May 22, 2022 7:08 am

“Hi Mom. I have covid ”: they prosecuted the scammer who posed as the son of his victim and almost stole $ 30,000

It was 12:30 p.m. last Friday when Nilda Z. answered the landline phone of her Flores apartment. His interlocutor was direct: “Hello mom, I am your son, listen to me, I have Covid, I feel very bad, I have a fever, I need money and I wanted to tell you that, in addition, there is a risk with the money we have in the bank. In a while a friend is going to go get the money, I ask you to tell me the serial numbers of the ticket…”. The woman did not hesitate and, without cutting off the communication, looked for 3,000 dollars, put them in an envelope and asked the person who takes care of her to come down and give it to a young man who was going to be waiting for him. He didn’t know it, but he had fallen into a trap, he had been a victim of the “uncle’s story”.

911 call audio

Nilda Z. continued the conversation with her son. “Martín, I have already delivered the money to your friend. What do we do with the money that is in the safe?”. The woman received in response: “You’re right, now my friend is going to take you to the bank, give me your cell phone number”.

Unaware that she had never spoken to her son, Nilda Z. went to the door of the building and got into a car. The driver took her to a bank on Avenida Rivadavia at 6400 to withdraw her savings from a safe deposit box.

There was a mishap at the bank. It was difficult for Nilda Z. to go down to the basement with the cane. So he decided to go to a nearby restaurant to have a soda. But he continued to receive calls on his cell phone from his supposed son asking him to go and withdraw the money. So, he went back to the bank and withdrew $30,000 from his safe deposit box.

The scammer who had taken the victim to the bank and who was waiting parked a few meters away did not know it, but there was already an operation by the City Police to abort the delivery of the money.

The real son of Nilda Z., as he had not been able to communicate with his mother, went to the apartment and discovered that he had been the victim of the uncle’s story. So he called the 911 emergency number for help.

When the personnel of the 7C Neighborhood Police Station of the City Police and the victim’s son arrived at the door of the bank, they observed that a red Ford Ka escaped at full speed. At that moment, a chase began that ended in Membrillar and Bonifacio where the vehicle driven by the suspect collided with another car and a patrol car.

Mariano Acuña, 22, the false friend of the victim’s son, was arrested at the scene. In the last hours, the suspect was prosecuted with preventive detention by the Buenos Aires criminal and correctional judge Darío Bonanno.

“The typical requirements of the figure under study are met [estafa], to the extent that Acuña -perhaps together with another subject who could have provided him with assistance-, knowing the conditions of his victim, an elderly woman, took advantage of such circumstances, making him believe that he received a call from his son, who He asked her to give him money, to which the victim, under said deception, agreed, ”said the magistrate in his resolution.

When substantiating the decision of the preventive detention, the judge explained: “I warn that on this occasion the concurrence of obstruction of the investigation, since Acuña lives in the same neighborhood as the victim, being an older woman, whose address and surroundings she knows and, therefore, her freedom may not only jeopardize the investigation of the truth, but also represent a worsening of the situation of vulnerability in which Nilda Z finds herself.”

The magistrate stressed that Acuña is awaiting an oral trial for another cause in which he was released on royal bail.

“Acuña took advantage of an elderly person at all times, with difficulty moving around and when noticing the presence of police personnel at the scene, he tried to flee aboard the vehicle he was driving with a reckless attitude, causing a collision, from which his arrest could be achieved”Bonano said.

Acuña was prosecuted for fraud, the $3,000 that the victim delivered in an envelope and could not be recovered, and also for attempted fraud, for the $30,000 that Nilda Z. withdrew from the safe. , but that he never gave to the scammer because he was arrested before.

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