Local News

Police: Man Allegedly Scams Grandmother Out of $30,000

SEAL BEACH, Calif. (KTLA) — Police in Seal Beach were asking for the public’s help finding a man who allegedly scammed a grandmother out of $30,000.

On Feb. 18, an 86-year-old widow received a call from someone claiming to be her grandson “Randy,” saying that he was in a Mexican jail and needed money for his release, Seal Beach police said.


The false driver’s license used to pick up the money (left) and a surveillance image of the man sought by police (right).

The man asked the woman to send $15,000 in cash addressed to “Matthew Jones” to an address in New York City, according to police.

The address was identified as a FedEx business office in a downtown New York Sheraton Hotel.

On Feb. 19, the victim sent the cash to the address.

Then, on Feb. 20, two days after the initial call, the same man called the woman again and asked for an additional $15,000 to be sent to the same address.

The victim, fearing for her grandson and trusting the caller, sent the additional money, authorities said.

A false Canadian driver’s license was used to pick up the packages from the New York Fed Ex business center, according to investigators.

Surveillance video and photos were captured of the man picking up the packages.

Detectives from the Seal Beach Police Department were working with the New York Police Department on the case.

The suspect was described as a white man in his mid to late 30s, with a medium to heavy build.

He had a distinctive goatee that appeared to be braided into a “sparrow” style beard, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Seal Beach Police Detective Mary Martinez at 562.799.4100 Ext. 1110 or via email at mmartinez@sealbeachca.gov.