Maryland police warn of 'grandparent scam', launch hunt for suspect

Three incidents reported in Montgomery County, outside of Washington, D.C.

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Police in Maryland are offering a $10,000 reward in the hunt for the suspect behind a "grandparent scam" that has targeted at least three senior citizens. 

The incidents — in which victims are told their family members are in jail and that they need to hand over money to secure their release — unfolded between May 31 and June 3 outside of Washington, D.C., according to the Montgomery County Police Department.  

"This crime is known to law enforcement as the ‘grandparent scam,’" the department said in a statement. "Detectives have released surveillance footage of the suspect and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying him." 

Police say in the first incident, an 84-year-old victim in Poolesville was "contacted by a suspect claiming to be her grandson, stating that he was in jail and needed money to secure his release." 

MARYLAND AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING FIRES, VANDALISM AT MULTIPLE BETHESDA CHURCHES 

The suspect that police in Montgomery County, Maryland, say is behind a "grandparent scam."

The suspect that police in Montgomery County, Maryland, say is behind a "grandparent scam." (Montgomery County Police Department)

"After withdrawing the money, the victim called the number she was instructed to call," police continued, before being informed "that a ‘courier’ would come" to her home to collect the money. 

"A short time later, a male wearing brown shorts and a reflective construction vest arrived at her door to pick up the money," police said. "The victim handed the money to the ‘courier,’ who then left in a dark-colored, four-door sedan, with the stolen money." 

A close-up view of the "grandparent scam" suspect in Maryland.

A close-up view of the "grandparent scam" suspect in Maryland. (Montgomery County Police Department)

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The second two incidents on June 1 and June 3, which were based on a similar premise and happened in Bethesda and Rockville, targeted 78 and 89-year-old victims, the Montgomery County Police Department says. 

This car is being sought in connection to the case.

This car is being sought in connection to the case.

Investigators described the suspect as a "tall male, heavy set, wearing a brown UPS type uniform and reflective vest" and said there may be additional victims.