Suspects arrested in Western New York elderly bail scam


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two suspects were arrested Thursday in connection with a scam targeting elderly victims in Western New York. Investigators say the suspects stole or attempted to steal a total of $106,400 through the scam since March 22.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the scam would begin with a victim getting a phone call from someone claiming to be a relative in need of bail money. Another person claiming to be an attorney or police officer would join the call, telling the victim to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash to get their relative out of jail. A “courier” would later arrive at the victims’ homes to take the cash.

Investigators say elderly victims would be targeted multiple times before they figured out they were being scammed.

The sheriff’s office says investigators learned about a scam in progress this month, and carried out surveillance at a would-be victim’s home on Thursday. They say two suspects showed up at the home, expecting to receive $13,500 in cash from the victim. Instead, the suspects were confronted by police.

Investigators say Jamel Aciego, 18, resisted arrest before being taken into custody. They say Victor Lopez, 20, fled in a vehicle, ran through a stop sign, and crashed into a swamp near Fellows Road at Penfield Road. He was treated for minor injuries at Strong Memorial Hospital, then taken into custody.

Aciego and Lopez have been charged with Attempted Grand Larceny and Conspiracy. Police say both are from Miami, Florida and are likely to be behind a spate of similar scams in Genesee and Erie counties.

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