, as part of an ongoing investigation into a “grandparent scam” organization, the Attleboro Police Detective Division was made aware of a package en route to Attleboro containing several thousand dollars in cash. This package was able to be intercepted and the money returned to the victim, who was in San Diego, California.
Later, an additional victim out of Conrow, Texas was identified. This victim had mailed a package containing several thousand dollars to an address in Attleboro. This victim cooperated with law enforcement and, when contacted by the scammers for more money, agreed to their request. The shipping address was provided to Attleboro Detectives and was found to be a vacant property listed for sale in Attleboro.
Cook stated that working in conjunction with a shipping company, a delivery of a “controlled package” was scheduled for Tuesday, October 4. Detectives established surveillance and within minutes of delivery of a first package, an individual identified as 23-year-old Ransel Starlin Tavares Jiminez of Bronx, NY, arrived in front of the house and was observed collecting the package from the doorstep. He was taken into custody for receiving stolen property and attempting to commit a crime to wit larceny over $1200. The first package was found to be from a separate scam victim from Panorama, TX. This package contained several thousand dollars in cash, which was recovered for the victim.
Upon delivery of the “controlled package”, detectives observed two females arrive in a vehicle. A female passenger got out and retrieved the “controlled package” from the doorstep and was taken into custody. The female driver was stopped and also taken into custody. These females were identified as 55-year-old Rosa Maria Burgos Liz and 46-year-old Raquel Julissa Mata Liz both of Dorchester, and both were charged with attempting to commit a crime to with receiving stolen property.
The investigation was led by Detective Keith Golden and assisted by Detective Joseph Daday. Officers Pedro Mendes, Karl Williams, Matt Tracy, Anthony Lofton and Sergeants Kevin Sellers and Leo McKenzie also provided assistance.
In total, approximately $19,000 in cash was able to be intercepted and recovered for the elderly victims of these scams.
The Raynham Police Department stated at the end of December that they had received reports of the grandparent scam circulating within the community in recent weeks. Several departments in Massachusetts have expressed the same sentiment.
Raynham Police urge all residents to remember that any detainment of relatives can be confirmed with the arresting police department or through the local district court clerk’s office. Bail is never paid via courier, gift card or wire service.