Atherton's grandparent/money scam
Original post made by Melinda Tevis, Atherton: West of Alameda, on Apr 7, 2011
I believe that a Police automated call went out to all residents yesterday in advance of the press release, to warn everyone to have their guard up about similar requests to hastily wire out cash.
My own mother received just such a phone request from a non existent grandchild at least 9 or 10 months ago, and she worried that some one of her elderly friends might be more successfully taken advantage of. She asked me to call the APD to give them a "heads up" about the scam, and so I immediately dialed the non emergency number for the APD dispatch to relay our mutual concern. Dispatch was NOT interested in my call--they already "knew all about it and had already heard from my mother". My mother had made NO call to APD!! I worry that instead, some other elderly lady (or perhaps several) had phoned in to report similar experiences that day, and that dispatch did not take any of them seriously. I certainly was made to feel foolish for trying to help the APD to do what I thought their function was- and so for me the issue was just dropped. I regret that I did not bother to report my frustration with dispatch to Chief Guerra, although I believe I did leave a message for Gruber with no response.
If I had been bolder, or spoken up louder, or figured out who might actually listen--then maybe some of our residents could have been better protected from this than they were.
Maybe the APD's automated warning calls would have gone out a lot sooner.
I thought it was very brave and most commendable of the resident victims who came forward to be interviewed openly about their experience in order to protect their fellow citizens.