7 arrested for scamming elderly

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(ANSA) – NOVARA, JAN 28 – Italian police on Thursday arrested
seven people allegedly belonging to a Poland-based gang that
scammed over 50 elderly people in the provinces of Novara,
Vercelli, Como and Switzerland, judicial sources said.
    Those arrested are suspected of aggravated fraud against
elderly, frail and vulnerable people, police said.
    The alleged gang posed as grandchildren and told their victims
that they had been the victims of car crashes or had succumbed
to COVID-19 and thus needed quick cash, police said.
    In one police wiretap that was released, a gang member told an
old woman “Grandma, it’s Marco, Give the jewels to the person
I’m sending, I need help”.
    The victims, mostly grandmothers living on their own, were
persuaded to part with the family jewels or their life savings,
police said.
    The police operation, dubbed ‘Cara Nonna’ (Dear Grandma) or ‘Droga Babciu’ in Polish, led to four people being placed under
arrest in prison and three more being placed under house arrest.
    Another two people have been ordered to report regularly to
police, while others have been placed under investigation.
    The operation started last March with two scammers being caught
red-handed, police said.
    This led to the discovery of the ‘command centre’ in Poland and
the group in Novara that sent out the bag men, police said.


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