'Fake' grandkids held for conning 150 seniors
Published: 31 May 12 10:11 CET
Two men have been held in northern Sweden on suspicion of repeatedly swindling elderly people by pretending to be their grandchildren.
The men were arrested in March and are now being held on remand for their crimes throughout northern and eastern Sweden, including Söderhamn, Hudiksvall, Sundsvall and Umeå, according to the Hudiksvalls Tidning newspaper.
“They have been very cunning and have played on weak points,” said Mikael Hedström of the Gävle police.
Police estimate that the men's elaborate scheme has netted them over one million kronor ($138,152) in cash and jewellery.
According to the paper, the men had carefully researched their victims before conning them.
“They’d done their homework. If the woman had a grandchild called Kristoffer, then the caller would ring and said ‘Hi Grandma, it’s Kristoffer,’” said Hedström to the paper.
After the news of the events has been made public, more and more elderly couples have called local police and made reports.
Five new reports were filed on Tuesday alone, and Police believe the pair may have conned up to 150 people.
One 98-year-old woman was relieved of 40,000 kronor by the con-artists, as well as jewellery valued at 10,000 kronor, thinking the money would go towards her grandchild’s car, wrote the paper.
However, it isn’t usually until the victims call to ask for their money back that they realize they’ve been tricked.
Police have also received reports from people contacted by the thieves, who suspected foul play and didn’t hand over their valuables.
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