NORTH ALABAMA – A man has been charged with multiple felonies in connection with several ‘Grandparent Scams’ across North Alabama.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said deputies were called to a theft report at a Lacey’s Spring home on Oct. 4.
An older man told deputies he was called by somebody who claimed to be his grandson, saying he had been arrested following a vehicle accident. Then, in a twist on the classic ‘Grandparent Scam,’ a man claiming to be his ‘grandson’s’ attorney got on the phone and demanded two cash payments – $18,000 and $56,000.
The “attorney” said a courier would be coming to the home to pick up the packages, and a courier picked up both.
The next day, the ‘attorney’ called back and asked for another $50,000 in cash.
The Sheriff’s Office said the Criminal Investigations Division was alerted to the call and had set up in the area to stop the courier.
Investigators stopped the courier, an Uber driver who had been sent to collect a package.
The driver cooperated with investigators, and the Sheriff’s Office contacted Uber, later identifying a suspect.
Around that time, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office contacted Morgan County Sheriff’s Office investigators, informing them a similar scam was happening in Madison County.
Kino Deandre Roper, 26, was arrested and charged with multiple felonies for the scams.
Roper was booked into the Madison County Jail on four first-degree theft by deception charges.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said they also have a warrant out for Roper’s arrest – with a $500,000 bond pending – and jail records suggest Roper may have charges pending with Athens Police, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI in connection with the scams as well.
Multiple departments assisted the Madison and Morgan County Sheriff’s Offices:
- FBI Violent Crimes Task Force
- U.S. Secret Service
- Athens Police
- Huntsville Police
- Homewood Police
- Limestone County Sheriff’s Office
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office warned about the new twist in the classic ‘Grandparent Scam.’
Elder abuse scams affect numerous individuals in our area. The scams often involve calls originating from someone claiming to be a lawyer representing a family member who is in need of money for bail, or legal fees. These scammers can be cunning, and may tell you that there is a legal gag order in place and not to contact anyone else about the incident. They will request a large sum of money and say they will send someone to your home to pick it up. Oftentimes, they will reach out a second time, claiming the gag order was violated and your family member needs additional funds. These scammers often call using prepaid phones and use couriers or rideshare services to coordinate the pick-up. It is vitally important that you discuss theses types of scam calls with your loved ones.Morgan County Sheriff’s Office
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office also encouraged anyone who may have been a victim of the scam to contact their local police department or sheriff’s office.