Florida man pleads guilty to scamming Minnesota grandparents


For years authorities across the country have warned the public of the "grandparent scam," now a man who bilked several Minnesota senior citizens out of thousands of dollars is being held accountable.

The Pioneer Press reports 35-year-old Robert Attias of Miami pleaded guilty to a felony Monday in Dakota County District Court to scamming the elderly in Dakota, McLeod, Ramsey, Olmstead and Steele counties in early 2010.

According to the criminal complaint, this is how the scam generally went down:

Attias worked with an accomplice who would call a victim posing as his or her grandson. The caller claimed to be in jail in Miami and needed bail money.

After the money was successfully wired to Attias after the first call, Attias would make follow-up calls requesting additional funds for supposed legal fees or damages from a made-up car accident.

Attias got more than $15,000 in the scheme.

The Star Tribune said a judge ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing for Jan. 10.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations has been receiving reports of the grandparent scam since 2008. The FBI says the scams have recently become more sophisticated due to social networking sites where criminals can access personal information, making impersonations more believable.

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