San Rafael

San Rafael Couple Loses More Than $11K in Phone Scam

Phone ringing with an unknown number
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A San Rafael couple lost more than $11,000 Monday in a phone scam that had them fearing their grandson was in jail and needed bail, police said.

The couple in their 70s told police they received a call around 7 a.m. from someone who claimed to work in a law office. The male caller said the couple's grandson was arrested for DUI, and he was working on lowering their grandson's cash bail, police Lt. Dan Fink said.

The caller then handed the phone to a person in distress who claimed to be the couple's grandson, and the couple was told he needed $11,250 for bail. The couple agreed to get the bail money but told the caller they did not have the money now. The caller told the couple to handle the transaction privately and not to speak to any other family members about it, Fink said.

The couple went to their bank, got a personal loan in cash for the bail amount and contacted the caller, who said someone would come to their home to pick up the money, Fink said.

A thin, white person dressed in dark clothing showed up at the couple's residence around 1 p.m. The couple did not ask him any questions and gave him the cash. The scammer left on foot and the couple did not see any vehicle, according to Fink.

The couple called their grandson at 6 p.m. to confirm he was released from jail, and they learned he was never detained by law enforcement and they were the victims of a scam. The couple then called San Rafael police and a detective is investigating the theft by false pretenses, Fink said.

Fink said it was unusual for a scammer to show up at a victim's home.

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