Redford police issue warning about scam after 93-year-old victim loses $25,000

Woman thought she was helping police

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Redford Township police are looking for a sweet-talking criminal armed with a cellphone. His target? A 93-year-old grandmother.

In an interview with Local 4, the 93-year-old said she got a phone call at her home last week from a man who said he was an undercover Redford police officer.

He told the woman police were holding an identify thief that had been using her daughter's name, credit cards and was spreading counterfeit cash.

The woman said the man on the phone told her she needed to cash one of her CD bank accounts in order to see if any of the counterfeit money had made its way into it.

The woman said she should have seen the red flags, the bank teller tried to stop her.

"The girl tried to talk me out of getting it … she said, ‘Is anyone forcing you to withdraw this money?' And I said, ‘No, they weren't.'"

The woman said she thought she was helping police. She handed over $25,000 to a man she arranged to meet in a parking lot near the bank.

But Redford Police Chief Eric Pahl said his department doesn't have an undercover counterfeit unit. He calls the scam ruthless.

"It's just sickening," he said.

He encourages anyone who receives a similar phone call to hang up and tell police right away.

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