(Wilmington, DE 19809) On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at approximately 7:00 p.m., officers from the New Castle County Division of Police were dispatched to the 1400 block of Ridge Road (Holly Oak Community) in reference to a fraud investigation.

When the officers arrived, they learned that a 78-year-old male victim had been contacted by someone pretending to be his grandson. The suspect posing as his grandson told him that he was involved in a car crash and needed bail money or else he was going to jail. The victim then spoke to a person pretending to be his grandson’s lawyer. The second suspect posing as a lawyer told the victim he needed to provide over $9,000.00 in cash to keep his grandson from going to jail. The victim reported a suspect then responded to his residence to collect the money. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male who was wearing a black hat, grey sweatshirt, and black pants.

Officers conducted a canvas of the area and collected surveillance footage of the incident. This is an active and ongoing investigation.

If you have any information related to this investigation or can identify the suspect in the attached photo, please contact the New Castle County Division of Police non-emergency number at 302-573-2800. Tipsters may also call Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333 or visit us on Facebook at New Castle County Police Department.

As a friendly reminder please follow these tips and share them with friends and family to protect yourself from these scams:

  • Don’t let a caller rush you into making decisions.
  • Do hang up and call the family member in question or other relatives, on a known number, to make sure everyone is safe.
  • Don’t send cash, wire money, or provide numbers from gift or cash-reload cards to a person claiming to be a family member. Scammers prefer those payment methods because they’re difficult to trace.
  • Use privacy settings on your social media accounts so that only people you know can access your posts and photos.
  • If someone claims to be a police officer, do call the relevant law enforcement agency to verify the person’s identity and any information they’ve given you.
  • The only way to alleviate a warrant is to appear at the issuing agency, or at the court. Also, when posting bail, even for a family member, you must be present to post the bail.
  • Neither Deputies nor officers from the New Castle County Division of Police will ever request or take funds over the phone, any payments owed must be made in person to the respective court
  • Trust your instincts.

Additionally, if you think you have been the victim of a scam or fraud, please do not be embarrassed or ashamed.  These scammers can be very convincing, and you are not alone.  Contact the New Castle County Police non-emergency line 302-573-2800 or 302-395-8171 to report a scam.