10:21 AM PST, November 12, 2021
An 82-year-old Florida woman lost $700,000 in an apparent “grandparent scam,” after she believed her granddaughter was in trouble, according to reports. Investigators are now turning to Uber to help solve the case, officials said.
The suspects used Uber to make pick-ups and drop-offs throughout the summer when the alleged scam began, FOX News reported.
The woman who was allegedly scammed said she received a call from a young woman claiming to be her granddaughter. The caller said she had been in a car accident and needed money to get out of jail, according to court records, ABC News reported. A man, who claimed to be the granddaughter’s lawyer, then took the phone and spoke to the woman, ABC reported.
The woman was then told to make cash withdrawals from her bank, and hand the money over to a courier, according to court documents, ABC News reported.
The scammers convinced the woman to make 13 different withdrawals from different branches of BB&T Bank when she ran out of money, The Tampa Times reported.
The woman was told by the scammers to tell the bank if they inquired that the money she was withdrawing was for home improvements, according to Guy Burns, the woman’s attorney, FOX News eported.
The woman told investigators that she did not arrange for the rideshare, the news outlet reported.
Investigators from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office have asked Uber about pick-ups at the woman’s home between April and August. Officials are investigating the various locations where the pick-ups and drop-offs were made, the Uber account holder, and the credit card information, The Tampa Bay Times reported.
An Uber spokeswoman said Wednesday that the company is in touch with the Sheriff’s Office to help with the investigation, the Times reported.
It was not clear if the people who arrived at the woman’s house were directly involved in the scam or if they were just hired couriers, FOX News reported.
In September, the woman’s lawyer filed a civil lawsuit against Truist Bank, created when BB&T merged with SunTrust, court records show. They allege negligence for letting the woman make large and unusual withdrawals even after red flags were raised, ABC reported.
Truist Bank declined to comment when reached by Inside Edition Digital.
Inside Edition Digital reached out to attorney Guy Burns he was unavailable.